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101 Places Not to See Before You Die Paperback – June 22, 2010
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“Price’s delightful work is utterly hilarious.” (Arthur Frommer)
“Weird and funny.” (The Washington Post)
“Funny and engaging.” (USA Today)
“A hilarious look at some of the most uninviting, overcrowded, unsanitary, overhyped, and stomach-churning locales on the planet.” (Budget Travel)
“Amusing.” (The San Francisco Chronicle)
“Price is a delightful writer who manages to give readers more giggles in under-two-page entries than many writers could in an entire chapter. . . . Highly recommended.” (Library Journal)
“101 Places Not to See Before You Die takes a fascinating and hilarious look at some of the least appealing places and events on the planetfrom Montana’s Testicle Festival to the Amsterdam Sexmuseumand explains in lucid terms just what you’ll be missing out on.” (Salon)
From the Back Cover
Because bad places make good stories
The Testicle Festival • Garbage City • Rush Hour on a Samoan Bus • Y our Boss's Bedroom • Ibiza on a Family Vacation • Stonehenge • The Road of Death • A North Korean Gulag • Fucking, Austria • And 92 More!
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.
More About the Author
Catherine's written and multimedia work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science Writing, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Slate, Salon, Men's Journal, Mother Jones, The Oprah Magazine, and Parade, among others. Her previous books include a parody travel guide called 101 Places Not To See Before You Die (HarperPaperbacks 2010), and The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A Year in the Life of a Restaurant (Harper Collins 2009). Catherine is a two-time Société de Chimie Industrielle fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation and VITAMANIA was supported in part by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. She also has been a fellow at the Mesa Refuge, the Middlebury Program in Environmental Reporting, and the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT (for its medical evidence and food boot camps), and has been nominated for an American Society of Magazine Editors award (for a package on back health) and a James Beard award (for a piece about eating roadkill). She's passionate about nutrition, diabetes, health and travel, and also founded a legally themed clothing shop called Illegal Briefs (www.cafepress.com/illegalbriefs). Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2001, Catherine is a frequent contributor to ASweetLife.org.
Catherine's website is catherine-price.com. Follow her on Twitter at @catherine_price (#vitamania)
Top Customer Reviews
If you want a tonic to cure you from the sort of travel writing intended to sell - if you need a gift for a traveler (or a homebody for that matter) - take a look at this.
Seven years ago Patricia Schultz gave us the ultimate travel "bucket list" with 1,000 Places To See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List. In the introduction to her "sequel", Price said that she decided to create an "antidote" to all of the "must-do" tomes that followed in the wake of Schultz' book, so she came up with "a list of places and experiences that you don't need to worry about missing out on."
Price didn't visit each of the 101 don't ever go there locations in her book; she "called on travel-loving friends, family members, and, in some cases, complete strangers to tell [her] about overhyped tourist sites, boring museums, stupid historical attractions, and circumstances that can make even worthwhile destinations miserable." Some chapters are actually a "Guest Entry" by another author: Michael Pollan, who wrote The Omnivore's Dilemma, contributed "The Worst Meal in Barcelona"; Rebecca Solnit, author of A Paradise Built in Hell, described the bureaucratic Purgatory she found herself in at "The Customs Office at the Buenos Aires Airport." And Brendan Buhler, staff reporter for the Las Vegas Sun, entices readers with "Fan Hours at the Las Vegas Porn Convention."
Most of us would deem a visit to "A Vomitorium", or being stuck on "The Top of Mount Washington in A Snowstorm", or landing on "Jupiter's Worst Moon" as a travel experience to be avoided. Bypassing "Hell" or an overnight stay in "Garbage City" seems like good advice. Skipping "An AA Meeting When You're Drunk" is a no-brainer.Read more ›
I think that this book makes the perfect gift, as it will always generate something to talk about! While reading, my husband would often laugh out loud (books don't usually generate that response from him) and I found myself reading sentences aloud to whomever was near me.
All in all, you can't go wrong with this one! (as long as you don't take it too personally, as I think one reviewer may have...
While most of the entries are 2-3 pages and some have pictures, the weakest are less than a page - and in some cases just a sentence, like these:
- #12: "Your boss's bedroom: This does not count as corporate team building."
- #48: "An AA meeting when you're drunk: This is not one of the twelve steps."
- #86: "Your college campus four months after you graduate: Don't be that guy."
Some of the other entries make the author seem a little smug, simply because she doesn't like what millions of other people do for no apparent reason - what's really wrong with Euro Disney, Stonehenge or the Blarney Stone apart from the fact they're popular places to go? Whereas books like Crap Towns would savage places in a funny way, here the author seems sometimes snobbish and anti-popularist, which isn't that fun to read.
Similarly, the humor in this sort of book should come from ridiculing a place rather than the people that go there.Read more ›
But that's not that point of "101 Places Not To See Before You Die" at all. The author pokes fun at books about places that you should go and see--she makes a point in her introduction how unrealistic it is to go to all those places, read all the books recommended before you die, and so forth. Then she pokes fun at several places, scattered throughout the world (and some destinations without a specific location), and why you shouldn't bother going there. It's not really a book for those who love to travel; rather, it's a book on those who love to laugh. The prose is so well-written and hilarious, and the trivia you will learn from this book would make interesting conversation starters. By the way, if you're not a fan of disgusting or crude humor, many parts of this book won't appeal to you.
I do think a few of the articles were less interesting than others, and more photographs would have made this book more exciting. However, it's still an excellent book YOU SHOULD read before you die, as long as you're into this type of humor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting, entertaining and humorous. Great
to read when you don't have time to read a book such
as a novel.
I enjoyed reading about some of the places but some were so far fetched (Dante's circles of hell. Really? Read morePublished 8 months ago by hobbes
Really, the title says it all. I did finish the book (unlike some), but won't be saving book to reread. A good antidote to all this "you've got to see/do this".Published 9 months ago by Nawed
Hilarious voice, and even though the goal was to deter me from these places, I was so fascinated by them that I may have to check them out. Only wish there was more to read! Read morePublished 13 months ago by heydudemeg
The premise for the book is an interesting one as it is a take-off on the numerous books listing the places/foods/people that you should interact with before you die. Read morePublished 15 months ago by @GroupOfFour
What was the point of this stupid "book", which is really just an overlong listicle? It sure has nothing to do with travel. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Jon Blackwell
I laughed four times and was shocked twice. Not enough to warrant.a purchase. Thank you though for encouraging people to not attend Burning Man.Published on January 10, 2014 by fificlark
This humorous and easy read is about places you don't want or need to visit. However, it's definitely a book you want to read. Read morePublished on December 29, 2013 by Roland Penttila