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Customer Review

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The very definition of a Coffee Table book.., 23 Nov. 2010
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This review is from: The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World (Lonely Planet Travel Book) (Hardcover)
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...you could attach a leg at each corner and it'd make a nice one. Seriously, its nice for a browse / flick thru but thats about all. The tone is relentlessly upbeat - everywhere the natives are warm,friendly and generous, despite wars, hardships and repression. The only country we are actively cautioned against visiting is Iraq - North Korea, Somalia, Burma (sorry - Myanmar) are all just fine. The political correctness (or incorrectness in this case) even extends to listing the island of Ireland as a single country - something many natives of Northern Ireland may just have some issues with. I like the way each country, huge or tiny, get the same amount of space - 2 pages, with half a page of text, each. The text is necessarily sketchy and sometimes glib, but mostly interesting, being impressions and random references rather than facts and figures - no statistics here. The photos are, of course, of the highest quality and frequently stunning but as others have noted, very people-oriented. Personally, in a book of this type, I'd be looking for landscapes, street scenes, architechture and natural beauty - but the editors selection of craggy goatherds, cute schoolkids and dreadlocked fishermen gets a bit cliched and wearying for me. If you're more a people person this may be a positive for you. It's a beautiful book, it's fun, it's very positive and uplifting - buy it if thats what you fancy, but not if you need a travel guide or encyclopedia.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Nov 2011 11:45:12 GMT
BioDiplomacy says:
Bill23 is right to note the anomaly of the entry for Ireland covering the whole island. The corollary is that there is no entry for the United Kingdom, but separate ones for England, Wales and Scotland (just as each has its own international football team. However, the brief introduction ("The Story of the Travel Book") does explain: "It's a book that unashamedly views the planet through the prism of the traveller, focussing on places for their beauty, charm or singularity, even if this does sometimes conflict with defined political or geographical borders."

Note that this is a review of the second edition (2010 Hardback/ 2011 paperback - both with the golden rather than red cover of the first edition in 2005/6) ). Many other reviews (and naturally those that have had time to attract most ratings) are of the first edition. This new edition is entirely revised, with far fewer photographs (817 compared to 1200 in the first edition). The photos are also quite different in the two editions, as is much of the accompanying text. I'm working on a detailed review comparing the two editions.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jan 2013 16:21:38 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jan 2013 16:22:37 GMT
Bill23 says:
Hmmmm...yes, well...nice words, but i can't see anywhere else in the book that "conflicts with defined political or geographical borders." - everywhere else is a selfcontained country. And if Wales and Scotland have separate entries, then all the MORE reason why NI shouldnt be bundled in with another state! Someone has made a political decision here, based on thier own views, I would say...
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