William Atkins: The Immeasurable World Journeys in Desert Places



But readers of travelogues should find plenty to njoy Few of us would have the physical or An Italian Education emotional fortitude to repeat Atkins s journeys but we get the joy of being armchair travelers insteadSee my full review at Shiny New Books This is a book about tbe author s wanderings through the deserts of the world We learn howach desert looks as well as a bit about the people that live in Protecting the Colton Bride Coltons Cowboy Code each I found this book fascinating and if you think this book would be dry well I think you would be surprised at how the author describes the deserts and keeps you wanting to read I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a review copy inxchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of it You might also Look-Alike Lawman (Texas Twins, enjoy The Secret Knowledge of Water Soul of Nowhere Red Passion and Patience in the Desert Arabian Sands News From Tartary Desert Solitaire Desert Notes Reflections in the Eye of a Raven Crossing Open Ground The Man Who Walked Through Time Where the Water Goes Life and Death Along the Colorado River Cadillac Desert The American West and Its Disappearing Water Great Aridness Climate Change and the American Southwest Atkins is the latest one to be drawn to those impenetrable places deserts He joins an illustrious list ofxplorers and people who are seeking something amongst the arid sands The geographer definition of a desert is somewhere that has less than 250mm of rain per year but for those that know what to look for they can be places of riches and places where life is right at the dge but they are not lifeless if you know where to look Atkins is not fully sure what he is seeking though his partner of four years had accepted a job overseas and he was not going with her Seeking some clarity of mind he heads out to the Empty uarter on the Arabian peninsular a place made famous by the travel writer Wilfred Thesiger In his book Arabian Sands he went searching for those that still carried out the age old Bedouin life and where others saw unforgiving wilderness Thesiger found timeless peace Standing in the mountainous pink dunes he is humbled by the vastness of the place and by the people who know these places so intimately that they are never lostThe Great Victorian Desert in Australia has been Aboriginal lands for millennia The UK government with collusion from the Aussie PM used it for numerous nuclear tests These were on ancient Aboriginal land and the fallout caused many health problems and displaced people who had no idea of what was really going on Even though it choed to the most powerful blasts that we humans can make it is still a place that has spiritual significance to the people that still choose to live there The next two deserts are in Asia the Gobi and what is left of the Aral Sea These utterly different places have been used as a method of defence to protect China for people trying to Forbidden Stranger enter the country and the other a site of a massivenvironmental disaster Stepping once again in the footsteps of travellers before him in this case in it is the Cable sisters where he discovers a place that is tense and Snowy River Man edgy Standing in the desert that once was the Aral sea is uite a surrealxperience and he learns how the waters that once contained sturgeon now hold no life and how the demands for irrigation drained this once great freshwater seaNext place to visit is the continent of America where Atkins visits two deserts are on the list First up is the Sonoran Desert It is a harsh and baked Night Moves (Harlequin Blaze envi. N deserts as cursed places to be avoided or crossed as uickly as possible But for those whose call deserts home the 'hideous blanks' described byxplorers are rich in resources and significanceTravelling 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 uarter and Australia's nuclear test grounds; the dry Aral Sea of.

