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The Rough Guide to India (Rough Guides) Paperback – November 1, 2016
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
About the Author
Rough Guides are written by expert authors who are passionate about both writing and travel. They have detailed knowledge of the areas they write about—having either traveled extensively or lived there—and their expertise shines through on every page. It's priceless information, delivered with wit and insight, providing the down-to-earth, honest read that is the hallmark of Rough Guides.
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Upon reviewing it, I am very disappointed. There seems to be very little research since the last edition. In a few places where new hotels have opened and are featured prominently on TripAdvisor with great ratings, there is no change in the listing (including descriptions) of the hotels from the earlier edition. In one situation (Naggar) where I followed the old edition's hotel recommendation and quickly was disappointed (and left), I heard from *MANY* in the town views about the owner that confirmed my negative impression (pure greed). The negative impressions were unanimous, yet ROUGH GUIDE just repeated the exact same advice as the earlier edition.
So it seems pretty clear to me that in many (all?) cases, there was no further research from the earlier edition and not even checking out TripAdvisor to see if some most-recommended places were being overlooked.
This book has more information and variety than the Lonely Planet series, which has become more and more formulaic. Is it a good guide? I'll know when I've gone to India, which hopefully will happen in a few months.
There's some "political" (i.e. left-wing) nattering in these pages, but less than in previous Rough Guides, and anyway, it's a travel book. Who cares what this author thought of the Raj? The travel reader wants good maps, thoughtful reviews, and nuts-and-bolts facts. This Rough Guide provides all these. Combine it with the beautiful, full-color Dorling-Kindersley guide, and you have it all.
First, the formatting of the Kindle book is terrible. It really is set up for a novel, not for a guide book. You loose all the in-context sidebars and interesting facts, for example. The maps are in the Kindle book, but they're super low-resolution images. Click on one to zoom in on it, and you see none of the detail that exists in the paper copy. The index is also missing, making it impossible to find smaller cities or points of interest (you can use the table of contents to find regions or major cities). All in all, a huge failure as a useful travel reference.
The written content is great, since it's from the paper copy - it's just impossible to use while traveling. Like I said, I've cut apart my paper copy and have the chapters I need in my backpack instead.
That being said, on a few occasions the guide listed activities that flat out didn't exist. In Kochi (Kerala) it described a new mall and how amazing it was, listing it as a place that foreigners should go see. Problem was, the mall hadn't opened yet and won't be for another six months (as of December 2012). So, the writers of the book never visited the place and pretended they did. In my opinion doing this even once is completely unacceptable for a travel guide and immediately removes them from consideration.
Another mark against them is that several of their city maps were completely inaccurate and served only to confuse us. When a city map doesn't show a roundabout you're instantly lost. I do blame them for one fight with my wife because I insisted we were following the map correctly (we were, the map was just wrong). They should have at least said "map not to scale or not for actual directions."
Overall, if I was to travel again I might buy the Rough Guide as a supplement to other guide books but I would never rely solely on it again.
But the kindle version is almost completely useless. The maps are unusable, and that is what a guidebook is for.
The images, another enticing part of guide books, were also missing.
So, I tried to read the maps on my iPhone. Also useless. They were all too low resolution to read street names or monuments. While the idea of a kindle version of a 1000 page book is appealing (especially if one is traveling light and on the road), I found this a ridiculous adaption for the kindle reader. Completely useless.