Book: Atlas of Cursed Places by Olivier Le Carrer
Published: October 6th 2015 by Black Dog & Leventhal
Rating: 3/5 stars
I received this book from the publisher -thank you!- via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.
Synopsis: This alluring read includes 40 locations that are rife with disaster, chaos, paranormal activity, and death. The locations gathered here include the dangerous Strait of Messina, home of the mythical sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis; the coal town of Jharia, where the ground burns constantly with fire; Kasanka National Park in Zambia, where 8 million migrating bats darken the skies; the Nevada Triangle in the Sierra Nevada mountains, where hundreds of aircraft have disappeared; and Aokigahara Forest near Mount Fuji in Japan, the world’s second most popular suicide location following the Golden Gate Bridge.
Another non-fiction review for you guys! I know, I’ve been reading some random non-fiction lately. Anyway, let’s get into the review!
I definitely think this is a fun book to flip through. It describes locations all around the world that are cursed in one way or another. Whether that is a sea monster, a place where a noble woman’s children were murdered, or a haunted house. These are the places that usually aren’t really mentioned in our travel guides, which is what makes it interesting to me. While I had heard of some of them -like where Scylla & Charybdis rule- most of the locations were new to me. I found it intriguing to read about places I had never heard of before, and to find out just why they seem to be a cursed place.
Another positive aspect is that it has gorgeous maps for every location. And even though I read an e-book, the pages were stunning. Throughout the whole book, they kept a theme of maps, even on the background of the text pages. Now, the maps are both a positive and negative for me. Positive because they are present, and because they’re beautiful. Negative because sometimes it’s so zoomed in on the place, I don’t have a reference point anymore. The map is so focused that I can’t really understand and see where it truly lies. So that was a bit of a minor point to me.
There are two more reasons I didn’t give this book a higher star rating. Firstly, because I was lacking pictures. Often, I had to google the name of the town or location just to know and understand what it looks like. I feel like it would have been much more informative if there were pictures included. Secondly, the information given was very dry at points. Sometimes I just felt like I was reading a textbook, which is never a fun feeling. Aside from that, I sometimes wanted more information. I understand that you can’t write 100 pages on each location, but it might be nice to elaborate sometimes.
Overall, I’d have to say that this informative book is quite fun to flip through! I read about locations I’d never heard of, got to discover new places and read about all of the reasons a place might be cursed. If this book synopsis sounds appealing to you, I’d definitely recommend it. Like I said, it’s got some beautiful maps to accompany the text!