- Gebundene Ausgabe: 320 Seiten
- Verlag: Aurum Press Ltd (17. April 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1781312575
- ISBN-13: 978-1781312575
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,1 x 3 x 18,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 260.785 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Off the Map: Lost Spaces, Invisible Cities, Forgotten Islands, Feral Places and What They Tell Us About the World (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 17. April 2014
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'An absorbing book packed with remarkable facts... a joy to read' Daily Mail 'Alastair Bonnett's high-speed world tour of places and non-places whose stories would bring the most somnolent class to life. Bonnett zooms effortlessly around far-off spots - sometimes in person, more often via the internet - but he does not ignore those closer to home. Fizzingly entertaining and enlightening book.' -- Tom Fort Daily Telegraph 'A mesmerising study of ambiguous temporary places.' Geographical Magazine 'Fearlessly explores the dark side of humanity while constantly challenging our conceptions of place, borders and boundaries, and how we as humans use locations and geography to define ourselves and the world around us. Importantly, Bonnett's careful research and fascinating theories are complemented with passages of wonderfully written prose. A thought provoking triumph.' -- James Reader The Great Outdoors "A fascinating delve into uncharted, forgotten and lost places. But it's not just a trivia-tastic anthology of remote destinations but a nifty piece of psycho-geography, explaining our human need for these cartographical conundrums." Wanderlust "Bonnett dares us to rethink exploration in a world that has been fully charted, taking us from micronation Sealand - a forsaken sea fort claimed by a Brit as his own sovereign nation - to Arne, a Second World War decoy city that saved thousands of lives. Forty-seven fascinating essays prove why "our topophilia can never be extinguished or sated" and how these locations over insights into our history and society." Monocle
A tour of the world s hidden geographies from disappearing islands to forbidden deserts and a stunning testament to how mysterious the world remains today
At a time when Google Maps Street View can take you on a virtual tour of Yosemite s remotest trails and cell phones double as navigational systems, it s hard to imagine there s any uncharted ground left on the planet. In "Unruly Places," Alastair Bonnett goes to some of the most unexpected, offbeat places in the world to reinspire our geographical imagination.
Bonnett s remarkable tour includes moving villages, secret cities, no man s lands, and floating islands. He explores places as disorienting as Sandy Island, included on maps until just two years ago despite the fact that it never existed. Or Sealand, an abandoned gun platform off the English coast that a British citizen claimed as his own sovereign nation, issuing passports and crowning his wife as a princess. Or Baarle, a patchwork of Dutch and Flemish enclaves where walking from the grocery store s produce section to the meat counter can involve crossing national borders.
An intrepid guide down the road much less traveled, Bonnett reveals that the most extraordinary places on earth might be hidden in plain sight, just around the corner from your apartment or underfoot on a wooded path. Perfect for urban explorers, wilderness ramblers, and armchair travelers struck by wanderlust, "Unruly Places" will change the way you see the places you inhabit.
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This book was a source of endless fascination, and left me pondering an equally endless numbers of questions revolving around our relationship to the space we occupy, and to the ways that our sense of identity is bound up with that space. We may believe that we live in an era where geographical exploration is a thing of the past, but that is less true that we might believe, as Bonnett points out. Part of it may simply be a matter of describing what we mean when we use the phrase. Then, too, it turns out that there ARE places on which most of us have never yet set foot, like North Sentinel Island. We don't know what the locals call it, because we've never had any contact with them. Ever. They've killed people who have landed there, and have made it VERY clear they don't want us there. (Their islands are near the Andaman and Nicobar islands.) And we've decided to let 'em be.
There are 47 short segments here, ranging from traffic islands to cities of the living inhabiting vast cemetaries, from pirate communities to invented nations in central Europe. I did sometimes think that it might have been more interesting to have read a work of narrative nonfiction, in which Bonnett presented his thesis and used these as anecdotes, rather than a book that is composed simply of vignettes (it ended up feeling a lot like a coffee table book, only without the pictures), ultimately that didn't spoil my pleasure. And Bonnett does a great job in presenting his thesis about our relationship to place -- and to geography itself -- in both his introduction and conclusion, so I didn't feel short-changed.
On the contrary, this was a delightful book. Some critics have noted you can find this content online. Sure -- if you know what to look for. This is a topic I've been interested in for at least a decade, ever since I attended a seminar on "Imaginary Nations" at the New School in New York, and I've got a graduate degree in international relations, with a strong interest in geopolitics (and hence, border issues). Nonetheless, half of these topics I had never even heard of. And to have them all presented in one place, engagingly written, is a great starting point for anyone whose curiosity is likely to be piqued by the topic. Does it answer all questions? Nope. And my advance review copy, alas, didn't include a bibliography or notes.
This is often quirky and always fascinating, and if it doesn't inspire in a curious-minded reader an interest in even the space around them -- and what may lie beneath the surface or hidden around a corner -- I'd be astonished. It's a reminder that what we see when we travel and what goes unnoticed and unremarked until some apparently eccentric guy like Mr. Heaton intent on making his daughter a princess brings it to our attention, can be fascinating. We may never ever want to visit Bir Tawil -- Bonnett notes that satellite photos show there are no buildings and that even its desert tracks have disappeared. But it's rare that I finish reading a book and feel that I've made as many discoveries along the way, about places like Bir Tawil, as I did in the course of reading this.
Some people will love the almost random nature of the writing of Unruly Places. Others will likely complain that it feels too disconnected at times. Personally, I quite enjoyed the trip through different theories on the idea of place. Each of the eight sections is basically a theory, after all. This could have been just a quick read, but the author turns the book into something to be delved into and studied. The anecdotes are not merely stories to amuse or entertain. They are teaching moments and thinking moments. While, in the end, there does seem rather a large emphasis on the part of the world Bonnett is most familiar with, he still manages to raise valid discussion points and look at his part of the world with a different lens than what he used to. By looking at the world in a different way, he brings to light the fact that boundaries are difficult, necessary, and fascinating while also being limiting. Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies is an intriguing read that forces you to look at your surroundings and reconsider your own place in the world.
"Unruly Places" is a unique and fun travelogue that will appeal to anyone interested in a few of the less tame places on our very well-mapped and explored globe.
The topics were great. Each place chosen has an interesting story.
But, the writing was not so great. There aren't any citations. I have an advance reading copy, so maybe mine is missing cites, but when I use "Look Inside" I don't see any cites in the final released book either. Also, the writing is choppy. Too often, the book tries to wax philosophical about how places make us feel and the mystery of the unknown, etc. This feels like fluff that gets in the way of the story. And there's a lot of fluff.
To me, this is a book that would have been amazing 30 years ago. But now with the internet, I can run a quick search and find better information and a more readable story for each place.