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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
does what it says on the tin!!
Published 4 months ago by mr john mccann

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Guide to France from the AA: OK, but could do better
The AA Explorer Guides are mid-sized, illustrated softcover guidebooks. This one of France is OK as an overview of the country but a couple of editorial decisions about the layout make using it more difficult in practice than it might have been.

The book runs to 288 pages including an excellent index; production quality is high, the writing good and literate,...
Published on 1 Sept. 2012 by The Guardian


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Guide to France from the AA: OK, but could do better, 1 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: AA Explorer France (AA Explorer Guides) (Paperback)
The AA Explorer Guides are mid-sized, illustrated softcover guidebooks. This one of France is OK as an overview of the country but a couple of editorial decisions about the layout make using it more difficult in practice than it might have been.

The book runs to 288 pages including an excellent index; production quality is high, the writing good and literate, the editing exemplary, the photo-images plentiful and well-chosen add depth to the text.

France is a big country and there's a great deal to see. Most visitors even on an extended tour will not see the whole country, but rather selected highlights. After two introductory chapters `France is' (i.e. the country now) and `France was' (a good overview of the country's long and complex history), the chapters on each region basically tour the country in an anti-clockwise direction, starting in Paris and then following this order:

* Normandy

* Brittany

* The Loire

* The Atlantic Coast

* Dordogne

* The Pyrenees

* The Provence Coast

* Massif Central

* The Alps & Rhone Valley

* Burgundy & The Jura

* Alsace & The North

The first gripe is with the division of chapters. Some distinctive regions which everybody recognises such as the Limousin, the Auvergne, the Languedoc-Rousillon and a few others are chopped up or incorporated into a bigger umbrella-chapter like `The Massif Central' or `The Atlantic Coast.' Toulouse, the capital of Languedoc-Rousillon, in this guide is included in `The Dordogne' - a bit of a stretch to say the least; so it's actually quite difficult to find certain locations unless you resort to the index (which admittedly is useful).

The second layout-gripe is that the locations in each chapter are laid out alphabetically, so make no sense to the traveller who, for example, will never go from Aulnay to Biarritz then straight to Bordeaux. To try and compensate for this, the Guide has one or two-page sections inserted into the text titled `Drive', where suggested itineraries are detailed for motorists, which make much more sense.

Overall this is an OK guidebook but less easy to use than, for example, the LP or Rough Guides which are both, in different ways, excellent. On the plus side, the photo-illustrations are better than average, but you don't buy a guidebook primarily for its photo-illustrations, do you?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 10 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: AA Explorer France (AA Explorer Guides) (Paperback)
does what it says on the tin!!
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