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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cosmic Humming worlds.
'Scarp' is a book of extraordinary beauty. The author begins his journey on the sprawling edges of North London's sullen housing estates,then steps off the beaten track, moving away from the 1950s power stations and factories, past the peeling remainders of 1970s graffiti, and then takes long walks, deep into the countryside,into secretive magical forests, meditating on...
Published on 13 Aug. 2012 by Red Eyes

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A travelogue through mind and country
This is a strange book in so many ways, it a a physical journey around the escarpment of land around the north of London. But he also takes a wander through his past, and family, reminiscing about his avoidance of school, prison life and his drug experiences.

Some of the prose is beautiful; he has a wonderful turn of phrase, and his observational detail is...
Published 17 months ago by Half Man, Half Book


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cosmic Humming worlds., 13 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Scarp (Hardcover)
'Scarp' is a book of extraordinary beauty. The author begins his journey on the sprawling edges of North London's sullen housing estates,then steps off the beaten track, moving away from the 1950s power stations and factories, past the peeling remainders of 1970s graffiti, and then takes long walks, deep into the countryside,into secretive magical forests, meditating on the cosmic humming worlds he discovers there. He explores abandoned houses and shacks, and forgotten worlds, and reflects on the disappeared lives that he finds there. He reflects on the transitory poignant nature of his own life, and the lives of those he remembers.

It is an esoteric book, and it is a mystics' text, yet it is, equally, a poignantly mundane,empathetic and open reverie.

It is the most convincing, most vital book I have read in years and years.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring for my own local research, 16 Dec. 2012
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P K (Rotterdam, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scarp (Hardcover)
A great book that teaches new possibilities how to experience your local area. Anywhere can be interesting. You don't need to travel far to discover new worlds. This book is about depth of experience, not about breadth. You can be a great explorer of the world for free.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Geography Trip, 25 Sept. 2013
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G. J. Marsh (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scarp (Paperback)
He has the same gift for transforming the mundane as fellow "psychogeographers" Iain Sinclair and Will Self, but it's Papadimitriou's more personal slant on his subject that makes Scarp such a compelling read.

Papadimitriou started his obsessional long walks through old Middlesex as a result of a troubled youth, and here he recounts his grim adventures as a young arsonist along with interesting chapters on local history. The book is interspersed with inventive, trippy flights of fancy, which really shows-off his skills as a writer. A wonderful book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A travelogue through mind and country, 18 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Scarp (Hardcover)
This is a strange book in so many ways, it a a physical journey around the escarpment of land around the north of London. But he also takes a wander through his past, and family, reminiscing about his avoidance of school, prison life and his drug experiences.

Some of the prose is beautiful; he has a wonderful turn of phrase, and his observational detail is superb. It does get very surreal at times, where the book reaches some of the darker depths of his mind. The writing reminds me of Ian Sinclair, in some ways, complex, layered and esoteric. The last one I read I could not get on with, but may have another go soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 'Deep Topography' of the North London Suburbs: a mind-blower!, 28 July 2013
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This review is from: Scarp (Paperback)
An amazing mash-up of a book - I've never read anything quite like this before. Even if you don't know anything about the area you're in for a big treat. Excellent!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over the hills and far away, 16 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Scarp (Hardcover)
There are any number of books--on mountaineering or fishing, say--where the landscape is all; and only a handful where the landscape so thoroughly informs the narrative as to itself become a major actor--the London of Dickens's "Bleak House" or the Purbeck of Keith Roberts's "Pavane", for instance.

But Papadimitriou's mercilessly readable prose unites with his insight, wit, and sheer exuberance to transcend even those seminal works and present us with something managing to be both elegiacal and celebratory and that could reasonably be called unique, for this is far more than just an exploration of a once rural outer-London landcape, as it also incorporates history (both real and imagined, and, yes, local), folk lore, folk memory, and many episodes and amusing discursions on the author's own quite eventful life.

But where do Scarp the geological feature and Scarp the book start and finish? Papadimitriou the deep-topographer skilfully renders a literary version of the topologist's Möbius strip, turning endlessly in-and-outside itself: In its beginning is its end / In its end is its beginning, so to say.

The book thus defies categorization, and confounds any expectations you may have had, and should appeal to any enquiring-minded reader, whether or not from London, or even Britain.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique!, 18 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Scarp (Hardcover)
I discovered Nick' work through a film, The London Perambulator, made about him a couple of years ago, and from the film and finding out that he contributed research for Will Self's The Book of Dave, probably my favourite modern novel, I was eagerly anticipating Scarp. It hasn't disappointed.

In terms of categorisation, it is easier to say what Scarp isn't than what it is. It isn't an autobiography, nor a travelogue, nor a geographical analysis of the area it describes, nor is it psychology or a Kerouacian stream of conscious narrative - yet in part it is all these and more.

Poetic, inspiring, beautiful writing about an area that I know well but now see from a totally new angle. Having lived for a good portion of my life in South Hertfordshire, Scarp was at once familiar territory and a fresh vision. Nick's approach and his writing are quite simply - to use word that is sadly overused in its true sense - unique.

I would highly recommend Scarp, both to anyone who knows the South Hertfordshire/ North London area - you will see the familiar in a very different way - and to anyone else, with the assurance that you will be drawn in by the quality of the prose and will very soon feel you know the district - and Nick himself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kept me enthralled. A must if you only see outer London as a sprawl of houses, shops and big roads, 27 July 2014
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This review is from: Scarp (Paperback)
Unusual book/ story but absolutely enthralled me . I read it in four sittings !
I admit it might not be for every one . If you live or visit the area I fail how you could not be fascinated in his tales and descriptions
BTW I live in the Midlands, not London and I loved it
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4.0 out of 5 stars Grateful to Will Self for mentioning this book......, 16 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Scarp (Paperback)
A fascinating work. Nick's story emerged which made for a different read to the psychogeographer's approach as I left Scarp and became more interested in the man.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of Wonder, 5 Sept. 2012
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N. A. Osborne (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scarp (Hardcover)
I have followed Nick on various websites and blogs over a few years and I regard myself as a fellow traveller of SCARP. The book was on pre-order for several months prior to publication because I was eager to read it.

When I lived in Hendon I used to look out over SCARP from Sunny Hill. When I walk up to Barnet I am on SCARP. When I head through Newgate Street and on over to Bayford I am on SCARP. Only I didn't know it. SCARP is Nick's name for the broken high ground that stretches fom Harefield to Great Amwell, partly in old Middlesex, partly in Hertfordshire. Here on the edgelands of London he weaves together the story of his walking explorations, with fictional, dreamlike states, to get into the regional memory and gain an understanding of "place". He also recalls a difficult childhood and meeting a lost relative.

SCARP is a work of great beauty, wonderfully written. It is poetic, surreal and has humour running through it. Nick is honest about his past and his difficulties, without asking us to feel sorry for him. I like that. Moreover I love the fact that on each page there is a place I am aware of even if I don't know it intimately. It is an important book, helping us to understand that life and history is on our doorstep and is not another country. Where we live, people have passed through before. Each place, no matter how seemingly mundane, has a tale to tell.

I reccommend this book. It is a work of wonder. Well done Nick.
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Scarp
Scarp by Nick Papadimitriou (Hardcover - 21 Jun. 2012)
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