Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully presented overview of the top 200 cities of the world, 4 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Cities Book: A Journey Through the Best Cities in the World (Lonely Planet General Pictorial) (Paperback)
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Length:: 2:07 Mins

'The Cities Book' by Lonely Planet is a lavishly presented coffee table book offering up a very brief overview of what the Lonely Planet's very well travelled researchers pick as their top two-hundred cities of the world. Each one of these cities is given their own ranking with two full glossy pages allocated to each and every one of the cities.

Full colour photographs go alongside the text for each one of the 200 cities in the book. These cities are presented alphabetically, starting with Abuja (in Nigeria) and ultimately concluding with Zanzibar Town (Tanzania).

Each one of these two-hundred listings is subsequently broken down into the same basic categories of information. These are:

- Anatomy (a very brief overview of what physical features make-up the city)
- People (gives details on the people and their culture)
- Typical (a quick insight into the typical characteristics of the city and its people)
- Defining Experience (a recommended experience that hopefully pretty much defines the city)
- Strengths (a list of the city's strengths - often predominant buildings and features)
- Weaknesses (a full and frank list of the city's weakness)
- Gold Star (one particular point about the city that makes it stand out from all of the others)
- Starring Role In... (a list of some of the movies that the city has been filmed within)
- Import (a brief list of some of the city's major imports - not just goods)
- Export (a brief list of some of the city's major exports - again, these are not just goods)
- See (another quick recommendation of what you should see upon visiting the city)
- Eat (a quick recommendation of what you should eat upon visiting the city)
- Drink (a quick recommendation of what you should drink upon visiting the city)
- Do (a quick recommendation of what you should do upon visiting the city)
- Watch (a quick recommendation of what you should watch upon visiting the city)
- Buy (a quick recommendation of what you should buy upon visiting the city)
- After Dark (a quick recommendation of where you should go after dark upon visiting the city)
- Urban Myth (details one of the city's main urban myths, detailing the fact from the fiction in each case).

The listings also give some 'vital statistics' on each city which comprises of - date of birth, address, height, size, population and lonely plant ranking.

All in all, the book is a superb item to have as a coffee table book; ideal for flicking through at your leisure when passing the time or for guests to eye-through if they are left waiting. The listings are brief and uncluttered, with identical layouts on each listings allowing for a great ease of use at the reader's very first glance.

The photographs included within generally offer up a look at a major feature of the city, the type of people you will encounter there and a less-well-known feature of the city. This allows for a reasonably broad overview of the city in which to sum it up with in the best possible way using only 3-4 photographs. Often this means that major features are left out of the photos, but of course, these features should be listed in the text anyway if you decide to put in some further investigation.

Finally, the book includes Tony Wheeler's(Lonely Planet's Co-Founder) top 10 cities, some additional text on the past, present and future of the world's cities and a two page map of the world marking on the various cities (with additional maps of Africa, Europe, Central America and South Asia).

Oh...and if you're interested, the UK cities that made it into the book's top 200 are (with their respective positions):
London - 005
Edinburgh - 021
Dublin - 028
York - 076
Glasgow - 106
Bath - 119
Manchester - 126
Belfast - 163
Cardiff - 171

The book runs for a total of 424 pages, each of high quality, full colour print, presented beautifully for this delightfully insightful book.
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Location: Cardiff, Wales

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