Monday, October 13, 2014

Book Review: Unruly Places by Alastair Bonnett

Unruly Places is geography popcorn. It's about all those "in-between" places in the world: enclaves, secret cities, floating towns, WWII military platforms off the coast of England turned into sovereign countries, you know, that sort of thing. Each entry is just a few pages long, so that it reads more like a collection of blog posts than a book, but Bonnett makes it work by asking big questions and thinking about what all this means at the end of each section.

Since he's a professor of social geography, this must be what the field is about, and this book packages the insights of the field very well. I would have liked a few more illustrations (although my iPod helped search for pics of the abandoned metropolises) and the connective tissue between sections isn't enough to make it an actual narrative. It's not more than the sum of its parts, but the parts are very interesting parts and it's a lightning-fast read.

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