Lonely Planet Bad Lands (sml paperback)

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Overview

'You guys really are the axis of evil', our guide splutters over his stein of beer in the Pyongyang duck restaurant. 'You're always leaning out of the windows and taking photographs when I tell you not to.'

In an age of plastic knives on planes, Tony Wheeler can make the extraordinary claim of having visited all the rogue countries currently on newsreaders' lips. Bad Lands is a witty first-hand account of his travels through places often perceived as having some of the most ...

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Overview

'You guys really are the axis of evil', our guide splutters over his stein of beer in the Pyongyang duck restaurant. 'You're always leaning out of the windows and taking photographs when I tell you not to.'

In an age of plastic knives on planes, Tony Wheeler can make the extraordinary claim of having visited all the rogue countries currently on newsreaders' lips. Bad Lands is a witty first-hand account of his travels through places often perceived as having some of the most repressive and dangerous regimes in the world: Afghanistan, Albania, Burma, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea and Saudi Arabia. Taking into account each country's attitude to human rights, terrorism and foreign policy, he asks 'what makes a country truly evil?' and 'how bad is really bad?' - all the while engaging with a colourful cast of locals and hapless tour guides, ruminating on history and debunking popular myths.

Written by the founder of Lonely Planet, this fascinating account of life in these closed-off countries will appeal to anyone with an interest in the state of the world today.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

With the ranks of global jet-setters increasing, travel journalists no longer enjoy any distinction as elite rangers of far-off lands. Leave it to Lonely Planet founder and veteran travel journalist Wheeler to bring back this bygone mystique by gathering information in one volume on what he deems the most forbidding and forbidden lands on earth. The book works hard to do it all: to educate, entertain, debunk, evoke, and provoke. Ultimately, though, it burns much of its fuel presenting the history lessons necessary for any reader unfamiliar with touristically idle places like Iran, Afghanistan, and Burma. Bad Landsmakes light fare of political and cultural devastation, cataloging countries by what Wheeler calls his EvilMeterâ„¢, jokily characterizing North Korea as a "gulag run by Monty Python," or reflecting on the accommodations of "guests" at Gitmo. Add to this questionable taste the even more questionable judgment involved in presenting his own experience-traveling as a seasoned, knowledgeable pro-as that which any brazen, but woefully green, wayfarer might expect to have after reading this. Wheeler's book may be the most dangerous development to come out of his global romps. Recommended for public libraries with caution.
—Elizabeth Kennedy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781741791860
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Series: Travel Literature Series
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book had such a great idea, but the writing was a HUGE letdown. Wheeler uses incredibly choppy sentences that tend to have nothing to do with the present idea. One can tell that Wheeler is used to writing guidebooks in that there is no steady flow. This book is a great idea but is let down by poor execution.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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