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101 Places Not to See Before You Die Paperback – Bargain Price, June 22, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061787760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061787768
  • ASIN: B004Y6MYMI
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,373,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“This clever collection of travel advisories lists all the places that are definitely not worth a trip, including a rendering plant, Times Square on New Year’s Eve, and, bien sûr, Euro Disney.” (Entertainment Weekly )

“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 planet—from Montana’s Testicle Festival to the Amsterdam Sexmuseum—and 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.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Catherine Price's newest book, VITAMANIA: Our Obsessive Quest for Nutritional Perfection, will be published in February 2015 by Penguin Press. It's available for pre-order now.

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. She welcomes all chances to interact with readers.

Catherine's website is catherine-price.com. Follow her on Twitter at @catherine_price (#vitamania)

Customer Reviews

Great for reading aloud!
Katy Bejarano
If the book was all joke I would have liked this better, but the author seemed to want to offer serious advise too.
E. Truman
Bypassing "Hell" or an overnight stay in "Garbage City" seems like good advice.
Dick Jordan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Nate Johnson on July 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
I picked this up (while in a friend's bathroom I have to admit) and was so absorbed and amused that a significant amount of time slipped by. It was only when I emerged and saw the questioning stares that I realized how odd it must have seemed for a guest to disappear into the loo and stay there for 20 minutes, occasionally laughing out loud.
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.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Dick Jordan on July 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
What do "The Testicle Festival", "Your Boss' Bedroom", "The Wiener's Circle", and "Groper's Night on the Tokyo Subway" all have in common? They are chapters in Catherine Price's new book, 101 Places Not To See Before You Die.

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.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Emily Westin on July 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book very engaging and fun to read. I'm especially enamored of the author's fascination with carpets (on subways/hot yoga rooms) and I personally experienced #92 (and wish I hadn't- still living with the consequences).

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...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James Beswick VINE VOICE on December 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a fan of the inimitable "Crap Towns" Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places to Live in the UK, I was looking forward to Catherine Price's book which has some funny parts but can seem a little mean-spirited at times. The basic problem is that it can't decide whether it's a list of terrible places, bad experiences and events, or just "stuff I don't like", so it doesn't commit to bad-mouthing places and risking the wrath of the natives in the name of comedy, and some of the experiences are just not that interesting. It's like the author managed to write 35 or 40 entries and really need some filler.

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.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Continuing in the vein of offbeat books I've been reading of late, I picked up an interesting and amusing read at the library this week... 101 Places Not to See Before You Die by Catherine Price. Most travel books cover the places you *should* see before you depart the bounds of earth. Price saves us all time and agony by telling us what we can bypass. :) If taken with the requisite dose of humor, this book is pretty funny. Of course, you may not think so if you live in Nevada...

Price decided to write the anti-travel book as a way to relieve pressure on herself. Every time she went into a book store, she was seeing lists of things she had to do *before* she died... 101 places to see... 1001 beers to drink... 100 movies to see. With that kind of pressure, who can relax and just enjoy things? With this book, she could help people ignore the places that just aren't worth the time and effort so they could focus on all the other things that are apparently required before death. Some of her choices are meant to be tourist destinations, such as the Colorado Testicle Festival or an overnight stay in a Korean Buddhist temple. Others are definitely *not* places you'd choose to visit or experience, such as rush hour on a Samoan bus or forensic anthropology facilities, also known as "body farms," where dead bodies are left to decompose in various situations to aid crime research. She even picks on some of the biggies, such as Euro Disney and Las Vegas. Actually, she includes the entire state of Nevada, as some of her friends focused on "the heat, the emptiness, the atrocity that is Lake Las Vegas, the nuclear waste, the alien sightings, and the fact that Criss Angel calls it home.
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