Unruly Places (Hardcover)

Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies

By Alastair Bonnett

Houghton Mifflin, 9780544101579, 270pp.

Publication Date: July 8, 2014

List Price: 25.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

July 2014 Indie Next List

“Did you know there were such things as floating trash islands? A professor of social geography, Bonnett explores the meaning of place in our lives while taking readers to some spaces that are lost, hidden, or ephemeral. He also looks at our need to have 'a world that is not totally known and that has the capacity to surprise us.' The book's format makes it very easy to digest in either small bits or from cover to cover. Unruly Places provides a fun, vicarious way to explore, as well as a means for reflection.”
— Valerie Welbourn, The Fountainhead Bookstore, Hendersonville, NC
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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 Maps Street View can take you on a virtual tour of Yosemite's remotest trails and cell phones double as navigational systems, it's 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 store's 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.

Coverage from NPR