I had bought this book imagining something very different than it turned out to be; seeing the incongruous dead rabbit on the cover, I had imagined some dark and gritty expose of the social margins of the UK. However, what was inside was far more gentle, and gave increasing delight as I read, as the authors turn their poetic vision on the generally unloved physical landscapes where human utility and the natural world abut each other, conjuring a certain wistful magic out of even the most unprepossessing structures and functions, tuning in nicely to my soft spot(shared by quite a few 40-somethings I think)for motorway services, premier inns and such like.
Specifically, I loved the generosity of their vision, with every edgelands denizen, animal, vegetable,mineral or even purpose being credited with a sort of tender validity. Also, the book has given me a real respect for what happens when poets turn their hands to prose, with some sentences and paragraphs making me want to clap out loud.
There is good fun to be had, too, when the authors posit, every so often, imaginings where some Edgelands feature rides to the rescue in some outsize way, or stars in some unlikely new wheeze, such as the writer's retreat at the Travelodge, which sounded just the ticket.
As another reviewer mentions, the authors miss out cemeteries in their roll call of edgelands highlights; the living aren't much in evidence either though, with such characters as do appear during the authors' wanderings having an insubstantial sort of vagueness,reminiscent a little of the (highly edgelands I would say) graphic novel 'Mauretania'. I wouldn't fault the book for this, though - the social edgelands no doubt have their own scribes, and ours are on more delicate and poetic business.
All in all, well done gents! Should we meet, a Costas latte (sit in or take away) shall be yours.
PS if another edition comes out, please lose the dead rabbit, it's misleading!