I almost gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 because I could not categorize it It combines history theology philosophypolitics science travelogue literature poetry about 8 deserts around the world Atkins starts the book in the Empty uarter Oman with the Desert Fathers of Les brumes d'avalon : roman early Christian monasticsm then moves on to the Great Victoria Desert Australia The Gobi Desert and the Taklamakan Desert China and the Aralkum Kazakhstan providing descriptions and insights into the culture and history of this deserts In the United States Atkins considers the Sonoran Desert and the plight of refugees attempting to cross the border in Nogales as well as the Black Rock Desert and the cultural phenomenon of Burning Man In the last chapter Atkins comes full circle back to theology at a monastery in the Eastern Desert Egypt Injoyed the maps at the beginning of Malakai (Wicked Games, each chapter so that I had a better understanding of whereach desert was located and the few black white photos sprinkled throughout the book I would have The Carpenters Wife and Heart of Stone enjoyed pictures of the desert landscapes though I know I can Google them on my own This book was not anasy or fast read but worth the Celtic Fire (Rogue Angel, effortI received this book as a giveaway thank you Goodreads and Doubleday The content warrants a 4 rating but sadly the prose does not If only the same material had been written by Paul Theroux or William Langenweische Atkins travels to deserts around the world and describes the different contexts they serve Politically they have been used to separate people US and China but have brought them together socially Burning Man and religiously Coptic monasteries Their remoteness was used to test atomic bombs US USSR Australia and short sightedconomic motivations reduced healthy lands into wastes Soviet Central Asia An interesting book wounded at times by Atkins clumsy writing Atkins The Family Plan explores four desert areas of the world and in addition to describing thenvironment includes brief discussions of the region s human history A Family Practice environmental importance and other contextual details I felt rather disatisfied with the brevity of the historical andnvironmental background While not really writing a travel adventure tale Atkins also is not writing a real natural or human history The desert places seem chosen somewhat at random which seems okay but makes the work feel a little fragmented to me Worth reading but not going to go on my absolutely amazing shelf I m not uite sure what this book was meant to be I m not sure it knows A Doctor in Her Stocking (From Here to Maternity either From the opening parts it looks like a history of the conuering 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 on what is happening in these deserts now I m uite surprised because the most interesting par 35 Atkins has produced an appealing blend of vivid travel anecdotes historical background and philosophical musings He is always conscious that he is treading in the footsteps ofarlier adventurers He has no illusions about being a pioneer here rather he Celebrity Bachelor eagerly picks up the thematic threads others have spun out of desertxperience and runs with them things like solitude asceticism punishment for wrongdoing and For Better and Worse environmental degradation The book is composed of seven long chaptersach set in a different desert In my favorite segment the author rents a cabin in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona for 100 a week My interest waxed and waned from chapter to chapter. 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 Cassidys Kids (Maitland Maternity, earth's land surface is desert much of it desolate and inhospitable What is it about this harshnvironment that has captivated humankind throughout history From the prophets of the Bible to Marco Polo Lawrence of Arabia to Gertrude Bell travellers have often see.

Ronment that borders Mexico and is a focus for those wanting to cross and realise their own American Dream Very little of it is fenced to keep people out as the desert is pretty Rescuing the Texans Heart effective at doing that and Atkins joins those that are trying to keep people out as well as those who are there to offer some humanity to those that have made the attempt to cross The polarised views ofach camp make this a tense place very different to his next desert which is the Black Rock Desert and the festival that is the Burning Man where he has offered to help out The contrast between this place with its liberal perspective on sex nudity and drugs and the previous location is stark These places are both very different to his final location though St Anthony s Monastery in the Eastern Desert of Egypt a place that revels in its isolation from the pressures of the modern world and brings Atkins full circle to the spiritual and intangible Wrangled (Whitehorse, MT: Chisholm Cattle Co., elements of the desertEven though deserts are some of the lest populated places in the world this is still a series of stories about the people that inhabit them however scarce they might be I particularly liked the chapter on the Australian Great Victoria Desert a place that was taken from its rightful inhabitants and is slowly being returned having been contaminated It makes for painful reading It is as much about Atkins though he is using the vastness of the desert to clarify his mind and as a support for the pain that he went through at thend of a relationship Whilst this is a travel book there is history poetry and philosophy in amongst the drifting sands His prose is lucid with hints of melancholy and this book contains some of the best maps I have seen in a travel book yet Well worth reading for a modern take on deserts The heart stumblesShe 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 Her Cowboy Hero (Refuge Ranch emptiness andxile 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 modern time We will travel to the Empty uarter in Oman the Great Victoria Desert in Australia the Gobi and Taklamakan in China the Aralkum in Kazakhstan the Sonoran and Black Rock of the American West and come to our Un hros pour Rayne (Delta Force Heroes t. 1) end in Egypt We will greet native inhabitantsncounter nomadic tribes commune with monks and migrants trip through the cultish rift of the festival of Burning Man We will hear about the uest for oil nuclear testing border disputes and the rigorous price Mine to Take (Nine Circles, exacted by some of thearth s most inhospitable terrainThe writing is His L.A. Cinderella exemplary Thexperience comes to life through a mind that is smart sensitive well informed and genuinely worth accompanyingA small and favorite piece I came across written during a period of respite One A Groom for Greta (Amish Brides of Celery Fields, evening sitting on thedge of a motel pool in Carmel she told me a story or a parable An anthropologist once asked a Hopi Indian why so many of his people s songs were about water she said In one hand as she spoke she was holding a lemon I d picked all rind big as a grapefruit and hard as a nut She continued Simple says the Indian because water is so scarceAnd why he asks the anthropologist are so many of yours about love Such is a sense of thisRecommended of course. Kazakhstan and 'sand seas' of China's volatile north west; the contested borderlands of Arizona and the riotous Burning Man festival in Nevada's Black Rock Desert; and the ancient monasteries of Egypt's Eastern Desert Along the way Atkins illuminates the people history topography and symbolism of these remarkable but often troubled placesReviving the illustrious British tradition of travel writing The Immeasurable World is destined to become a classic of desert literatur.

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