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Map Addict: A Tale of Obsession, Fudge & the Ordnance Survey Paperback – April 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; Reprint edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007351577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007351572
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,757,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


‘Mike Parker offers an exhilarating celebration of the humble map.’ Mail on Sunday

‘Excellent book,’ Daily Telegraph

‘This eclectic, funny and warm book should be on the shelves of everyone who has spent hours staring at a map.’ The Great Outdoors

‘a witty entreaty to leave the satnav in the car, and to head for the hills with the Ordnance Survey.’ BBC Country File magazine

‘a highly engaging and thoughtful, haphazard and personal, meander around maps and map-related arcane.’ Daily Mail

‘Parker makes his view of cartography both interesting and funny.’ Choice magazine

‘a funny, observant and genuinely interesting book.’ Adventure Travel

‘As you'd expect, given Mike's legendary wit, this is a book that's well worth a read.’ Midland Zone

‘In fact, it is a sense of mischievousness that makes this book quite charming.’ South Wales Argus

‘Nerdy it might seem, but the author's humour and historical knowledge of mad map makers, visionary breakthroughs and a deep love of exploration make this little book a treat.’ Royston Crow

‘Parker uses his own experience to add warmth and humour to a topic that may not, at first glance, appear enticing to the average reader. Accessible and entertaining.’ Country & Border Life

‘Parker proves a witty and engaging guide’ Guardian

About the Author

Mike Parker has had a varied career, which at one point saw him working as a stand-up comedian. He has been widely published and also presents various travel programmes for radio and television. His books to date include the Rough Guide to Wales as well as several other guide books. He writes freelance travel pieces for most of the UK papers, including the Independent, the Independent on Sunday, the Guardian, the Sunday Times and the Mirror.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Borrowed Flame on March 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was lent this book by colleague, and although I forget the discussion that prompted it, she could obviously tell that I had some aspect of map addict about me. While I don't collect maps, I did have a thing for buying random, cheap, guide-books from those book liquidation shops, and I can't pass a map without looking at it to see where everything is in relation to eachother. I too love that map on the back of airplane seats. This was a book for me.
It's a very witty book (Parker has dabbled in stand-up comedy), and rather self-depreciating. It's quite British, with a heavy focus on the Ordinance Survey maps and their history, which was never-the-less interesting to a non-Brit such as myself (although I did live in London for a couple of years so am perhaps somewhat familiar with British geography). Though he looks at European mapping and geography too.
He looks at the history of the Greenwich meridian, and the way in which map technology has almost always come from a military genesis. There's a chapters on the evolution of street names and their common erotic origins, the famous London tube map and the A-Z. He ends by looking at the pros and cons of digital map technology.
The book is highly autobiographical, as Parker traces his childhood (a slight quibble is the way in which he feels the need to keep reminding us that he was a naughty boy and used to steal maps) and life experiences with various maps and journeys, which keeps it all from being dry and academic, while at the same time feeling like he's taking us for a meander rather than a striclty plotted course.
That I finished this book much quicker than most is either testiment to the enjoyable nature of the book, or my own if somewhat contained) map addiction. I did come away wanting to get hold of several atlases which he waxes lyrical about.
If you like looking at maps, I highly reccomend this enjoyable read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bruce R. Gilson on April 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm something of a map addict like the author, though my map collection is stashed away in a storage unit, so I appreciate this book. It is a good overview of why one might enjoy collecting maps and a description of much that can be appreciated in them. The only problem I have with the book is an extreme Anglocentrism; he ignores most of the rest of the world, and when he mentions any other country's maps, it's clear that he considers them highly inferior to his own country's. But as I said, I'm a bit of a map addict like him, so I have to say that this "kindred spirit" feeling overpowers that Anglocentric attitude I find a bit off-putting.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jacw2000 on May 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Possibly the story of my life? Maybe not - I am fascinated by maps, Mike Parker is obsessed by them and is struggling to cut down.

In an earlier century this book might have had the subtitle "The Romance of the British Ordnance Survey Map, its Place in History, its Beauty and Accuracy, by an Admirer. With Digressions on the Wickedness of Foreign Maps, Satnavs, and other Work of the Devil"

Evangelists beware - the author is a gay comedian with an interest in paganism. If you read this book's 666 pages you may go straight to hell...

Jack Whittaker is a database administrator specialising in SQL Server technologies and author of the DBAtasks Blog - [...]
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