The Immeasurable World by William Atkins

The Immeasurable World

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 Gertr...

Details The Immeasurable World

TitleThe Immeasurable World
Release DateJun 7th, 2018
PublisherFaber Faber
GenreNonfiction, Travel, Environment, Nature

Reviews The Immeasurable World

  • Paul
    Atkins is the latest one to be drawn to those impenetrable places, deserts. He joins an illustrious list of explorers 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 edge, but they are not lifeless if you know where to look. Atkins i...
  • Rose
    This is a book about tbe author's wanderings through the deserts of the world. We learn how each desert looks as well as a bit about the people that live in 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 more. I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for m...
  • Eric
    * Truly fascinating exploration of the world's deserts. It is really quite astonishing how humanity has thrived and survived in such a climate.* I received a free copy of the book in a Goodreads giveaway.
  • Tory
    I almost gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 because I could not 'categorize' it. It combines history, theology, philosophy,politics, science, travelogue, literature, poetry ..... about 8 deserts around the world. Atkins starts the book in the Empty Quarter, Oman, with the Desert Fathers of early Christian monasticsm, then moves on to the Great Victoria Desert, Australia, The Gobi Desert and the Taklamakan Desert, China, and the Aralkum, Kazakhst...
  • Bronwen Griffiths
    I love visiting deserts and love reading about them. William Atkins is a fantastic guide. A mix of the personal - including meetings with local people - plus historical and political context makes this an engrossing read. I was particularly moved by his account of Maralinga, site of the British nuclear tests in the 1950's.
  • Diane
    I won this book in a Goodreads first-reads giveaway.An interesting, eye-opening, thought provoking and immersive book about several of the worlds deserts, how they are different, yet the same.
  • Susan Csoke
    An intriguing story of one mans travels through five continents and eight deserts. Thankyou Goodreads for this free book!!!!
  • Geoffrey
    (Note: I received an advanced electronic copy of this book from NetGalley) When reading the book's summary,oneI admittedly may be a bit off-put by the prospect of reading about a man's wanderings through some of the most barren places on the planet. However, following Atkins as he travels from the empty quarter to the American southwest to the Taklamakan in Central Asia is anything but a slog. Far from it, one will encounter lands that are all qu...
  • Sharron
    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.