The New YorkerThe Republic of Molvania, known as the birthplace of whooping cough and the Molvanian Sneezing Hound, has been largely ignored by the backpacking set in its sweep through post-Communist Europe. This may have something to do with the country’s miserable landscape, miserable weather, miserable food, and miserable, surly populace; on the other hand, it may have something to do with the fact that Molvania doesn’t exist. In format and page layout, this inspired send-up of a travel guide looks exactly like the real thing, and it displays an acute feel for all the clichés of the genre, including testimonials that instruct how to have an uncomfortable “authentic” experience, rather than a “bland, westernized” one. The nation’s new national anthem is set to the tune of “What a Feeling,” from the movie “Flashdance”; useful phrases include the Molvanîan for “Please,” “Thank you,” “May God send you a sturdy donkey,” and “What is that smell?”
Neil GenzlingerThe idea here -- a fake travel guide to a nonexistent country, looking and reading like a Frommer's -- may seem like a one-joke gimmick, but the execution, by a trio of Australian satirists, is sublimely brilliant. Yes, it rides on East European stereotypes (Gypsies especially come off poorly), but the parody of effete travel writing is what really makes it work.
The New York Times
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