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Atlas Obscura Hardcover – 20 Sep 2016
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There literally is something in here for everyone, which I suppose in many ways is the point of any reference books like this. Read morePublished 28 days ago by keen reader
I bought this book (x 2) as Christmas presents and both recipients enjoyed it very much and found it extremely interesting. Excellent buy.Published 1 month ago by PZ
This was bought as a Christmas present for the whole family and it has proved a fascinating read.Published 3 months ago by run65
Great book full of interesting facts and places, loved it! A real little discovery in itself!Published 3 months ago by Julia J Rogers
There is truly no parallel for this book, interesting from cover to cover with curious places to visit all over the world.Published 3 months ago by paspkon
Absolutely fascinating book - bought as present should have got myslf a copy.Published 4 months ago by Miss P J Dilley