File Name: Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders.pdf
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109 of 115 people found the following review helpful.
One part Ripley's Believe It or not, One part National Geographic Magazine, and Entirely Enjoyable
The world is still filled with interesting, exotic, and improbable places. In the twenty-first century, when you can wash down your KFC chicken with a Starbucks vente frappucino in Beijing, it is refreshing to re-discover the awe and mystery of travel. This is a perfect book for a two minute break whenever your spirit needs boosting. Whether you find Jeremy Bentham's mummified corpse at University College London; the Beer Bottle Temple in Sisaket, Thailand; or the Canadian Potato Museum in D'Leary, PEI, you can return to your drab, dreary existence with the assurance that the World is "not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose". Buy this book! Revel in the places that you've seen! Revel in the places that you'd like to see! You won't be disappointed.
77 of 84 people found the following review helpful.
A very interesting read, even if you're not actually able to visit many of the sites described!
By Christopher E
I bought this for a 30-year old nephew whose county count was, I believe, pushing 40 about a year ago, and I think it may satisfy even him. (He’s the hardest to buy for member of the entire family!)
I read a short description of the book in the travel section of the SF Chronicle a few weeks ago, and made the purchase based on that. Well, that combined with my sister verifying that her son might actually appreciate this book!
There are many hundreds of places and things described over about 450 pages, with most including a photo, and the balance a drawing. I think the only things without a graphic are the short, “Also in or near…” entries. Those graphics add interest and tend to draw you in, encouraging you to read the piece about whatever is depicted graphically.
The book must weigh something like 2 pounds – just guessing – meaning you might not be likely to pack it in your suitcase. However, it’s easy enough to take digital photos of any entries you may want to have easy access to on a trip. It’s printed on heavy paper, and I like that the pages are a pleasing, very light buff color, much nicer than stark white. Point being, it’s aesthetically a very nicely put together book.
Because I bought this as a gift, I've looked through it closely but have not read it cover to cover. The entries seem to be written for a variety of readers and travelers, but certainly far from the lowest common denominator. It’s not a typical travel book! I don’t find every entry to be about a fascinating item, but a great many are, and possibly none whatsoever are dull. Even things that might not seem of particular interest based on the heading end up proving to be interesting when you get into the text. That said, there are items about things I have no interest in seeing, e.g., “Lake Monsters of the USA,” but there don’t seem to be many of that sort of thing included. As with "Lake Monsters," even if you (or a recipient) aren't likely to visit many of the places described, I think for many curious people this would make for an interesting read even without the travel element.
It's not a perfect book, and I don't think any one book can be perfect for all readers, but I do think it's very good and I can easily recommend it for anyone who might be potentially interested. Given the quality of the contents and of the physical item itself, I am very pleased with the price. Easy 5 stars and recommendation!
78 of 85 people found the following review helpful.
A book as rich and unexpected as the world it covers
By Mark Mulvey
This book exceeded my already higher-than-average expectations. It's gorgeously designed and PACKED with interestingness on every page. The page layouts are complex and varied too, so it's fun to flip through and land on random sections about odd, wondrous places and artifacts halfway around the world (or in your own hometown!). So the act of making your way through the book feels like the kind of discovery and adventure covered in the content itself. Brilliant.
I pre-ordered this because I was already a huge fan of the website and decided to support the project. I figured at the very least I'd have a gift ready for the holidays. But I am absolutely keeping this for myself, and will probably buy another copy for one of my family members soon. The book inspires you to venture out and explore, and reminds you that even in this era of Google Earth and Twitter there is plenty of mystery left out there that's waiting to be stumbled upon.
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