The Atlas of Improbable Places - A Journey to the World's Most Unusual Corners by Travis Elborough is a stunning hardcover book with maps from Alan Horsfield.
This collection of deserted islands, subterranean secrets and bizarre and strange locations around the world is broken down into categories, including: Deserted Destinations, Architectural Oddities, Floating Worlds, Otherworldly Spaces (my favourite) among others.
The lack of colour photographs often had me seeking more information online, however some of the highlights of the book for me included the following places:
- Slab City in California, USA (squatter metropolis)
- Battleship Island, Japan (deserted mining settlement)
- Oradour-sur-Glane, France (village abandoned since WWII)
- Wittenoom, Western Australia (asbestos town)
- The Kingdom of Redonda, Caribbean (uninhabited island)
- Poveglia Island, Italy (former plague quarantine island)
- Aokigahara, Japan (the demon forest)
With such a stunning cover and dust jacket (complete with gold foiling), not to mention the beautiful cartography end papers, I'm at a complete loss as to why the photos are black and white. Colour photographs would have enhanced this Atlas ten-fold and their absence is the only reason I'm giving a rating of 4 stars instead of 5 stars.
Atlas of Improbable Places is recommended for readers curious about the world around them and the strange impact humans have on their environment. Also recommended for those who enjoy travel, geography and history. Great coffee table book too.
My rating = ****