Saturday, February 15, 2014

101 Places To Not See Before You Die, by Catherine Price

Rating: 3/5
235 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins ebooks
Source: Library ebook

Description: 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. (From Goodreads)

Review: Its a cute idea for a book, but the execution is somewhat lacking. While there are a number places that sound like they are, or were, places you'd want to avoid, others just felt like padding.

Some of the entries are just too specific (An Overnight Train in China on the First Day of Your First Period) and others seem to be more, not what the author was expecting (An Overnight Stay at a Korean Temple.)

A number of them are more personal preference than a place to avoid. If Burning Man doesn't sound appealing, I don't think the details in this book will make it sound that much less appealing. Admittedly, descriptions of Burning Man or Times Square on NYE might make someone rethink going there, but they clearly appeal to large numbers of people already, so maybe not.

I also found it odd that she singled out rest stops on the New Jersey Turnpike. Most rest stops I've been to were pretty much the same. The ones in NJ are no worse.

There's some amusement to be had from this book, but I felt like she was trying too hard to hit an arbitrary number to really recommend it.

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