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The Titanic Awards: Celebrating the Worst of Travel [Kindle Edition]

Doug Lansky
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $4.01 (29%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Read Doug Lansky's posts on the Penguin Blog.



"In a nutshell, the Titanic Awards are the Darwin Awards for travel- only nobody dies." -Los Angeles Times

Everyone who's ever checked (and lost) their luggage or discovered that their hotel misplaced their reservation knows there are few perfect vacations. The Titanic Awards takes a different approach to these often spectacular travel underachievements: celebrating them.

From worst airport layout to most confusing subway system to the most overrated tourist attraction, Lansky looks at these flawed travel destinations with a gimlet eye and a sense of the absurd.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"Mr. Lansky's new book, The Titanic Awards: Celebrating the Worst of Travel (Perigee Trade) is dedicated 'to all the travelers who overcame annoyances and obstacles to make it to their destinations, and then willingly decided to set out traveling again.' Hey, that's us! And as business travel begins to rebound after a long slump, it's perhaps useful to be reminded that on the road, 'something invariably goes wrong,' as Mr. Lansky says. 'At times, very wrong.'."
-The New York Times

"...Doug Lansky has an innate knack for zeroing in on the strangely humorous... When you think your trip isn't going, just remember: You could be checking into the Resist Bacteria Hotel in Singapore."
-TravelandLeisure.com

"...Details some of the misadventures that make your recent misadventure (and you know you have one) seem like a walk inn the park."
-LosAngelesTimes.com

"So out of respect for all those who wouldn't guess from the title, here's a spoiler alert about Doug Lansky's new book, The Titanic Awards: Things go wrong. More precisely, the book is all about things going wrong or things being wrong. That's the point: It's always more interesting that way."
-SanFranciscoChronicle.com

"A lively compendium of ineptitude, turpitude, and just bizarre behavior that would be even funnier if it weren't so depressingly familiar."
-BloombergBusinessWeek.com

About the Author

Doug Lansky contributes to Esquire, National Geographic Adventure, and other publications, while serving as travel editor fro Scandinavian Airlines' in-flight magazine. He is also the creator of the Signspotting series. To date, he has been on the road for roughly ten years in more than 100 countries. Author website: titanicawards.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 2883 KB
  • Print Length: 203 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003L7851U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,264,680 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
(10)
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Doug Lansky has traveled enough to realize that no one wants to hear about your marvelous trip - the scenic vistas, the romantic lodgings, the fabulous food. What people really want to hear about is what went wrong and the more disastrous the better. Tell them about your moonlit night on a gondola in Venice and eyes glaze over. Until you get to the part where you fell out of the gondola into the canal.

The bad travel experiences in The Titanic Awards don't often result in either hilarity or tragedy. They sometimes are no more than complaints or mild rants, such as that internet access at five-star hotels costs too much. The book is laid out like a long magazine article with lots of lists, charts, and quotations. You can easily read a few pages at a time while you're watching TV, or do as Lansky suggests and keep it in the bathroom.

Many Titanic Awards will inspire you to nominate your own candidates for worst beach, for example. It would have to be pretty bad to beat the one in the United Arab Emirates, which collects so much oil from passing tankers that, according to the book, it has beach showers equipped with industrial cleaners and pot scrubbers to get the tar balls off your feet.

Many of the "Titanic Awards" were given to Ryanair for their numerous innovations. Their proposal to reconfigure aircraft for passengers to stand for the entire flight, for instance, or the plan to charge passengers to use the on board toilets. If you follow travel and aviation news at all, you may already be familiar with many of the trinkets in the book.

Some of the lists are a bit mysterious. The one that most perplexed me was "Lamest Natural Wonders of the World" which had the Grand Canyon as the 4th lamest natural wonder. The Grand Canyon? Lame?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hilarious presentation! August 9, 2010
Format:Paperback
Travel and humor blend in this entertaining, funny survey of the travel industry and its spectacular snafus. From plane rides from hell to boat and auto disasters, this covers 'facts' such as which countries have the worst roads, where to find the world's ugliest hotel, most unfortunate city and restaurant names, and more. A hilarious presentation!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Plenty to beef about, but where's the beef? January 16, 2011
Format:Paperback
If you need incentive to stay at home and save your money, there's no better way to get that incentive than to get out and travel long distance, or attempt to travel long distance and watch your connecting flights disappear, and then sit huddled in a cold airport that has no amenities besides overpriced machines filled with superannuated snacks. And when you do get to wherever you were going, you may discover that your luggage is vacationing someplace else. A hefty volume could be written just about air travel. I'm completely on board with Doug Lansky's concept. Unfortunately, his finished product misses the bus, train, ship, etc.

What makes a book like this illuminating, and funny (and why else would you want to relive aggravation if it weren't to see someone else stewing and fuming?) is examples: pictures, stories, collected anecdotes. And there is some of that to be found in this slender book, just not enough of it. Roughly half of the book hands things off to lists and bar charts, and reading lists and bar charts is what too many of us do at our jobs. The airport and airline photos are pure gold, as is the precious cargo of "personal worsts" in flights, drives, toilets, etc. from around the world.

The good news, for future editions, is that Lansky is soliciting horror stories from readers for future editions. So like the "Darwin Awards," which this book is patterned after, the "Titanic Awards" may well evolve into a more useful and gleeful book. The 2010 edition, however, is little more than a leaky boat.
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3.0 out of 5 stars That sinking feeling July 29, 2010
Format:Paperback
If you've ever had that sinking feeling that your vacation is going all wrong you can identify with this book. It contains lists such as most hated airport, country with the most harassing street vendors and very short stories; worst exit from a bus, worst carry-on souvenir. The lists and stories were chosen by 2,000 people in 80 countries taking a survey. The black and white photos of airline meals and airline paint schemes add to the distaste of bad travel.

Some of the stories are amusing, most are more horrifying than humorous, especially if you travel a lot, and they will make you wonder: what is wrong with the airline industry? Of course they can also make you grateful that you have not had some of these experiences.
Many of the surveys made me wonder what the reasoning was. The US comes across as having the 2nd worst highways?? China, Vietnam, Russia, Mexico all have better highways??? Most of course are opinions, but the Grand Canyon as a lame natural wonder - what were they looking at?
There are some personal worst from various travel writers.
This is not really a sit down - read- story book, but more of a pick up and glance through. If that's what you are looking for then this is it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun August 17, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just like watching conflict on TV from the comfort of one's couch, it is reassuring to read travel mishaps. There, but by the grace of God, go I...
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More About the Author

Doug Lansky is an American travel writer based in Sweden. He spent about 10 years traveling the world nonstop, visiting over 100 countries, and has since lived outside the US for an additional 13 years. Doug has contributed to Esquire, Men's Journal, The Guardian, National Geographic Adventure, Reader's Digest, COLORS Magazine, Public Radio, and many others. He has written books for Rough Guides and Lonely Planet (advice and photo books, not guides) and has had a nationally syndicated travel column in 40 newspapers around the United States. He has always been mindful of the effects of travel writing and the impact of tourism, and currently writes about this in a regular column for Skift.

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