25 October 2016

Review: Atlas of Improbable Places - A Journey to the World's Most Unusual Corners by Travis Elborough & Alan Horsfield

* Copy courtesy of Murdoch Books *

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 = ****

Carpe Librum!


Joe said...

Sounds awesome, makes me want to know more about them and go get the pictures in person (in colour)

Tracey said...

Thanks Joe, hope you do, our planet really is amazing.

Ms. M. said...

Sounds really interesting although some of those places you mention, I'm not sure I'd want to go to. Love maps, though, and there might be some places there I'd like to visit. Thanks for sharing it.

Tracey said...

You're very welcome Ms M. I've always been fascinated by Aokigahara, but like you said, I'm not sure I'd ever actually want to go there.