Customer Reviews: Toilets of the World
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars48
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on January 3, 2007
Although the title (Toilets of the World) may not grab you, it is one of the more interesting little travel books I've seen in some time. The photos are terrific and the information is invaluable. If you are planning an overseas trip and want to experience the true local flavors, you should consult this book so as to avoid what could be some unpleasant culture shock before you get there. Remember the 'Seinfeld' episode where Geroge would not use a bathroom during the trip to India? This book will help you understand why he had a problem with that. This book also contains some terrific snapshots of worldwide culture that my high school students find fascinating - an impetus for them to take a closer look at the different areas of the world.
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on April 2, 2007
This books is worth it for the pictures alone. It will bring back memories for anyone who has every encounterd a toilet that they just weren't sure how to use.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 13, 2015
So I happened upon this book while skimming the listings on Amazon; it looked interesting, and I bought it. Toilets of the World informs and amuses while expanding your awareness of toilet habits facilities around the world. Some practices seem primitive, while the Japanese toilets are amazing in their technology and flamboyancy. Here's a book with a good mix of texts and photographs that can be read in a couple sittings, or as a commode side book in a couple of weeks.
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on March 13, 2007
for anyone interested in architecture this gives a great overview of a much overlooked subject--the toilet. educational as well as humorous.
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on April 13, 2015
This is a splendid book adorned with 204 photographs, most in beautiful vibrant color! There are only 3 illustrations in black and white. Would you like to meet these young ladies? You can on page 256. They are also both in color, lovely smiles on their faces, sitting on a Roman forica in Ephesus, Turkey—with their pants down! I can already tell you they are in trouble!! They do not have a sponge-stick to finish the job.

Around the world there are many ways of dealing with bodily evacuations when one “has to go.” The authoresses present here how many cultures handle the matter. But very early in the book they give the reader a full paragraph of questions that beg to be answered: “Why do pigs clean toilets in India? Why are there entire fields of toilets in South Africa? Why are there toilets made of solid gold in Hong Kong? Why are there so many toilets on stilts in Panama? Why don’t the Turkish use toilet paper? Why do the French squat? Why do the Costa Ricans squat? Why don’t the Brazilians flush toilet paper? Why do Japanese toilets have eight buttons? Why do urinals pop up out of the ground in London? Why does the space suttle make ‘people patties’? The answers to these questions lie within….” Each geographic section has its own introduction.

This is an elegant presentation of a topic that has been taboo for centuries. Most of the color photos were taken by Sian James of Vancouver, British Columbia. Thus the greater percentage of the book illustrations may easily be attributed to her. The text is attributed to Morna E. Gregory, the co-author. There are no attributions for at least one—the black-and-white engraving seen on p. 9 showing the dumping of chamber pots onto the sidewalk/street below—which is actually an illustration from the medieval writing: 'PRAXIS RERUM CRIMINALIUM’ by Joose de Damhouder, (1554). There is one unattributed black-and-white antique ad on p. 11 (no date) that is most likely to be credited to the authority of Simon Kirby (p. 255).

The captions tell the reader where the photo was taken—and, hence, where the toilet was located. The book is divided up into sections beginning with a brief history, then on to toilets in North America, off to Central and South America, then the toilets of Europe, then of Africa, of Oceania, of Asia, ending with a brief section entitled “Find Out More” giving us a very brief list of books, of “reference websites” and then of “toilet websites.” One of the most enjoyable contributions was the whimsical section showing fantastically creative toilets (pp. 248-251) showing delightful toilets such as the urinal that springs to life laughing, holding a camera in one of its eight hands when a man stands in front only to discover that he must sway from side to side to keep up with the moving urinal to, as the text says, “…avoid soiling the floor.” They even show a urinal for women in the Whiskey Café in Montreal, Quebec, Canada (p. 24f). They illustrate both the squatting type as well as the one more familiar in the West. The photos run from the most primitive to the most ultra-modern.

This is a great book for an eye-opening look! Sit down for a spell and enjoy. Great job!
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on October 28, 2015
This is the perfect coffee-table book for a party; at least, for the parties *I* like to have. It's a great ice-breaker to be able to look someone in the eye and say in a serious voice, "Which toilet is your favorite? Do you prefer the one with the mannequin, or the weird hold in the ground?" If you're tired of debating the same old politics, it's so nice to have a new avenue for conversation.
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on July 18, 2011
I am a self-confessed toiletbagger. I enjoy travelling to new places and checking out the facilities. This book piqued my interest and I awaited the arrival at my home. I was not disappointed. Appropriately placed in the "reading room" I enjoyed leafing through the pages and encountering some familiar scenes. There are some interesting tidbits about international personalities, common cultural treatments of one of the few unifying aspects of human existence and outright amazing feats of plumbing wizardry. I have a trip to London planned and will be taking the addresses of several facilities along in hopes of experiencing them firsthand.
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on March 31, 2009
This book was purchased as a humorous gift for a family member, but I am seriously considering purchasing another copy for myself and displaying it prominently on my bookshelf. It is fascinating to me to see how other cultures differ from ours in this most basic function. The photos are great as well. I've never thought of toilets as artistic before, but this book may have changed my opinion.
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on December 22, 2014
I bought these as for a "white elephant" office gift exchange. I briefly thumbed through it when it arrived, and it honestly looked interesting! I got a bottle of stinky perfume-y lotion and managed to barter my coworker into taking it so I could take the "toilet book" off of her hands.

score! what was meant to be a silly gift is actually something I made an effort to get back, and looking through it more thoroughly, I found it to be really interesting, and I'm glad I snagged it!
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on March 7, 2015
I bought this book after reading a review from Geek Moms and I was thrilled with it. This book offers a fascinating glimpse into toilets the world over. It is perfect for distracting my sons while we are waiting places, and the compact size of the book is perfect for a purse or backpack.
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