*Starred Review* Even the most avid readers of travel guides and travel literature will not have encountered a book quite like this one. It is huge and heavy but reasonably priced, and it is vastly informative, which is its calling card. All the writers who contribute to the Lonely Planet travel guide series have put heads, knowledge, and experience together and come up with an A-Z series of capsule profiles of every country in the world, 230 in number. Each country gets a two-page spread, on which are placed, like luscious dishes set before one at a feast, illustrations that are typical of Lonely Planet's unique, non-picture-postcard brand of shots. The accompanying text presents a cogent rundown of the best experiences for gaining the essence of the place; books to read beforehand; music to listen to before you go; food and drink to consume once you are there; and a few brief but pungent closing comments on the trademark things to do and buy and see and what, ultimately, is the best surprise awaiting the tourist. For borrowers in the travel section to sit down, look at, and make notes from, without taking off the premises. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
The world is a breathtakingly big place, and in this big book we have undertaken the big task of detailing as much of it as we can - every single country, many of the larger dependencies and other, smaller destinations. With the traveler's experience at its heart, this book shows a slice of life in every corner of the globe, and all points in between, engaging the reader's senses in an adventure which conjures up the sights, smells, tastes, sounds and feel of our amazing world.
From the Publisher
This book contains some 1200 images and 100,000 words, and covers 230 countries. Every country, large or small, is featured and we have sought to evoke each destination through a unique mix of images and original text. The effect is a series of tantalizing glimpses, which somehow gather their own momentum with every page turned and combine to present an awesome picture of our vast and kaleidoscopic world. We started this book with a seemingly simple proposition - to represent every country in the world in amazing images and inspirational text in an accessible A to Z format. A few obstacles soon stood in our way. Firstly, the possible answers to the question "what is a country?" Secondly, the fact that we set out to create a travel book, not an exhaustive reference book of the world. We viewed the world through the lens of the traveler, focusing on places to visit for their beauty, fascination or singularity, even if this sometimes conflicted with the world as it is defined by political or geographical borders. And lastly, sheer logistics - the world is a breathtakingly big place, and to cover it all in one book is a big ambition. What is a Country? Our first port of call was the United Nations' list of defined countries - all 192 of these had an automatic ticket for entry into this book. The UN list does not include the foreign dependencies of these countries, whether self-governing or Crown colony, but we wanted to feature some of these places because they are ever-popular traveler hang-outs. In this category we included some, but not all, Caribbean islands and groups, as well as Bermuda, New Caledonia, the Cayman Islands and French Polynesia, all dependencies of geographically far-flung entries. We decided, based on traveler interest more than political correctness, to feature the component parts of Britain - England, Scotland and Wales - as separate entries. Archenemies and old friends, England, Scotland and Wales all have rich and distinctive histories and cultures, which hold enduring appeal for travelers, and we wanted to reflect that in this book. Other destinations, such as vibrant and colorful Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, which are all parts of China, have historic identities that separate them from their present-day political situation. For the traveler, they are often experienced as separate and different, and so we featured them that way. Antarctica and Greenland are not countries, strictly speaking, but these vast lands are not only extremely photogenic, they are also fascinating to visit, a fact not lost on adventure travelers who make tracks there in ever-increasing numbers. At the end of this book, you will find 12 'bonus' destinations that we couldn't bear to leave out, but could not justify as full entries. These places were selected because they are fascinating, often beautiful, often remote places that are fast gathering focus on the insatiable explorer's map. Visit these places and you may find yourself competing with our illustrious founder, Tony Wheeler, for recognition as Lonely Planet's best-traveled person.
The Travel Book
FROM OUR EDITORS
One could call it the ultimate travel book: Lonely Planet's insider's peek at 218 countries of the world from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, from populous China to tiny Easter Island. (There are even entries for Kyrgystan and Kiribati.) Illustrated with hundreds of color photographs, this gift book contains maps, data, and tourist tips, including "best time to visit" and "essential experiences."
FROM THE PUBLISHER
The ultimate pictorial dedicated to travel and the world, The Travel Book captures every country on the planet in stunning photographs and evocative descriptions. Inspirational, inviting and beautiful, The Travel Book reveals the essence of actually being there. A unique gift for travelers or would-be travelers sure to inspire wanderlust!
FROM THE CRITICS
A stunning and utterly captivating testament to the beauty and wonder of our natural and human world, this book covers a whopping 230 countries, including some not technically countries at all, like Greenland, Hong Kong, and various Caribbean islands. Casting a wide net, Lonely Planet's editors have nonetheless managed to distill something essential about each location, in 1200 dancing images of its people and places and brief but spot-on suggestions of what to eat, drink, listen to, and watch. Entries are arranged alphabetically rather than geographically, and this logic works: the oddness of seeing Jamaica followed by Japan and Jordan; or Afghanistan preceding Albania, Algeria, and Andorra is strange and startling and sure to delight. A dearth of historical facts or statistics-although capital, population, area, and official language information is included-make this not a reference work but rather, in the turning of the pages, a suggestive, provocative, loving portrait of our gorgeous, haunting planet, not lonely at all. Highly recommended.-Tania Barnes, Library Journal Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.