'We are surrounded by the greatest of free shows. Places" Jonathan Meades has an obsessive preoccupation with places. He has spent thirty years constructing sixty films, two novels and hundreds of pieces of journalism that explore an extraordinary range of them, from natural landscapes to man-made buildings and 'the gaps between them', drawing attention to what he calls 'the rich oddness of what we take for granted'. This book collects 54 pieces and six film scripts that dissolve the barriers between high and low culture, good and bad taste, deep seriousness and black comedy. Meades delivers 'heavy entertainment' - strong opinions backed up by an astonishing depth of knowledge. To read Meades on places, buildings, politics, or cultural history is an exhilarating workout for the mind. He leaves you better informed, more alert, less gullible. "Everything is fantastical if you stare at it for long enough. Everything is interesting."