Atlas of Remote Islands Hardcover – Oct 5 2010
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"(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
About the Author
Judith Schalansky was born in 1980 in Greifswald, Germany. She hasdegrees in both History of Art and Communication Design. Judith currentlyworks as a freelance writer and designer in Berlin and has been teaching coursesin the principles of typography at the Potsdam Technical Institute since 2008.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
- the introduction is printed in gigantic font that sets a juvenile (or geriatric and visually impaired) tone to the book.
- the note for each island is basically a fragment of a story or description with no context. though they spark curiosity, that curiosity will not be satisfied in this volume and reading it by the computer (to look up wikipedia entries) is not a great way to enjoy a book. further frustrating is the fact that some of the facts mentioned in the intro are not actually clarified (or in some cases even vaguely noted) in that particular island's description.
- the only data given about each island is population, distance to land or random points (other islands) half-way around the world and a timeline which, beyond the discovery dates, shows only one or two other arbitrary events. three pieces of information which often add little and quickly become repetitive. i can think of ten other data points that could have been more interesting (flora & fauna, structures, demographics, cultural events, food, etc.) and would have welcomed some variation in which were presented for each island, thus making them more relevant.
- all the above could perhaps be forgiven if the book was beautifully printed and bound but it is not. the paper is cheap and harshly bleached (a textured, heavier paper would have been a logical choice). the maps, though numerous, are not too crisp or particularly detailed and they are printed in faded, rather vile colors, especially the powder blue of the sea (also used for the distance notes and not easily readable).
it seems to me that this book sprung from a great idea (a map book about tiny islands and their oddities) that was VERY poorly executed by both the author and the publisher.