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Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies

by

Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies Cover

 

Staff Pick

Unruly Places is The Chronicles of Narnia for grown-ups, made real. Sorted into chapters like "Dead Cities" and "No Man's Lands," which are further divided into vignettes about specific locations (complete with the global coordinates!), Unruly Places takes the reader into both natural and man-made spaces, far-flung and domestic. Bonnett is keenly interested in how people perceive and create places, and one of the pleasures of this book are his insights into what our desires regarding place say about us. Why do we lust for new places to explore and to own, and what do we do in a world that's been primarily mapped out?
Recommended by Rhianna Walton, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A tour of the world's hidden geographies — from disappearing islands to forbidden deserts — and a stunning testament to how mysterious the world remains today.

At a time when Google Map's Street View can take you on a virtual tour of Yosemite's remotest trails and cell phones double as navigational systems, its hard to imagine there's any uncharted ground left on the planet. In Unruly Places, Alastair Bonnett goes to some of the most unexpected, offbeat places in the world to reinspire our geographical imagination.

Bonnett's remarkable tour includes moving villages, secret cities, no man's lands, and floating islands. He explores places as disorienting as Sandy Island, an island included on maps until just two years ago despite the fact that it never existed. Or Sealand, an abandoned gun platform off the English coast that a British citizen claimed as his own sovereign nation, issuing passports and crowning his wife as a princess. Or Baarle, a patchwork of Dutch and Flemish enclaves where walking from the grocery stores produce section to the meat counter can involve crossing national borders.

An intrepid guide down the road much-less traveled, Bonnett reveals that the most extraordinary places on earth might be hidden in plain sight, just around the corner from your apartment or underfoot on a wooded path. Perfect for urban explorers, wilderness ramblers, and armchair travelers struck by wanderlust, Unruly Places will change the way you see the places you inhabit.

Review:

"In short, four-to-five page essays, social geographer Bonnett explores forbidding cities like the pirate stronghold of Hobyo, Somalia, the abandoned town of Pripyat, hard by the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and the underground towns of Turkish Cappadocia; dejected dwellings, like the RV camp at LAX's Parking Lot E and the secret 'Bright Light' CIA detention center in Bucharest; fake places, like the empty British towns built to distract German bombers from real ones and the completely imaginary Sandy Island, which appeared on maps of the Pacific for a century until it was discovered not to exist; a homey fox den and an inaccessible traffic island near the author's English home. Bonnett digs up interesting lore on these 47 offbeat sites that, together, 'conspire to make the world seem a stranger place where discovery and adventure are still possible, both nearby and far away.',. Bonnett's charming, pensive prose and light-handed erudition illuminates the stubborn human impulse to find a home in the unlikeliest places. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

The real-life answers to Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, Unruly Places explores the most extraordinary, off-grid, offbeat places on the planet. Alastair Bonnett's tour of the planet's most unlikely micro-nations, moving villages, secret cities, and no man's lands shows us the modern world from surprising new vantage points, bound to inspire urban explorers, off-the-beaten-trail wanderers, and armchair travelers. He connects what we see on maps to whats happening in the world by looking at the places that are hardest to pin down: inaccessible zones, improvised settlements, multiple cities sharing the same space.

Consider Sealand, an abandoned gun platform off the English coast that a British citizen claimed as his own sovereign nation, issuing passports and making his wife a princess. Or Baarle, a patchwork city of Dutch and Flemish enclaves where crossing the street can involve traversing national borders. Or Sandy Island, which appeared on maps well into 2012 despite the fact it never existed.

Illustrated with original maps and drawings, Unruly Places gives readers a new way of understanding the places we occupy.

About the Author

Alastair Bonnett is Professor of Social Geography at Newcastle University. The author of numerous academic texts, he served as editor of the avant-garde, psycho-geographical magazine Transgressions: A Journal of Urban Exploration.

