- Hardcover: 144 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; First Edition edition (October 5, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014311820X
- ISBN-13: 978-0143118206
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 101 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On and Never Will First Edition Edition
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For those who find it difficult to believe that there are still isolated, secluded, and uninhabited or sparsely populated pockets of land anchored firmly in the midst of the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Antarctic Oceans, this quietly beautiful and subtly evocative book is a must read. Firm in her conviction that atlases should take a much-deserved place in the literary pantheon and that there is “no more poetic book in the world,” her cartographic drawings are accompanied by compelling narratives, outlining the history, natural science, local lore, and legend of each of the 50 islands she visually and textually conjures up out of her impeccable research and vivid imaginings. An armchair traveler’s delight, this book will also beckon, challenge, and inspire intrepid explorers and exotically inclined vacationers. --Margaret Flanagan
"(a) cartographical gem"
-The Wall Street Journal - Great New (Armchair) Travel Reads
"An utterly exquisite object: atlas as Wunderkammer and bestiary, bound in black cloth and sea-blue card...makes a magnificent case for the atlas to be recognised as literature, worthy of its original name - theatrum orbis terrarum, "the theatre of the world".
-Robert Macfarlane, The Guardian (UK)
"This beautifully illustrated atlas reveals that cartography and the creative imagination have always intersected, spurred on by human wanderlust."
-NPR's 2010 Favorites pick
"'Paradise is an island. So is hell.' Or so says Judith Schalansky in the introduction to her charming, spooky and splendid Atlas of Remote Islands."
-The New Yorker's Book Bench
-Conde Nast Traveler- CNTraveler.com
"The first five times (or so) that I paged through the Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On and Never Will, I fell deeply in love with the book... Each of author and artist Judith Schalansky's maps--hand-drawn in shades of gray, black, white, and brilliant orange on cadet blue paper--transported me to a, usually, remote island..."
"... A testament to the transformative power of maps. Atlas of Remote Islands is a celebration of what can still be accomplished with imagination, paper and ink. Holding it, you feel as if you've stolen the composition book that dreamy girl in the back row of our high school English class is always scribbling into. You page through it and think, Oh, my God. She's a genius."
-Anthony Doerr, TheMillions.com
"That impossible-to-please friend, that cranky relative, that coffee table begging for something more interesting that last Sunday's New York Times Magazine- worry about them no more. Here is your holiday gift, your birthday present, your living room's conversation-igniter."
"The most beautiful and powerful book I have ever seen like this is the Pennyroyal Caxton (King James) Bible, with haunting engravings by the genius Barry Moser. The second most beautiful and amazing book like this I have ever seen arrived, slim and stunning, on my desk days ago: Atlas of Remote Islands. For a child itching to see the world, for the child inside an aged and creaky vessel, for all of us who never stopped dreaming of faraway islands draped in amazing languages and wild stories and a wholly new angle of light, this is the perfect gift."
-Brian Doyle, The Oregonian
"... hand-drawn maps of the remote islands and the fascinating stories that go alongside are utterly captivating..."
-The South Mississippi Sun Herald
"... one of those books that you can easily spend a day dreamily paging through. Beautiful stories are crafted from these remote islands histories, giving character to the pieces of land that could be easily overlooked or forgotten. You want this book."
-World's Best Ever blog www.theworldsbestever.com
"Is it possible to confuse a romance novel for an atlas?... I opened the pages to maps that looked as though they were painted in the Middle Ages. They are clear, artistic, and true to scale. I approached the text and continued my love affair."
"Judith Schalansky's pseudo-tome- the product of a lifetime of studying maps, typography, art and design- is a charming romp through 50 of the most remote islands in the world. But this book is about so much more than maps... it's beautiful...it's charming, fanciful and is part of a near-perfect construction of a book that captures the romance of travel... This is a great coffee table book, perfect for history buffs, dreamers of anyone who sticks pins in their maps and obsessively uses "GTrot" on Facebook."
"Gorgeously illustrated and with color maps throughout... Judith Schalansky lures us onto fifty remote islands... and proves that the most adventurous journeys still take place in the mind, with one finger pointing at a map."
"When we dream of escaping from frantic modern lives into another more perfect kind of existence, the image of an island often comes to mind, a refuge where time slows down, the living is easy and we can at last find inner peace. It's a fantasy, practically a Jungian archetype now... Schalansky's book won a prize in Germany as the most beautiful book of the year. It deserves to win several more. Atlas of Remote Islands is a stunningly accomplished piece of work, as well as being a rare feat of total authorship."
-Rick Poyner at the Observer's Room blog
"The first five times (or so) that I paged through the Atlas of Remote Islands, I fell deeply in love with the book. Each of author and artist Judith Schalansky's maps transported me."
-Intelligent Travel blog
"Last night I devoured the most beautiful book... It's wonderful: it's like Borges' eccentric encyclopedias. It is, in a word, great."
-Caustic Cover Critic blog
"Judith Schalansky's Atlas of Remote Islands perfectly merges the experiences of reading Calvino's Invisible Cities and pouring over an atlas as age eight. I really can't imagine recommending a book more highly."
-Harry Schwartz Eats The World blog
"...what has to be the coolest book released all year. Totally amazing."
-Survival of the Book blog
"Atlas of Remote Islands is a book that opens like a trunk of dusty letters in an attic- full of the promise of the unknown, and the discovery of small delights. There is poetry in the book's simplicity, and a reminder of the beauty of print."
"If you ever wonder what kind of place 'real' books will have in an increasingly electronic world, the Atlas of Remote Islands is the perfect example of the power wielded by a physical artifact. This book is a rare gem. It's like your favourite children's fantasy book come to life... it's a little like Lost, and it is like traveling to the moon."
-Writer's Pet blog
"It's a delight... a weird and wonderful assortment."
-Lonely Planet blog
"With hand drawn detailed topographic maps and intricate local histories, each of the islands comes alive through stories about marooned slaves, lonely scientists, lost explorers, mutinous sailors, confused lighthouse keepers, and forgotten castaways."
-Perceptive Travel blog
"An armchair traveler's delight."
-The Philadelphia Inquirer
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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
It gets 5 stars though b/c it does this in such a cool way. The distances-to-stuff-you-know really add scale to the stories, the inside of the cover w/ world map could easily be missed but relates directly to the content... it's not just a generic world map.
Plus, the artistry and layout have a very purposeful feel... very much like the unique visual details of a Wes Anderson movie. It's clearly deliberate and works well to deliver a consistently engaging book that shows as well as it reads.
Some of the islands reviewed are uninhabited or uninhabitable, some have from a few up to several several thousand people. I have no idea how the islands reviewed were chosen as they don't have much in commom other than that they are remote. Of course there are many islands not in the book that are just as remote so your guess is as good as mine.