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Atlas Obscura Hardcover – 20 Sep 2016

4.9 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing; 01 edition (20 Sept. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761169083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761169086
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 4.8 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,549 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

I thought I had seen most of the interesting bits of the world. Atlas Obscura showed me that I was wrong. It's the kind of book that makes you want to pack in your workaday life and head out to places you'd never have dreamed of going, to see things you could not even have imagined. A joy to read and to reread. --Neil Gaiman

Your peregrine falcon needs a small talon trim? Go straight to the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. . . . Be grateful when visiting the Karni Mata Rat Temple if one of the 20,000 venerated rodents runs across your bare foot it is considered good luck. . . . You won t be able to enter the 20-years-in-the-making and still abandoned tallest hotel in the world. It does not matter. Wherever you look around Pyongyang, North Korea, the 105-story skyscraper silently towers over all. . . . Life is short. Our planet is filled with curiosities and marvels . . . and this wondrous book is your guide!PHILIPPE PETIT, high-wire artist and explorer --Philippe Petit

A travel guide for the most adventurous of tourists . . . a wonderful browse [for] armchair travelers who enjoyed Brandon Stanton's Humans of New York and Frank Warren's PostSecret. Library Journal --Library Journal

From the Inside Flap

It's time to get off the beaten path. Inspiring equal parts wonder and wanderlust, Atlas Obscura celebrates over 700 of the strangest and most curious places in the world.

Talk about a bucket list: here are natural wonders-the dazzling glowworm caves in New Zealand, or a baobob tree in South Africa that's so large it has a pub inside where 15 people can drink comfortably. Architectural marvels, including the M.C. Escher-like stepwells in India. Mind-boggling events, like the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain, where men dressed as devils literally vault over rows of squirming infants. Not to mention the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Virginia, Turkmenistan's 40-year hole of fire called the Gates of Hell, a graveyard for decommissioned ships on the coast of Bangladesh, eccentric bone museums in Italy, or a weather-forecasting invention that was powered by leeches, still on display in Devon, England.

Created by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton, ATLAS OBSCURA revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden and the mysterious. Every page expands our sense of how strange and marvelous the world really is. And with its compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, surprising charts, maps for every region of the world, it is a book to enter anywhere, and will be as appealing to the armchair traveler as the die-hard adventurer.

Anyone can be a tourist. ATLAS OBSCURA is for the explorer.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a curious cat, maybe nosey would be a better word for me but I like to know things, I especially like to know things about bits of the world that remain under the radar.

Earlier this year I started visiting the website Atlas Obscura which is a rich wonder of strange and wonderful places from across the globe, places that are abandoned, overlooked or just plane dangerous. This book brings together some of the best.

Split in to the different areas of the world, this beautiful book (quick note here I did get approved for a NetGalley copy but it looked so nice I treated myself to a physical hardback which is lovely to look at) takes us on tour through some of the most dangerous countries in the world (North Korea, Syria Iraq) via Europe and the US and everywhere in between, it takes us across grass bridges in Peru, to voodoo museums in New Orleans, abandoned islands in Japan and closer to my own home a bridge in Scotland that has the highest rate of dog suicides.

This is an exquisite book that shows the more interesting part of the world that those mainstream guidebooks don't go near, which is a shame as some of these places deserve a visit.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Informative, well-illustrated and really well presented. The destinations mentioned are interesting - some more unusual/bizarre than others - and the tips given to readers on how to get there (or to know before you go) are also welcome additions.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Oh what wonders you will find.......I got this as a gift for my boyfriend and he loves it, I can't wait to actually travel to all these amazing places with him. For now reading about them shall suffice. Amazing book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just two pages on the wonders of Spain, one hundred pages on the USA? While there are some interesting (if hardly obscure) world sights in this book, I didn't expect it to be quite so US-centric. Unusual European places are barely touched upon - Turkey gets less than a page, Oman, one of the most astonishing places in the world, doesn't even get in except for an offshore island, and many countries get little more than a paragraph. Happily Romania's amazing Turda Salt Mine makes it, but while there are some quirky entries this ultimately feels as if a website has been dropped into a book. It's nicely designed, though, and pleasant enough to dip into.
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By Hande Z TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Oct. 2016
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent, travel book, coffee table book, book of miscellany and a book of bizarre tales all in one. But this thick (451 pages) and heavy book is worth the US$35.00 price. Each segment is preceded by a clear map. The subjects are then arranged according to country. Every page is adorned with fascinating photographs of the subjects.

Some of the most beautiful natural subjects include the Root Bridges of Cherrapunji, the Crooked Forest of West Pomerania, the Lion Rock in Sri Lanka, the Black Fall in Iceland, Mount Roraima in Bolivia, and the Giants’ Causeway in Ireland. There are fascinating man-made structures such as the Maunsell Army Sea Forts, St George’s Monastary, and the 88-foot well at Quinta del Regaliera.
Some places perhaps need to be seen to be believed. This book has many such places – Karni Mata Rat Temple is one. It is described as ‘a temple crawling with thousands of holy rats’. The Paper House in Rockport even has furniture made of rolled-up newspapers.
This book promises much and delivers them. The reader will spend a great many hours over it, and still not be tired.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Though I should have twigged based on the fact that it's a hardback and has the word "Atlas" in the title this is a fairly hefty tome. Definitely more of a coffee table book than something to read cover to cover in bed!

Nevertheless it's great. Full of interesting photos and well written descriptions of some fascinating places.... if you want to preview the content you can get a feel for the entries on the Atlas Obscura blog.

I've enjoyed reading it bit by bit over the past couple of months. It's also good fun to flick through and read random entries with the kids. Would make a good gift for somebody into travelling.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good write ups and great pictures. I immediately looked up areas I know and was pleased to see they included interesting things. We will definitely be using this as an aid to travel planning.

I highly recommend it, whether you're planning a trip or firmly planted on your sofa. Kids would greatly benefit from touring the world this way. My guess is they'd spend many happy hours perusing its pages.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My wife loved this so much she has insisted we get it as a present for several other people! Super interesting read whether you're just flicking through or have a more specific location in mind, well presented and nice bound too, totally worth the very modest price
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