Table of Contents

   INTRODUCTION    ix

   Lost Spaces    1

Sandy Island    3

Leningrad    8

Arne    12

Old Mecca    15

New Moore    20

Time Landscape    24

The Aralqum Desert    28

   Hidden Geographies    35

The Labyrinth    37

Zheleznogorsk    42

The Underground Cities of Cappadocia    46

Fox Den   51

North Cemetery, Manila    55

North Sentinel Island    59

   No Mans Lands   67

Between Border Posts (Guinea and Senegal)    69

Bir Tawil    73

Nahuaterique    77

Twayil Abu Jarwal    82

Traffic Island    87

   Dead Cities    93

Wittenoom    95

Kangbashi    100

Kijong-dong    104

Ag˘dam    108

Pripyat    114

The Archaeological Park of Sicilian Incompletion   119

   Spaces of Exception    125

Camp Zeist    127

Geneva Freeport    132

Bright Light, 4 Mures Street, Bucharest    136

International Airspace    141

Gutterspace    144

Bountiful    148

Mount Athos    153

Ranch of Sprouts: Brotas Quilombo    158

FARC-controlled Colombia    163

Hobyo    168

   Enclaves and Breakaway Nations    175

Baarle-Nassau and Baarle-Hertog    177

Chitmahals    183

Sealand    188

United Kingdom of Lunda Tchokwe    193

Gagauzia    198

   Floating Islands    205

Pumice and Trash Islands    207

Nipterk P-32 Spray Ice Island    212

The Floating Maldives    216

The World    221

   Ephemeral Places    227

Hogs Back Lay-By    229

LAX Parking Lot    234

Nowhere    238

Staceys Lane    242

   CONCLUSION    247

   BIBLIOGRAPHY    252

   ACKNOWDLEGMENTS    253

    INDEX    254

Product Details

ISBN:
9780544101579
Author:
Bonnett, Alastair
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
Subject:
Human Geography
Subject:
Sociology - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20140731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Staff Favorites
History and Social Science » Geography » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » City Specific
History and Social Science » World History » General
Reference » Science Reference » General

Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) - English 9780544101579 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Unruly Places is The Chronicles of Narnia for grown-ups, made real. Sorted into chapters like "Dead Cities" and "No Man's Lands," which are further divided into vignettes about specific locations (complete with the global coordinates!), Unruly Places takes the reader into both natural and man-made spaces, far-flung and domestic. Bonnett is keenly interested in how people perceive and create places, and one of the pleasures of this book are his insights into what our desires regarding place say about us. Why do we lust for new places to explore and to own, and what do we do in a world that's been primarily mapped out?

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In short, four-to-five page essays, social geographer Bonnett explores forbidding cities like the pirate stronghold of Hobyo, Somalia, the abandoned town of Pripyat, hard by the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and the underground towns of Turkish Cappadocia; dejected dwellings, like the RV camp at LAX's Parking Lot E and the secret 'Bright Light' CIA detention center in Bucharest; fake places, like the empty British towns built to distract German bombers from real ones and the completely imaginary Sandy Island, which appeared on maps of the Pacific for a century until it was discovered not to exist; a homey fox den and an inaccessible traffic island near the author's English home. Bonnett digs up interesting lore on these 47 offbeat sites that, together, 'conspire to make the world seem a stranger place where discovery and adventure are still possible, both nearby and far away.',. Bonnett's charming, pensive prose and light-handed erudition illuminates the stubborn human impulse to find a home in the unlikeliest places. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , The real-life answers to Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, Unruly Places explores the most extraordinary, off-grid, offbeat places on the planet. Alastair Bonnett's tour of the planet's most unlikely micro-nations, moving villages, secret cities, and no man's lands shows us the modern world from surprising new vantage points, bound to inspire urban explorers, off-the-beaten-trail wanderers, and armchair travelers. He connects what we see on maps to whats happening in the world by looking at the places that are hardest to pin down: inaccessible zones, improvised settlements, multiple cities sharing the same space.

Consider Sealand, an abandoned gun platform off the English coast that a British citizen claimed as his own sovereign nation, issuing passports and making his wife a princess. Or Baarle, a patchwork city of Dutch and Flemish enclaves where crossing the street can involve traversing national borders. Or Sandy Island, which appeared on maps well into 2012 despite the fact it never existed.

Illustrated with original maps and drawings, Unruly Places gives readers a new way of understanding the places we occupy.

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