Thursday, October 25, 2007

Caught In A Crossfire That I Don't Understand

I started writing a lengthy post last night, but got a bit too deeply into the wine and it veered off into incoherence. I'll finish it up later (waking up a bit slowly today, so not quite there yet), but in the meantime, I should get something up -- this place has been a bit dead lately (I've been really sick! Sorry!).

#44 -- "Bad Lands" by Tony Wheeler

A few months back, I found myself idly fantasizing about traveling to so-called pariah states and then writing a book about them -- yeah, I haven't actually BEEN to any, but a plan's gotta start somewhere. I was almost immediately deflated, though, when I saw this at the bookstore. Admittedly, Wheeler (Lonely Planet founder) is probably the better guy to do it.

I put aside my jealousy and got it -- it's got a chapter on Albania, after all. I'm actually surprised at how good the book is. It's level-headed, sympathetic, and lacking in Dangerous Places-style machismo. The coverage of Burma/Myanmar is particularly thoughtful.

Some of the sections made me want to visit the areas covered (Iran, Afghanistan) -- others (Saudi Arabia, North Korea) not so much. Not that any of those trips are imminent, natch.

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