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The Travel Book Hardcover – October 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Travel Book
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 5th edition (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741044510
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741044515
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 10.6 x 14 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Even the most avid readers of travel guides and travel literature will not have encountered a book quite like this one. It is huge and heavy but reasonably priced, and it is vastly informative, which is its calling card. All the writers who contribute to the Lonely Planet travel guide series have put heads, knowledge, and experience together and come up with an A-Z series of capsule profiles of every country in the world, 230 in number. Each country gets a two-page spread, on which are placed, like luscious dishes set before one at a feast, illustrations that are typical of Lonely Planet's unique, non-picture-postcard brand of shots. The accompanying text presents a cogent rundown of the best experiences for gaining the essence of the place; books to read beforehand; music to listen to before you go; food and drink to consume once you are there; and a few brief but pungent closing comments on the trademark things to do and buy and see and what, ultimately, is the best surprise awaiting the tourist. For borrowers in the travel section to sit down, look at, and make notes from, without taking off the premises. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

San Francisco Chronicle, November 14, 2004
'Lonely Planet's photographs are technically perfect...and with all those images, every reader will find something to admire.'

More About the Author

Living on a remote coral atoll for five years with no phone, plumbing and limited solar electricity prevented Celeste from getting an early start in her writing career - although it sounds idyllic, washing laundry by hand, digging your own well and sustenance fishing takes a big chunk out of one's day. She now lives in a small village on Tahiti, complete with flushing toilet and an Internet connection, and her travel articles have magically crossed the seas to appear in newspapers and magazines including the LA Times and Islands Magazine. She has contributed to around 40 Lonely Planet guidebooks and her award winning travel narratives have been published in Travelers' Tales anthologies. Having travelled to some 40 countries, Celeste speaks fluent French as well as conversational Spanish, Thai and Indonesian. In her spare time she can be found singing with a French Tahitian choral group, Tahitian dancing or distance swimming in Tahiti's spectacular lagoon. You can find Celeste on the web at www.celestebrash.com or read her blog at htpp://coconutradio.blogspot.com.

Customer Reviews

This is a great coffee table book.
C. Timmers
Lonely planet also has many other great books and travel guides but this is my favorite.
B. Emory
I can't belive the good quality pictures and all the great information.
Honey chess

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

165 of 173 people found the following review helpful By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I had no idea the editors of the Lonely Planet guides would have such an extensive library of National Geographic-quality photographs. After all, like other travelers, I am used to the miniscule text and overabundant data of their inevitably tattered handbooks. But this oversized coffee table book is nothing you can carry with you too easily, nor would you want to as this is not a comprehensive reference source for global travel. It's merely a staggering feast for the eyes.

The stunning images in this wonderful book provide a potent reminder of what a diverse place the world is, as it covers each of the 230 countries existing today in visually enticing two-page entries. The text for each country is minimal but creative within the following standard sections:

--"Best Time to Visit" - Not only time of year but in some cases, when in history was the best time to be there.

--"Essential Experiences" - A bulleted list of the top five to eight things to do in that country.

--"Getting Under the Skin" - What to read, listen, watch, eat and drink in each country...what happened to "smell"?

--"In a Word" - The one word or expression in the country's native tongue that epitomizes its spirit.

--"Trademarks" - What you immediately think of when someone brings up the name of the country.

--"Surprises" - ...which really amounts to some interesting trivia and arguable observations, e.g., under the entry for the United States - "New Yorkers love to help strangers."

Your enjoyment of this comprehensive approach will depend on what your degree of wanderlust is. Since mine is quite high, I love poring through the book to get a visual sense of each country's identity.
Read more ›
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67 of 75 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on December 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The adventurous folks at Lonely Planet have given us this nearly perfect book of photos and travel possibilities from around the world. Every nation on Earth, and a few non-nations like Antarctica or Puerto Rico, gets equal coverage in two-page spreads, regardless of size, influence, or fame. Now since this is a British book, the recommendations for each country can be a little curious, especially what the Lonely Planet editors think is representative of the United States (which you'll find curious if you're American). In general, just watch out for some poorly considered travel recommendations for out-of-the-way countries that are basically stereotypes, and merely sound cool but which the Lonely Planet folks couldn't have possibly done in person. Examples include "beach-hopping from one gorgeous sun-soaked spot to another" in Albania, or "taking a boat ride down the Euphrates River" in Iraq. Also watch for under-written stereotypical moments that list poverty and sex as calling cards of Cuba, fish as a trademark of Finland, national pride as characteristic of Moldova, or Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra movie as a real cinematic representation of Egypt. You have to give Lonely Planet credit for at least trying in the writing department though, and there are usually true treasures in their recommendations for each nation's literature, music, foods, and drinks. But in the end, the true value of this gigantic book lies in the tremendous photography, with consistently eye-catching shots of natural beauty, architecture, and especially real people from every spot on Earth. This is how armchair traveling is done. [~doomsdayer520~]
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Waiyip Tung on September 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, ... and continues on to the last country Zimbabwe, Lonely Planet has put together an extraordinary travel book that brings us to every country in the world. Listed alphabetically from A-Z, each country occupies 2 pages with vivid pictures and some impression of the lands. Even tiny Pacific islands get the same amount of space as everybody else, regardless of their size and popularity in tourism. Using a more liberal concept of 'country', it brings the total number to 230.

In just one volume, it makes no attempt to be a comprehensive reference book. Instead there are many fun ways to use it. Flipping it to a random page to get some inspiration for your next travel destination (you will likely end up in some distant place rather hard to get to.) Cover the title and try to name the country by the pictures alone (a challenging game given the pictures are more focused on people and landscape than instantly recognizable landmarks.) Or just read it cover to cover as I have prepared to do.

This book evokes the same kind of exhilaration from travelling. I was joyous like a kid while walking away from the bookstore with this 3kg book.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra W. on November 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is the most beautiful, inspirational and informative coffee table book and I would highly recommend it to anyone who travels, dreams about traveling, or has children who want to see the world in a much more exciting way than sitting in a geography class or looking at a globe or atlas.

Every country comes alive in this book. The photos are spectacular and I always get a smile or a laugh out of the "in a word" phrase for each place... "Bula" for Fiji and "Hakuna Matata" for Tanzania are so spot on.

It's so much fun to revisit the 28 countries I've traveled in and even more exciting to find new places to go... I wish I had this book when I was a kid, or at least when I started traveling.

(A great companion book to this is "1,000 Places to See Before You Die.)
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