Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Tony Wheeler, author of Bad Lands - A tourist on the Axis of Evil, is the originator of Lonely Planet who in this book describes his travels to a variety of supposedly evil states (Lybia, Saudi-Arabia, North Corea, Cuba, Albania, Iran, Iraq (the Kurdistan part), Afghanistan and Burma). The book is not a pretty read in the sense that Wheeler is simply not such a great author, but it is interesting where it is a guide book, where he describes what he finds as tourist infrastructure in these countries. Wheeler is at his weakest when he tries to give political analysis of a country in two paragraphs, he also preaches to the choir too much when he derides American hostility against some of these countries. Yet, for the countries I was less informed about (Albania for example, or Lybia) his background information, if very short, was helpful and interesting. Furthermore, some of his observations were simply fascinating and made me go to these countries quite badly (Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Albania mainly). The only bad thing I guess then is that I have no money or time to do any of this anytime soon. But, who knows maybe I'll find a job that gets me to these places one day.