From the Publisher
A GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR
“Urban exploration is... a way of renegotiating reality, transforming the moment, turning the city into a video game. Except that, in this game, you only have one life.”—Evening Standard
"A unique and electrifying travelogue … Garrett and his fellow travelers are as fit, agile and fearless as ninja."—Booklist, Starred Review
“For Garrett, physical exploration is merely the outward manifestation of a deeper philosophical inquiry. The theoretical DNA of much of his work traces back to the concept of 'psychogeography.'"—GQ
“An absorbing read … Recommended for travel and modern history readers."—Library Journal
Part adventure story, part ethnographic study, this work is a report on urban exploration: Is it a movement, a hobby, a lifestyle, a culture, a mode of self-expression for thrill-seekers, or a victimless crime? Apparently there are as many answers as there are underground tunnels, tall buildings, abandoned hospitals, or derelict mills to explore. Writer, photographer, and researcher Garrett (Sch. of Geography, Univ. of Oxford) recounts several of his more harrowing exploits with fellow explorers, including climbing Scotland's Firth of Forth bridge, delving into Parisian sewer tunnels, and trespassing in an airplane "boneyard" in the Mojave Desert. He also calls out the need for sensitivity in exploring in decaying but still occupied areas in Detroit or near Chernobyl. VERDICT An absorbing read, although some repetitive sections would have benefited from tighter editing, and image captions would have been welcome. In this book that is more academic in tone than a casual reader might expect, significant research is evident, and it is amusing to read quotes from Jean-Paul Sartre, Sigmund Freud, and Friedrich Nietzsche interspersed with those from urban exploration community members with pseudonyms such as Winch, Guts, and Ninjalicious. Recommended for travel and modern history readers.—Megan H. Fraser, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, Libs.