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The Immeasurable World by William Atkins

The Immeasurable World

The Immeasurable World by William Atkins
Hardcover
Jul 24, 2018 | 368 Pages
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    Jul 24, 2018 | 368 Pages

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    Jul 24, 2018 | 368 Pages

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Praise

“Being a bit of a desert rat, I began The Immeasurable World with interest and finished enthralled and grievously enlightened. The strangeness and inhospitable nature of the world’s great deserts—and they are so variously singular—have not prevented humankind from assaulting and perverting their inconsolable beauties. William Atkins is an erudite writer with a wonderful wit and gaze and this is a new and exciting beast of a travel book.”
—Joy Williams 

“Atkins’ richly written account of his travels across deserts around the world brings Bruce Chatwin to mind, along with others who, like Atkins, have explored and have anaffinity for the solitude and vast expanse of the Earth’s empty places, such as Wallace Stegner, Gretel Ehrlich, and Sara Wheeler. Like theirs, Atkins’ prose is gorgeous… He also evokes the spirit of earlier desert travelers, including St. Anthony, T. E. Lawrence, and John Wesley Powell… Atkins’ book of journeys will be a modern-day classic.”
Booklist, starred review 

“British author [William] Atkins takes readers on a thoroughly enjoyable tour of the world’s deserts…[He] also takes a contemporary look at [them]… [and] infuses his travel writing with poetic prose (he describes the Great Australian Bight as ‘a callused web of skin between two digits’) to describe the beauty of what many consider to be wastelands. Atkins’s thoughtful book is a wonderfully satisfying travelogue.” 
Publishers Weekly 

“The Earth’s surface may be two-thirds sea, but of its land, one-third is desert: an equally shifting, fluid place, fugitive and untold. Until William Atkins came along. In sublime prose that veers from startling human and natural history to dreamlike personal experience, The Immeasurable World brings apparently barren places to life in a brilliant, revelatory narrative. The author becomes a kind of sensor in the wilderness, electrically gathering together these stories. The result is a book in which to get lost and find another world.”
—Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan, or the Whale 

“A fascinating look at seven deserts… The subject is riveting, the gorgeous prose reminiscent of nature observers from Thoreau to Leopold. Lovers of good descriptive writing will eat up this book.”
Library Journal, starred review

“After having taken readers deep inside the moorlands of his native England, Will Atkins now journeys far afield into the world’s deserts to look at not just those austere, sometimes forbidding places but also the things we feel compelled to build there: monasteries, border walls, nuclear sites. Had he been born a dozen or so decades ago, he might have been sharing a fire with T.E. Lawrence or a hookah with Gertrude Bell. As it is, he joins a small company of modern literary desert rats who are his fans as well as peers. Readers will be enthralled by his travels—and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing where his far-roving mind will wander to next.”
—Gregory McNamee, author of Tortillas, Tiswin, and T-Bones: A Food History of the Southwest

“A wide-ranging travelogue… [Atkins] has an acute eye and delivers…satisfying journalistic accounts of the world’s hottest, driest regions.”
Kirkus Reviews

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