Pocket Atlas Of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Not Visited And Never Will
- Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date:
- 07 June 2012
- Travel Writing
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Wonderful book. Not what I expected, yet so much more. Truly artistic (and melodic) treatment of rather arcane subject. Bravo
It is a beautiful object in and of itself, a lush coffee table with its own font, littered with enticing maps, a myriad of organic shapes encased in ocean. Whilst that maybe enough for map lovers this book is so much more, for each island has a tale to tell, a sliver of its lonely and isolated life. Whether of its natural wonder or human drama, a myth or historical fact, heaven and hell, discovery and forgetfulness. There are as many different types of tales as there are island shapes.Each island has its own 2 page spread, the map on one and the tale on another with additional facts: its population, its timeline. A book whose meticulous research is only displayed judiciously and lovingly laid out so to entice and not overwhelm. This is a book to wallow over, to use as a springboard to many many worlds and for us armchair travellers come highly recommended.
Atlas of Remote IslandsJudith SchlanskyPenguinThe first thing that struck me about Judith Schlansky's Atlas of Remote Islands was its physical beauty, a study in orange and blue that is a lot more appealing than it sounds. The type font is a joy to look at and to read, but really I expected no less from the author and designer of [Fraktur Mon Amour]. Each map of the 50 islands in the book is featured on its own individual page surrounded by a sea of blue as if it's the only place left in the world. In her preface she introduces her love of maps and their infinite possibilities, particularly islands. Schlansky has a mesmerizing way of writing that made me almost want to take off for the great unknown, however as she notes an island can be paradise and hell. In writing about each of these fifty islands she manages to make a study of the strengths and weaknesses of the human character. From hermits in artic regions, to self-made empresses, from islands where inhabitants depart on suicidal treks to maintain the ecological balance of their home, to one where the inhabitants refuse to leave even though their home is sinking beneath the waves. I read this book on a snowbound day with a pot of tea beside me. Highly recommended.
<i>And thus the width of a motorway is shown to scale, a large city in Germany is depicted with the same square symbol used for one in China, and a bay in the Arctic Ocean shines in the same blue as one in the Pacific because they share the same depth. But the icebergs towering in the Arctic Ocean are ignored.Geographical maps are abstract and concrete at the same time; for all the objectivity of their measurements, they cannot represent reality, merely one interpretation of it.</i>This is the ultimate appetizer for map heads and globe spinners. A random collection subtitled Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On and Never Will, it delivers exactly that; a series of two-page spreads with a map on the right hand page and a story about the island on the other side, along with the distances to the nearest landmasses and a timeline of the island's history. Each island is drawn to the same scale, so some islands are thumb-sized, sitting in the middle of the blue sea, and others fill much of the page. Schalansky has published previous works about typography and graphic design and that shows in the simply beauty of this book. There is not a single discordant note, unless it is that there are only fifty islands represented. I could have spent many more happy evenings with this book, if only there were more islands.
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