Outside Lies Magic
For 21 years John R. Stilgoe has developed and practiced the art of exploring the everyday world around us, where so much lies hidden just beneath the surface, offering uncmmon knowledge if we but know what to look for. In this r...more
Stilgoe is the Professor of Landscape History at Harvard, and was featured on 60 minutes a couple of years ago describing the art of exploration, which is the title of the course he teaches. While I didn’t watch the 60 minutes piece, I remembered his name as I...more
While it may seem strange for an author to find wonder in power lines and abandoned railroad tracks, Stilgoe provides a relatively freeform narrative that illustrates how places that most people overlook tell detailed stories of how people lived and worked in the past. Stilgoe'...more
That’s why author John Stilgoe, in Outside Lies Magic, says to choose the cruiser.
“Bicycle to the store,” he says, “then ride down the alley toward the railroad tracks, bump across the uneven bricks by the loading dock grown up in thistle and chicory, pedal harder uphill toward the Victorian houses converted into funeral homes, make a quick circuit of the sc...more
I have told everyone important to me about this book and encourage everyone to read it. I found it fascinating. The sentence structure on occasions required a re-read of the pass...more
Indeed, the author--presumably the cloyingly over-used "Explorer" with a capital E-- bicycles through the dissecti...more
Yeah. Cronyism, I feel you.
Don't misunderstand: there is a point buried in here, about truly paying attention to the landscape and its story, and how mundane details, normally overlooked, reveal the history of place. However, there is also...more
I think I would've liked this better if there were photos or at least drawings illustrating some of the author's points. And also if he'd done up a bibliography. I frankly had a hard time believing some of the points he makes that are meant to come across as shocking revelations. (I've had no luck finding information about...more
The better parts of the book made me aware of some of the underlying structure of cities, answering some "why" questions about things like utility lines and manhole covers — nice little things to notice while walking my dog.
But the interesting bits were buried in so many words! I finished it, but was disappointed that the piece that drew me to the book was more interesting than the...more
This book is about changing your perspective into that of an explorer. An explorer of the forgotten, neglected and sometimes forbidden spaces....more