It almost seems pointless to review a book that was obscure in its heyday and is now out of print, so I’m going to approach things a little differently.
When I was a child, I was enthralled with anything unknown and fringe. Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, UFOs… you name it, I believed in them. I assumed that “No Longer on the Map” was going to be filled with tales of Atlantis and other lost continents. I ordered it (I got all my books mail order back then; one thing my mom really indulged me with was books) and when it arrived and I realized it wasn’t about such fantastical places, I put it on the shelf, and there it sat for over 35 years.
Not sure what prompted me to finally pick it up and read it, but you should have seen the cloud of dust I blew off it before I opened the front cover. It was like something out of a movie mystery. 🙂
What the book is *actually* about is cartography. The author discusses places that were on maps from hundreds of years ago but aren’t on modern maps. Some of them you may have heard of, such as a navigable Northwest Passage or the fabled city of gold, El Dorado. Others were new, at least, to me, like Breasil, an island in the North Atlantic, or Quivira, a gold-rich empire in the Pacific Northwest.
I enjoyed the authors descriptions of the various explorers who claimed to have found/sighted/discovered these non-existent places, but they weren’t really the focus of the book. The focus was more about what cartographer included which place and why. Where the names came from (and the author makes some pretty wild leaps in his name speculation). When the places vanished from maps. That sort of thing. It all made for some fairly dry reading for me.
But I don’t have any kind of deep interest in cartography. If you’re fascinated by maps then you might love this book, if you can find it. Definitely a niche book for a niche audience.