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BOOK OF THE MONTH
MY LIFE IN FULL
Indra K. Nooyi
699

An intimate and powerful memoir by the trailblazing former CEO of PepsiCo

For...(+)

Author Spotlight

Anuradha Roy is the author of An Atlas of Impossible Longing, The Folded Earth and Sleeping ...(+)

  Anuradha Roy  
 
 
 
Scarp
Nick Papadimitriou

Classification : Natural History, Environment & Conservation
Pub Date : Jun 15, 2012
Imprint : Sceptre
Page Extent : 288
Binding : HB
ISBN : 9781444723380
Price : 1,499

About the book
Nick Papadimitriou has spent a lifetime living on the margins, walking and documenting the landscapes surrounding his home in Child's Hill, North London, in a study he calls Deep Topography. Part meditation on nature and walking, part memoir and part social history, his arresting debut is first and foremost a personal inquiry into the spirit of a place: a 14-mile broken ridge of land on the fringes of Northern London known as Scarp. Conspicuous but largely forgotten, a vast yet largely invisible presence hovering just beyond the metropolis, Scarp is a vast storehouse of regional memory. We join the author as he explores and reimagines this brooding, pregnant landscape, meticulously observing his surroundings, finding surprising connections and revealing lost slices of the past. SCARP captures the satisfying experience of a long, reflective walk. Whether talking about the beauty of a bird or a telegraph pole, deaths at a roundabout or his own troubled past, Papadimitriou celebrates the poetry in the everyday. His captivating prose reveals that the world around us is alive and intrinsically valuable in ways that the trappings of day-to-day life lead us to forget, and allows us to re-connect with something more authentic, more immediate, more profound.
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Read Review   Want to write a review?
'A terrific read, beautifully written.'>
'Papadimitriou is a wildly exotic gatecrasher . . . an heroically odd book . . . rich in memorable phrases.'>
'His great achievement is demonstrating how a long walk can be a meditative healing process where one can forget what is mundane, and reconnect not only with one's inner self, but also with something deeper and even more tangible.'>
'If Will Self is partly responsible for the current popularity of psychogeographic writing, then 'deep topographer' Nick Papadimitriou deserves credit for influencing Self's thinking . . . SCARP is intense and deeply personal . . . Ultimately this isn't a book about the Scarp but about fringes - of society, cities, nature, perhaps even sanity. Self's droll psychogeographic adventures are more fun but they lack the sheer Joycean scope of Papadimitriou's ramblings: this is the hard stuff.'>

'Its full of poetry - something to keep on the night-stand and dip in and out of when the mood takes you. There's a breathtaking amount of colour here, with the author adopting a point of view that makes what are in reality rather mundane suburbs seem like places of mystery and magic.'

>

'What a strange and wonderful work it is... A series of walks across Scarp, loosely stretching from Harefield in the south-west to Hertford in the north-east, forms the main thread of the book. Nick is the perpetual outsider. He's the scruffy-looking drifter staring over your garden fence, or sleeping rough on a golf course. He's the arsonist who twice set fire to his school, and did time for burning down his neighbour's house. Yet he writes like an angel, avoiding the abstruse prose often found in "psychogeographic" writing.'

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'Very engaging.Years of study and dreaming in the spare bedroom of his flat have given birth to a series of fantastic journeys . . . '>
Nick Papadimitriou veers closer to the topographical delirium of Iain Sinclair or JG Ballard in Scarp: a ramble through his home suburbs of north London that spreads a visionary gleam over the mysterious backwaters of the Northern Line'.
'The most vital document about London in years . . . brilliantly imagined . . . it's compelling singularity and off-message cultural engagement are things we should be profoundly thankful for.'>

'In an era when the search for authenticity has become de trop, Nick Papadimitriou is a startling personification: a superb nature writer, a poet, the originator and preeminent practitioner of the discipline he has dubbed 'deep topography'. From the council flat in Child's Hill, North London, where he has lived for over a quarter century, he sets out on journeys through the urban space that have the velocity and the daring exploratory feel of interstellar voyaging. I urge you to read the results: they are haunting, strange, lyrical, poignant - a testimony to a life that is triumphantly less ordinary.'

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'He sees magic in everything. He's like a mystic or an alchemist, hoovering up the magic of stone and brick and concrete. He's also got an incredible language at his disposal, remarkable ideas and a deep sense of lucid confusion.'

>

'Nick is an inspirational figure and a significant spectre. It replenishes my sense of London to know he is out there, somewhere on the western fringes, walking, prospecting, making his reports. He is the prophet of deep-topography, a post-academic discipline, learned on the hoof. You may not be aware of him, but the culture will shrivel when he is not around.'

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Nick Papadimitriou
Nick Papadimitriou is a writer, walker, deep topographer and eccentric. Born in Finchley, Middlesex in 1958, he has had an interest in 'conscious walking' since 1989 and has built up an extensive arch...(+)
Books by Nick Papadimitriou
Scarp (PB)