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101 Places Not to See Before You Die Paperback – 1 Jul 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (1 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061787760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061787768
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 514,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

“This clever collection of travel advisories lists all the places that are definitely not worth a trip, including a rendering plant, Times Square on New Year’s Eve, and, bien sûr, Euro Disney.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Price’s delightful work is utterly hilarious.” (Arthur Frommer)

“Weird and funny.” (The Washington Post)

“Funny and engaging.” (USA Today)

“A hilarious look at some of the most uninviting, overcrowded, unsanitary, overhyped, and stomach-churning locales on the planet.” (Budget Travel)

“Amusing.” (The San Francisco Chronicle)

“Price is a delightful writer who manages to give readers more giggles in under-two-page entries than many writers could in an entire chapter. . . . Highly recommended.” (Library Journal)

101 Places Not to See Before You Die takes a fascinating and hilarious look at some of the least appealing places and events on the planet—from Montana’s Testicle Festival to the Amsterdam Sexmuseum—and explains in lucid terms just what you’ll be missing out on.” (Salon)

From the Back Cover

Because bad places make good stories

The Testicle Festival • Garbage City • Rush Hour on a Samoan Bus • Y our Boss's Bedroom • Ibiza on a Family Vacation • Stonehenge • The Road of Death • A North Korean Gulag • Fucking, Austria • And 92 More!

From the Grover Cleveland Service Area to the Beijing Museum of Tap Water to, of course, Euro Disney, 101 Places Not to See Before You Die brings you lively tales of the most ill-conceived museums, worst theme parks, and grossest Superfund sites that you'll ever have the pleasure of not visiting. Journalist Catherine Price travels the globe for stories of misadventure to which any seasoned traveler can relate—including guest entries from writers such as Nicholas Kristof, Mary Roach, Michael Pollan, Rebecca Solnit, and A. J. Jacobs—and along the way she discovers that the worst experiences are often the ones we'll never forget.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 25 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Hilarious 7 July 2010
By Nate Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I picked this up (while in a friend's bathroom I have to admit) and was so absorbed and amused that a significant amount of time slipped by. It was only when I emerged and saw the questioning stares that I realized how odd it must have seemed for a guest to disappear into the loo and stay there for 20 minutes, occasionally laughing out loud.
If you want a tonic to cure you from the sort of travel writing intended to sell - if you need a gift for a traveler (or a homebody for that matter) - take a look at this.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
The Travel Anti-Bucket List 18 July 2010
By Dick Jordan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What do "The Testicle Festival", "Your Boss' Bedroom", "The Wiener's Circle", and "Groper's Night on the Tokyo Subway" all have in common? They are chapters in Catherine Price's new book, 101 Places Not To See Before You Die.

Seven years ago Patricia Schultz gave us the ultimate travel "bucket list" with 1,000 Places To See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List. In the introduction to her "sequel", Price said that she decided to create an "antidote" to all of the "must-do" tomes that followed in the wake of Schultz' book, so she came up with "a list of places and experiences that you don't need to worry about missing out on."

Price didn't visit each of the 101 don't ever go there locations in her book; she "called on travel-loving friends, family members, and, in some cases, complete strangers to tell [her] about overhyped tourist sites, boring museums, stupid historical attractions, and circumstances that can make even worthwhile destinations miserable." Some chapters are actually a "Guest Entry" by another author: Michael Pollan, who wrote The Omnivore's Dilemma, contributed "The Worst Meal in Barcelona"; Rebecca Solnit, author of A Paradise Built in Hell, described the bureaucratic Purgatory she found herself in at "The Customs Office at the Buenos Aires Airport." And Brendan Buhler, staff reporter for the Las Vegas Sun, entices readers with "Fan Hours at the Las Vegas Porn Convention."

Most of us would deem a visit to "A Vomitorium", or being stuck on "The Top of Mount Washington in A Snowstorm", or landing on "Jupiter's Worst Moon" as a travel experience to be avoided. Bypassing "Hell" or an overnight stay in "Garbage City" seems like good advice. Skipping "An AA Meeting When You're Drunk" is a no-brainer. And what traveler would want to be trapped on "The Inside of a Spotted Hyena's Birth Canal"?

