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City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City

4.69  ·  Rating Details ·  137 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Girard and Lambot spent four years exploring the notorious Walled City of Kowloon (Hong Kong), before its final clearance in 1992. With over 320 photographs, 32 extended interviews, and essays on the City's history and character, this reprint is not only an informative glimpse of a now vanished landmark but a sensitive and penetrating portrait of a unique community.
Paperback, 216 pages
Published October 1st 1993 by Watermark Publications (UK) Ltd (first published August 31st 1993)
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May 16, 2013 Jack rated it it was amazing
If you can find a copy of this book and can convince someone to let you paw through it, do so.

It's long out of print, collectible, and fragile due to the fact it's softcover. Did I mention it's expensive? It is, but oh, is it worth it!

I put off buying a copy for many years because it was just too expensive for a book I couldn't look at first -- and whose value I'd damage just by opening it. However, after reading Wikipedia's small section on Kowloon Walled City I was so intrigued that I knew I
Oct 12, 2009 Domitille rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: hongkong lovers, architecture lovers, ethnologists
Truly fascinating.

This book describes Kowloon Walled City which is a district in Hong Kong. The Walled City was destroyed in 1993. It had its own laws, and many traffics took place there, it was the triads kingdom, and many refugees used to live inside. But its for its incredible architecture that the place is the most interesting. Imagine a huge block, fourteen storeys high sometimes, and conceived by no architect whatsoever. With the years, corridors, floors were added. Inside, you cannot see
Lil Sparrow
Jul 14, 2013 Lil Sparrow rated it it was amazing
Love the photos. Love the stories. It's an amazing book which captures a part of Hong Kong so few of us really know or remember. And the amazing photos! This is a worthy tribute to the people who once lived in that walled city.

The book does cost a terrifying fortune, but I was lucky enough to persuade my parents to get it for me for Christmas. :D Definitely worth it, for me anyway, since I was and am deeply fascinated by the place. And did I mention the beautiful photos? I especially love one o
May 18, 2013 Yasmine rated it it was amazing
Absolutely excellent. Girard is a skillful photographer. He manages to capture the humanity, the tightness, the dreariness of the Walled City. It's worth the price, and worth finding. I highly recommend it.
Ann Klefstad
Nov 11, 2008 Ann Klefstad rated it it was amazing
A dazzling account of a real place that's stranger than anything one could make up. There's a forward by William Gibson, who used the idea of this place in his book "Visible Light."
Nov 16, 2007 Tom rated it really liked it
Amazing photography. Uneven text, but it does provide some fascinating insights into daily life inside what was Kowloon Walled City.
Tso William
Oct 21, 2016 Tso William rated it really liked it
When the camera takes a photo of a moving person, it captures that specific moment of the person. The face will be blurred with a white haze, almost like a halo, as if there is two faces. If he is walking or moving, then similarly, the motion of this fraction of second and the next becomes indistinct like an amoeba during its asexual reproduction.

This book is like that camera. It captures the Kowloon Walled City in her twilight. The name speaks for itself. "Kowloon Walled City" is a city withou
Jul 09, 2014 Polackio rated it it was amazing
Shelves: highlights
If you can find a copy, buy it. A lavish photojournalistic record of the last four years (or so) of the Walled City of Kowloon before it was demolished, City of Darkness is a mesmerizing glimpse into a world that only existed for the briefest of moments in reality. The Kowloon that Greg Girard knew was only one of many Walled Cities that stood in that spot. There is a brief, but illustrative history of the site at the front of the book accompanied by historic photos. Most of it is just backgroun ...more
Jan 30, 2013 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book. I was inspired to read it after à visit to Kowloon Walled City Park which is now part of a public garden in Kowloon. It was so beautiful and so quiet I wanted to know more about the "den of thieves,prostitutes and drug addicts " I 'd heard about. By reading this book I have discovered the other unexpected side: the resourcefulness of the ordinary people who lived there. And the photographs are revealing and at the same time stimulate the imagination.
P.H.G. Haslam
Jan 28, 2016 P.H.G. Haslam rated it it was amazing
A glorious book that gave me a very positive message about humans, and plenty of inspiration in life. These are stories of people stretched, of people on the very edge; in a no-man's-land between British Hong Kong and China.

Some of the photographs in here so achingly beautiful, I couldn't help but stare. Recommended to everybody.
Aug 22, 2013 Kate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sociology

I should also say: Thank goodness for interlibrary loan. I read an article and saw some of the pictures from this book online ( via facebook) but I wouldn't have been able to read the whole thing without the cooperating libraries. YAY!
Mar 06, 2014 Bettie☯ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: china, summer-2013
City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City

china> architecture without an architect. Gormenghast chinese style.
ref> ebook> art-forms
summer 2013

Fantastic, hypnotising, just imagine living there...
Luckily it was pulled down early 90s

The photography is so very good. 5*
Jul 07, 2014 Dozo rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, sensitive and wonderfully put together mix of photos, interviews and journalistic articles on the Kowloon walled city. Possibly the best book ever on Hong Kong.
Aug 20, 2015 Paul rated it it was amazing
A truly outstanding book. Photos were amazing and the personal stories were well documented. A must read for anyone interested in the history of Hong Kong.
Victor Hardjono
Dec 16, 2009 Victor Hardjono rated it liked it
Of my almost-4-years stay in HK, I never thought an area like Kowloon Wall City did exist. It's beyond imagination, and this book captures it very well
Oct 18, 2007 J rated it it was amazing
Shelves: architecture, art
Fantastic photography, interviews not so great, but as the only work ever written about a fantastic place, I have to say it's a must-read.
Jan 08, 2009 Tam rated it it was amazing
Kowloon Walled City: a remarkable amount of industry against a backdrop of seedy urban despair. A gorgeous book.
Sep 10, 2007 Bridget rated it it was amazing
beautiful photography book of a city that no longer exists
Jan 06, 2011 Scott rated it it was amazing
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