34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
A new view on the Unofficial Countryside,
This review is from: Edgelands: Journeys into England's True Wilderness (Hardcover)
Edgelands is about those vague and undefined places that surround our towns and cities, damaged places, changing places, burnt, bombed and abandoned places - places that we pass through when going somewhere else.
This book comes as a natural extension of "The Unofficial Countryside" by Richard Mabey - a book which is referenced early in Edgelands and one which has clearly had an influence on the thinking of the authors. But while Mabey focuses on the natural places and spaces, the two authors of Edgelands focus on human spaces and impacts. If Maybe's book is an ecology of wastelands, then this book is about the sociology or even philosophy of the same spaces.
"Edgelands" are clearly a mixture of the native and the manmade, a synthesis of the natural and the artificial, and this mixture seems to have entered the nature of the book itself.
It may be just me, but I found that the authors reached for other people words just a little too often, so that the book becomes more of a synthesis of other people thoughts rather than the notably original synthesis that Mabey managed about the same (or at least similar) ground.
Now this does not make this a poor book - far from it, but I cant give it the rave review that other people have done.
In summary - this is an interesting, very well written book about an overlooked landscape. I would recommend it to anybody who has an interest in landscape history and / or philosophy, but I am not completely convinced that the book does not say many things that have been said elsewhere.