Explore Everything: Place-hacking the City Hardcover – 7 Oct 2013
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A GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR"Urban exploration is... a way of renegotiating reality, transforming the moment, turning the city into a video game. Except that, in this game, you only have one life."--"Evening Standard""A unique and electrifying travelogue ... Garrett and his fellow travelers are as fit, agile and fearless as ninja."--"Booklist", Starred Review"For Garrett, physical exploration is merely the outward manifestation of a deeper philosophical inquiry. The theoretical DNA of much of his work traces back to the concept of 'psychogeography.'"--"GQ""An absorbing read ... Recommended for travel and modern history readers."--"Library Journal"
“Volatile and extraordinary ... a gonzo road trip.” – Robert Macfarlane, Guardian
“It’s hard not to admire these explorers. Or Garrett himself, who says he wrote part of the book on a laptop while sitting in a crane overlooking Aldgate East.” – Sukhdev Sandhu, The Financial Times
“[Combines] erudite references (Montesquieu, Walter Benjamin) with compelling photographs of men in hoodies in strange places.” – Rowan Moore, Observer
“A no-nonsense, high-adrenaline, fast-twitch report that requires us to think about the city in new ways. This is a provocative challenge to received dogma. An inspiration to get out there, to go over the fence. To see with our own eyes.” – Iain Sinclair, author of London Orbital
“Urban exploration is... a way of renegotiating reality, transforming the moment, turning the city into a video game. Except that, in this game, you only have one life.” – Evening Standard
“For Garrett, physical exploration is merely the outward manifestation of a deeper philosophical inquiry. The theoretical DNA of much of his work traces back to the concept of “psychogeography."”
“As the Earth becomes urban so explorers increasingly shift from the frontiers of ice and desert to the vast yet hidden domains of cities that remain curiously invisible in plain site. Explore Everything is the indispensable guide to this burgeoning world of urban exploration. It opens up the vast realms of our cities remain out-of-bounds -- the tunnels, bunkers, towers, sewers, stadia and more. With stunning clarity and visual power, it reveals the dank, dark and dangerous places that stalk both our urban imaginations and our visions of what a contemporary city might actually be. An extraordinary and important book.” – Stephen Graham
“When reading this wonderfully crafted text, it is apparent early on that Explore Everything is a vehicle for the spectacular. It contains exhilarating passages that decry the enforced striation of contemporary urbanism. It is a call to arms to not accept the city as spectacle, but to overcome the existing logic of the capitalist city and actively re-appropriate space.” – Antipode
“A unique and electrifying travelogue ... Garrett and his fellow travelers are as fit, agile and fearless as ninja.” – Booklist, Starred Review
“Garrett’s book, and its excellent photography, makes clear that urban exploration manages to combine both vertigo and claustrophobia, with people perched on beams hundreds of feet above the city, trapped in elevators, and outrunning rapidly rising sewage. It also bears the mark of its origins as a doctoral thesis, with frequent references to Guy Debord and the theories of various philosophically minded geographers. It’s sort of like Jon Krakauer meets Gilles Deleuze, or a really adventurous W.G. Sebald.” – Josh Dzieza, The Daily Beast
“An absorbing read … Recommended for travel and modern history readers.” – Library Journal
About the Author
Bradley L Garrett is a writer, photographer and researcher in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. After studying anthropology at the University of California, Riverside and working in Australia, Mexico and Hawaii as an archaeologist, Brad became an urban explorer, photographing off-limits urban spaces in the UK, Europe and America. His exploits have been featured in GQ Magazine, the Guardian, the Red Bulletin, and on TV and radio around the world. Details of his recent research and media projects and a list of current publications can be found at www.bradleygarrett.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book's full of photography from the explorations, which really helps imagine where they've been (and just what the difference is between a storm drain and a super-sewer). And from them you can also understand what motivates people to go urban exploring in the first place - the different perspective on the city (and, perhaps, yourself too).
So secondly 'Explore Everything' is an entreaty to imagine the city anew. The language is evocative, even exciting - it's out to make you feel as well as think. "Urban exploration stimulates an awareness that the city is more like a sponge than a solid mass of paved streets and architecture, more like a body than a machine. Cities are spikes and sinkholes; the surface is porous. The bloodstream of the city becomes a conduit for shock and wonder in infinite doses." (p. 175)
'Explore Everything' is also an ethnography of an urban exploration crew: how the group came together, gained rivalries, bonded through shard adversity, and then ultimately drifted apart. This is a bit more academic in tone - it's asking "anthropologist" questions rather than just "explorer" ones. So if that's your background you can read it for an ultra-participatory take on "participant observation", and a complex ethical field of research. If that's not your background - well, Brad's essentially just talking about relationships between people: group dynamics, egos and arguments.Read more ›
Although not a 'coffee table' book it contains lots of high quality photographs but many (if not most) seem to be pictures taken from the top of tall buildings at night. I am sure each photo holds many memories for the author fighting to obtain the position so they may be taken, but for the reader, they are just skyline pictures. And other photos (such as some of the hidden London Underground) are not very good. A few however were outstanding and interesting.
In summary, I mostly enjoyed this book, but I was not gripped as I imagined I would be. It is a book of two halfs: the first discussing in detail the history and motivations of UE, the latter giving more detail of the challenges of individual explorations.
The writing is enthralling, thought provoking, and above all something I will go back to time and time again as this book takes a pride of place on my bookshelf ready for further delving on cold winter nights.
A truly inspiring, and brilliant book - with the most amazing photo's - brilliant.
As a work of ethnography, Garrett's writings compare well with those of Sudhir Venkatesh, whose own explorations have taken him into the world of drug dealers (in Gang Leader For A Day, and his work also features in Freakonomics) and prostitution (Floating City). Both authors, in different ways, put themselves well beyond the edge of comfort, often finding their personal safety compromised in different ways. Both also demonstrate the reflexivity necessary of any field researcher, frequently questioning their role in their chosen field, their own effects upon it, and their motivations.
Garrett, however, takes participant observation to a whole new level, not only tagging along with his subjects but also taking a leading role in organisation, planning and implementation of the place hacks.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this book hard to read with so many unnecesary big words which im not good with, & a lot of trailing off into irrelivent mumbo jumbo rather than talking about the actual... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jamie farndell
Great read, great photography... Possibly just glorifying breaking in to places and disguising it as a social statement of some kind.
Enjoyed the anecdotes though.
Well worth reading, stayed with me for a while after finishing it, which is always a good sign. I did find it a bit sociological in places, but well worth reading nevertheless.Published 17 months ago by N. de Cort
Excellent book for urban explorers like myself. An adventure on every page. I found it very interesting indeed. Excellent photographs too. This is a must read.Published 19 months ago by mickey 101
search the city, seek out new places, capture on photos - eplorePublished 21 months ago by Circlemaker
I had never read a book like this before and thoroughly enjoyed it. The author managed to capture the nitty gritty details which really helps bring the reality of the text to the... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Matthew L Garlick
Overall I did enjoy this book but I found the quality of the writing a little inconsistent. The parts about the places the author visited were excellent. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Hazel N
I bought this book expecting a few cool photos of "hacked " places and some cool stories about how the author had got into (for example) the shard - and on those points it... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Marc Munier
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