Battuta was one of the worlds greatest travelers. The descriptions of the peoples and places met and visited are superb. This 1829 translation can be difficult in parts (especially the copious notes) but well worth the effort and very rewarding.
As the saying goes 'do not judge a book by its cover'. Well, when I saw the cover of this book - the automatic reaction was: `this looks interesting and I think I will buy this book.' On reading the book, I was slightly disappointed in that it did not live up to my expectations, as I had already read another book with the same title by another author. I found the translation of Arabic that reminded me of some the Qu'ranic translations which were initially translated in this type of archaic style. Prior to the ground-breaking translations of the holy Qu'ran by Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall (1930) Abdullah Yusuf Ali (1934) the Arabic translations were written in this type of archaic style. The other ground-breaking exponent was H. A. R. Gibb (1929) in his translation/selection of "The travels of Ibn Battuta."
However, despite these points, I think the book has some rare insights into the geography, history and travel in the period Ibn Battuta (IB) lived. Overall, I think it is a useful source book for students and scholars with the minus points of being a bit awkward to read and you need to be really interested in it, to get your full attention and if it was written a bit more simply then it would get over this problem!
As I have mentioned, the book by H.A.R Gibb is very good and I would also add that Ross E. Dunn is also excellent in covering the travels of Ibn Battuta. Finally, several books by Tim Mackintosh-Smith on IB seem to be great - on reading the reviews on Amazon.
Well worth reading for those who enjoy history. I found Ibn Battuta's wrting full of interesting facts, however some of the editors comments and footnotes rather long winded and sometimes got off the point. From other books I believe some of the places reported by Ibn Battuta were based on hearsay as he didn't visit them ( this also applies to the writings of Marco Polo). This was not mentioned in this volume. All the same well worth reading.