For all the desert's dreamlike beauty, to travel here was not just to pitch yourself into oblivion: it was to grind away at yourself until nothing was left. It was to aspire to the condition of sand. One third of the earth's land surface is desert, much of it desolate and inhospitable. What is it about this harsh environment that has captivated humankind throughout history? From the prophets of the Bible to Marco Polo, Lawrence of Arabia to Gertrude Bell, travellers have often seen deserts as cursed places to be avoided, or crossed as quickly as possible. But for those whose call deserts home, the 'hideous blanks' described by explorers are rich in resources and significance.Travelling to five continents over three years, visiting deserts both iconic and little-known, William Atkins discovers a realm that is as much internal as physical. His journey takes him to the Arabian Peninsula's Empty Quarter and Australia's nuclear-test grounds; the dry Aral Sea of Kazakhstan and 'sand seas' of...
|Title||:||The Immeasurable World: Journeys in Desert Places|
|Number of Pages||:||416 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Immeasurable World: Journeys in Desert Places Reviews
I'm not quite sure what this book was meant to be. I’m not sure it knows either.
From the opening parts it looks like a history of the conquering of certain deserts, with the author kind of following in those pioneers footsteps. A bit.
But as it goes on it seems to spend less time on the history and more on what is happening in these deserts now. I’m quite surprised, because the most interesting parts were the two segments in the USA, closely followed by China and the Aral Sea, none of which exp ...more
What a terrific read - each journey fascinating and illuminating in its own right, excepting the tedium of Burning Man. I would be keen to read Atkins's other books after this, he's such a knowledgeable guide and poses such profound questions about mankind.
A strange book, mostly interesting, except the last chapter which I found tedious.
The heart stumbles.
She leaves, and his thoughts drift to the desert. His literary instincts lure him to the books, propel him to the studies, set for him a feast of symbolic attractions. Here are the records of emptiness and exile, isolation and ordeal - arduous days and nights of passage - the history, the art, the science of "the devil's domain." William Atkins reads. And then he packs a bag.
The Immeasurable World invites the restless among us to join in the journey through the deserts of mode ...more
Atkins is an excellent observer and can evoke a sense of place so well. In this book, he travels to several of the worlds deserts, describing the natural features therein, but also delving into a human aspect of the place.
He travels to the Empty Quarter on the border of Oman and Saudi Arabia retracing the steps of British explorers, then he's off to Australia's Great Victorian desert to explore it's legacy of nuclear testing. In the Gobi and Taklamakan deserts of China he retraces the steps of ...more
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