Most helpful positive review
66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Imaginative and Thought-Provoking
on January 7, 2004
Trying to describe this book is difficult, so I'll just start by saying it is WONDERFUL. It's imaginative, thought-provoking, whimsical, intense and unique; if you're hesitating about buying it, be assured that it is well worth the money. On a practical level, it's just packed with fascinating drawings, a full color "map" on most pages, and many double-page color spreads. They range from ancient carvings to wild modern art by people like Adolf Wolfli to computer-generated maps of air routes across Great Britain (which look a bit like Jackson Pollock paintings!) Each map is worth an afternoon of contemplation: maps of heaven and hell, maps of Gilligan's Island, maps of the world seen through the eyes of a New Yorker (or a Californian), two maps (one for a woman's heart, one for a man's) with "Obstacles and Entrances Clearly Marked." Maps of the digestive system and of phrenology systems, roadmaps to success or despair, missionary maps from the 19th century, and lots of maps from famous books such as Gulliver's Travels. Just think of the word "map" as a metaphor for our desire to "locate" ourselves in an interior as well as an exterior way and you'll get the gist of this book. It's really delightful, and you can go back to it again and again. You'll see new details and find new things to think about each time you do.