But some readers will will undoubtedly find that at least a few of Price's "anti-bucket list" choices rank among their most memorable travel venues. I'm sure that Euro Disney and the Winchester Mystery House have legions of fanatical fans. "Times Square on New Year's Eve" may not be Price's favorite place to celebrate the beginning of the new year, but are the throngs that gather to watch the famous ball begin its descent counting down to 12:01 a.m. mere fools? Devotees of Wall Drug, Mount Rushmore, and the Blarney Stone may be so incensed that they will set "vanity bonfires" and send Price's book from ashes to ashes.

I enjoyed visiting Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona, even though Price says that the "U.S. Park Rangers Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police named it the most dangerous national park in the United States" and that you have "to deal with the desert's 116-degree summer heat, venomous snakes, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and of course, drug traffickers..." As as often can be said about travel, "your experience may differ from mine"; I had a good time there during March a few years back when the weather was fine and the nasty critters, bad bugs, and evil people were nowhere to be found.

101 Places Not To See Before You Die isn't really a guidebook for figuring out where not to go on your summer vacation. But it's a good "summer read" that will give you plenty of chuckles especially when you're stuck at the airport, or on the tarmac, two places you hope you not to find yourself even one more time before you die.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Very Funny! 9 July 2010
By Emily Westin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book very engaging and fun to read. I'm especially enamored of the author's fascination with carpets (on subways/hot yoga rooms) and I personally experienced #92 (and wish I hadn't- still living with the consequences).

I think that this book makes the perfect gift, as it will always generate something to talk about! While reading, my husband would often laugh out loud (books don't usually generate that response from him) and I found myself reading sentences aloud to whomever was near me.

All in all, you can't go wrong with this one! (as long as you don't take it too personally, as I think one reviewer may have...
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Funny in parts but a missed opportunity 17 Dec. 2010
By James Beswick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a fan of the inimitable "Crap Towns" Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places to Live in the UK, I was looking forward to Catherine Price's book which has some funny parts but can seem a little mean-spirited at times. The basic problem is that it can't decide whether it's a list of terrible places, bad experiences and events, or just "stuff I don't like", so it doesn't commit to bad-mouthing places and risking the wrath of the natives in the name of comedy, and some of the experiences are just not that interesting. It's like the author managed to write 35 or 40 entries and really need some filler.

While most of the entries are 2-3 pages and some have pictures, the weakest are less than a page - and in some cases just a sentence, like these:

- #12: "Your boss's bedroom: This does not count as corporate team building."
- #48: "An AA meeting when you're drunk: This is not one of the twelve steps."
- #86: "Your college campus four months after you graduate: Don't be that guy."

Some of the other entries make the author seem a little smug, simply because she doesn't like what millions of other people do for no apparent reason - what's really wrong with Euro Disney, Stonehenge or the Blarney Stone apart from the fact they're popular places to go? Whereas books like Crap Towns would savage places in a funny way, here the author seems sometimes snobbish and anti-popularist, which isn't that fun to read.

Similarly, the humor in this sort of book should come from ridiculing a place rather than the people that go there. Vegas Strip, Nevada (#86): "the Strip is also an example of Americans' willingness to accept reproductions of famous sights as adequate alternatives to the real thing." So are we hating Vegas for its excess or the "dumb Americans" that go there? I think the author's really stretching the truth to assume that many people visit the Strip as an alternative for a trip to a real pyramid or the Statue of Liberty, when they're probably there just to gamble.

The concept of the book is great but ultimately it doesn't deliver on the promise of the premise. At times it reads like a Bay Area native's diary of all the things she hates outside the coolness of the Mission District.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Will surely make you laugh out loud 23 Jun. 2011
By Hmph - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The first time I looked at this book, I thought, "What's the point?", because if there's a place NOT worthy of going to in the world, I'll realize it before I book the trip, so I didn't really need this book. No one does.

But that's not that point of "101 Places Not To See Before You Die" at all. The author pokes fun at books about places that you should go and see--she makes a point in her introduction how unrealistic it is to go to all those places, read all the books recommended before you die, and so forth. Then she pokes fun at several places, scattered throughout the world (and some destinations without a specific location), and why you shouldn't bother going there. It's not really a book for those who love to travel; rather, it's a book on those who love to laugh. The prose is so well-written and hilarious, and the trivia you will learn from this book would make interesting conversation starters. By the way, if you're not a fan of disgusting or crude humor, many parts of this book won't appeal to you.

I do think a few of the articles were less interesting than others, and more photographs would have made this book more exciting. However, it's still an excellent book YOU SHOULD read before you die, as long as you're into this type of humor.
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