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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World (Lonely Planet)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2013
This is an awful travel guide, and you would never want to take it with you. But that's not it's purpose. Instead it shows a spread for each country, and gives a few trip planning ideas of must see things to do. This might be the opposite of finding new places off the beaten path, but the pictures give a good glimpse of what that country may look like. Flipping through it, you can quickly get an idea of some countries you may want to visit that you otherwise knew nothing about, and then be able to look for real travel guides for the details you need.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2011
`The Travel Book' is a stunning coffee table book from Lonely Planet which showcases 229 countries with bright, inspiring images and various facts and figures of note. This isn't the kind of book you read from cover to cover, but rather one you dip into at odd moments and it's large size means it will look incredible laid out on a table top for guests to browse through.

Each country is given a two page spread which features an array of images (usually one large image and three - four smaller images), a paragraph introducing the country, info on the capital, population, land area and language, before looking at best times to visit, things to see and do, resources of things to explore to find out more about each country (things to read, listen, watch, eat and drink), typical things that epitomise the country in question and a random fact to interest you. It also includes a map of the country and surrounding nations.

The photography is incredible throughout and after flicking through the countries I have personally visited I found them to be fairly representative. This is a great way to inspire you to visit particular locations and I soon became engrossed with flicking through each page and soaking up the info on offer. The only problem with this format is that small countries get equal coverage to large countries and when a country is as vast and diverse as, say the United States or China, the imagery doesn't do true justice to how varied the country truly is. This is a minor niggle with the format though and one that is hard to counter in a book of this size and type.

All in all this book serves to whet your appetite to make you want to visit some of the stunning places around the world and it will introduce you to some of the lesser known countries as well. It is well laid out and informative and makes for a delightful coffee table book for your home or, alternatively, office environment.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2011
I was psyched to purchase this book, being a wanderluster with a penchant for the uncommon road. I think the choice of photos reflected a desire to portray the uncommon backroad, hidden, less-traveled path. But I was disappointed with some of the written editorial and photo choices with the countries to which I relate. My Albanian friend disliked the Albania spread because the individuals portrayed consistently throughout all photos were only from the country, I disliked the South Korea and Brasil pages. I felt the descriptions of food and photo choices were limited & mundane. (Even the typical Carnaval photo was dull. I've been to Salvador & Rio Carnavals and were stunned that even modern media couldn't capture the brilliant creativity & playfulness of Carnaval floats.) That's what disappointed me when I was so eager to open the book, some of its limited & cliched descriptions.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2010
It's a great big world that deserves a great big book. In fact, at 14.2 x 10.6 inches and weighing in at 8.2 pounds, the latest edition of Lonely Planet's "The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World" has got to be the largest travel book ever.

The good news is that this edition covers every single country on the planet - from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe - with a double spread featuring several characteristic photos and an information template covering the best time to visit, top things to see and do as well as a survey of what to read, eat, drink as well as basic data points (population, capital, etc.) and a random fact on each territory. Given the large scale format, the emphasis is on photos, though the selections lean more towards indigenous people over scenic landmarks.

The bad news is that the self imposed limits of two pages per country only serve to whet one's appetite for more information on any country that piques one's interest. (A lead in for Lonely Planet's full series of travel guides perhaps?) And the limited choice of photos in certain cases leaves something to be desired. (A single photo of bagpipers represent Bermuda?)

While certainly a colorful and wide ranging guide, "The Travel Book" is more of a coffee table style gift item than a comprehensive travel reference. But as a broad survey of all the possibilities to visit on planet earth, it is certainly a huge statement. Just be prepared to dig deeper somewhere else from here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2012
I am planning a year long backpacking trip, and this book is a perfect jumpoff for creating my itinerary. Its only flaw is that every country gets two pages, regardless of its size or travelability (if that's a word). I would expect certain countries to get multiple pages, but I understand how the book might just get too big at that point. This thing is HUGE...which I really like. The pics are beautiful and the information for the most part is very specific. You will find a few overly general statements and recommendations of what to do in a country, but its a flaw easily overlooked when you see how helpful the book as a whole is. I highly recommend it, all my co-workers are constantly putting their greasy little hands on it (Im in Afghanistan so a huge book about awesome places gets a lot of attention). For 30 bucks and free shipping you cant go wrong. Speaking of shipping, this thing got to my base in Afghanistan in 4 days! Go Amazon!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2011
This ten pound baby (I stood on the bathroom scale with it and used it to hold a poster flat) gives serious meaning to the concept `Coffee Table Book', but it's a big world out there Momma and if you're going to call a book THE Travel,it had better be impressive. A huge and dynamic undertaking by our Lonely Planet pals, this second edition opulent treasure chest sparkles with photographic gems for every nation in the world (there are 229 including the 11 small dependencies tossed in as appetizer) from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The book's goal is to present a "subjective" view of the world--which if you think about it, is very Lonely Planet.
See the rest of this review at Wanderlust and Lipstick, [...]
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2011
This coffee-table book has a single page for each country. It's simple format is easy to read, tempting the traveler, or reminding one of places already visited. There are enough photos to create beauty and showcase the country. Descriptions are short, but accurate. A few special locations for tourists are listed and provide a glimpse of the possibilities within each country. No lists, warnings or mundane information are jammed in, just a pleasant view with a brief vignette of every country.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2010
I bought this book for my sister as a present but after receiving it in the mail, I could not resist opening it! This book literally has EVERY country featured in it, and it provides some very interesting information. Although this is not a guide book in any way, it does provide interesting info about every country and it great for people who need to decide on where to go in the world! and the pictures are stunning!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2010
If you've been everywhere, this is still your book, as it will bring back many pleasant memories. If there are places you look forward to visiting, it's also your book, for both the photography and the intelligent prose. This exceptional production is surely not just another coffee-table book, but rather a beautiful exposition of the earth's most interesting places.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2011
This book should be in every cupboard, unless your not interested in what the world looks like, described with all the highlights in just a few pages. Good for first idea travel preparations too. This is a book that everyone picks up if you put it on the table. And of course - great photos!
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