Atlas of Cursed Places detail

Atlas of Cursed Places: A Travel Guide to Dangerous and Frightful Destinations

Atlas of Curesed PlacesAtlas of Cursed Places: A Travel Guide to Dangerous and Frightful Destinations by Olivier Le Carrer

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Oliver Le Carrer brings us a fascinating history and armchair journey to the world’s most dangerous and frightful places, complete with vintage maps and period illustrations in a handsome volume.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.”

Library Journal

This is the English translation of a 2013 French publication (Le rêve d’une île) by Le Carrer, a dedicated maritime adventurer and storyteller (the French version also credits his wife, Sybille Le Carrer). The book outlines 40 sites across the planet that are “cursed” in one of three ways—places “bound up with admonitions of a mystical order” (e.g., the Bermuda Triangle); those that “for a variety of natural reasons…enduringly blight the lives of the local populations or present a real danger to local people and visitors alike” (e.g. Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands whose possible collapse could cause a tsunami that would inundate the Americas); and places “rendered uninhabitable by human activity” (e.g., Nauru, where the exhaustion of the phosphate deposits has completely collapsed the island’s economy and viability). Each entry includes one or more vintage maps with descriptive narrative. VERDICT This tour of the world’s more unusual, frightening, and mysterious locations offers serious social commentary on human failings but is also whimsical in its approach. Highly recommended for reading by the fireside on a stormy night.—Edward K. Werner, formerly with St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL

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