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    $10.17 $8.74 list($14.95)
    1. Skeletons on the Zahara : A True
    $18.47 list($27.99)
    2. Lonely Planet East Africa
    $16.09 $12.68 list($22.99)
    3. Frommer's South Africa
    $16.31 $15.84 list($23.99)
    4. Lonely Planet Egypt (Lonely Planet
    $16.31 $15.39 list($23.99)
    5. Lonely Planet Morocco (Lonely
    6. Listen!the Wind
    $16.50 $16.40 list($25.00)
    7. South Africa (Eyewitness Travel
    $15.63 $15.20 list($22.99)
    8. Lonely Planet Kenya (Lonely Planet
    $6.29 $4.33 list($6.99)
    9. Homicide
    $65.00 $42.74
    10. The Valley of the Kings: The Tombs
    $17.15 $16.79 list($25.99)
    11. Lonely Planet South Africa, Lesotho
    $16.50 $16.45 list($25.00)
    12. Egypt (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
    $19.79 $19.74 list($29.99)
    13. Lonely Planet West Africa (Lonely
    $10.20 $9.12 list($15.00)
    14. Dark Star Safari : Overland from
    $19.79 list($29.99)
    15. Lonely Planet Southern Africa
    $13.57 $12.94 list($19.95)
    16. The Rough Guide to Egypt
    $17.15 $15.99 list($25.99)
    17. Lonely Planet Ethiopia & Eritrea
    $5.95 $3.89
    18. Lonely Planet Healthy Travel Africa
    $9.60 $6.92 list($12.00)
    19. Bill Bryson's African Diary
    $7.16 $5.26 list($7.95)
    20. Adventures in Ancient Egypt (Good

    1. Skeletons on the Zahara : A True Story of Survival
    by Dean King
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316159352
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
    Publisher: Back Bay Books
    Sales Rank: 6444
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Some stories are so enthralling they deserve to be retold generation after generation. The wreck in 1815 of the Connecticut merchant ship, Commerce, and the subsequent ordeal of its crew in the Sahara Desert, is one such story. With Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival, Dean King refreshes the popular nineteenth-century narrative once read and admired by Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, and Abraham Lincoln. King’s version, which actually draws from two separate first person accounts of the Commerce's crew, offers a page-turning blend of science, history, and classic adventure. The book begins with a seeming false start: tracing the lives of two merchants from North Africa, Seid and Sidi Hamet, who lose their fortunes—and almost their lives—when their massive camel caravan arrives at a desiccated oasis. King then jumps to the voyage of the Commerce under Captain Riley and his 11-man crew. After stops in New Orleans and Gibraltar, the ship falls off course en route to the Canary Islands and ultimately wrecks at the infamous Cape Bojador. After the men survive the first predations of the nomads on the shore, they meander along the coast looking for a way inland as their supplies dwindle. They subsist for days by drinking their own urine. Eventually, to their horror, they discover that they have come aground on the edge of the Sahara Desert. They submit themselves, with hopes of getting food and water, as slaves to the Oulad Bou Sbaa. After days of abuse, they are bought by Hamet, who, after his own experiences with his failed caravan (described at the novels opening), sympathizes with the plight of the crew. Together, they set off on a hellish journey across the desert to collect a bounty for Hamet in Swearah.King embellishes this compelling narrative throughout with scientific and historical material explaining the origins of the camel, the market for English and American slaves, and the stages of dehydration. He also humanizes the Sahrawi with background on the tribes and on the lives of Hamet and Seid. This material, doled out in sufficient amounts to enrich the story without derailing it makes Skeletons on the Zahara a perfectly entertaining bit of history that feels like a guilty pleasure.--Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

    Reviews (36)

    5-0 out of 5 stars 1815 shipwreck and slavery, told under the Sahara sun today
    An 1815 shipwreck and slavery by Arabs told under the Sahara sun today

    Dean King studied Captain James Riley's story of his 1815 shipwreck off the coast of Africa, and the subsequent slavery of Riley and crew when captured by the Arabs.After months in the formidable Sahara Desert, Riley and crew were freed from being hostages, by Englishman William Willshire.Riley returned to the States and in 1816 published his book, "Narrative of the Loss of the American Brig Commerce."Riley accepted an 1819 appointment from the U.S. Surveyor General Edward Tiffin to survey land in northwest Ohio, following the U.S. Treaties with the Indian Nations.In 1822, Riley platted Willshire, Ohio, to honor his benefactor, Wm. Willshire.Riley went on to become Northwest Ohio's Representative to Ohio Congress, 1834/24.In the 1830's, Riley returned to sea.U.S. President Abraham Lincoln wrote that he had read Riley's book, which influenced his attitudes concerning slavery.

    Dean King read Riley's "Narrative," and became so intrigued with Riley's story, that he planned and implemented a trip in the Sahara, following Riley's route on camels.King questioned his Arab guides and related stories written by Riley, to confirm the authenticity of Riley's "Narrative."King kept a daily journal which is now posted on his website,'s daily journal is worthy of being a companion book to his book about Riley, because it takes the reader with him under the hot desert sun.

    How do I know to advise the reader to read Dean King's book about Captain James Riley?I served as Director of the Mercer County Historical Museum, The Riley Home, Celina, Ohio, for over three decades.I wrote a biography of Captain James Riley, about his ancestors, and descendants, as well as about Riley's entire life in Connecticut and Ohio.Riley's son, James Watson Riley, platted Celina, Ohio in 1834.At this Mercer County Historical Museum, the Riley Home, archival collections of Captain James Riley, include Riley's ship logs: his international correspondence with William Willshire, British Vice Consul; his correspondence with members of the U.S. Government, and his correspondence with his children.The archives also include histories of Riley's descendants in the United States, Canada, and Ireland.

    I had the opportunity to become acquainted with Dean King in 2000 when he was beginning his journey to learn about Riley. We have continued our communication these past years.April 23/24, 2005, the Members of the Mercer County Historical Society were proud to host Dean King as speaker at the public program, partially funded by the Ohio Humanities Council.Descendants of Captain James Riley, from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, and Florida attended this program, and they shared their family stories about Captain Riley with Dean King.

    Dean King's book, "Skeletons in the Zahara," should be read by anyone with the slightest hint of maritime adventure running through his veins.King's knowledge of sailing ships and the sea is superb.

    King's books should be read by historians who will value not only the history of the War of 1812 maritime era, but also King's detailed footnotes and extensive bibliography.

    King's books should be read by literature clubs who read for the pure pleasure of reading and discussing good books.King's literary talents are of the quality of the classical authors.

    At his young age, Dean King is an uncommon man who has achieved that broad experience and ability, to be able to walk among peers in his academic world, as well as to be able to walk among camel herders, sailors, and the common man, and to tell their stories well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Thrilling Read by a Master Storyteller
    This book is simply incredible. I was hooked by the first page and couldn't bare to part with it until I was finished. King's ability to put the reader under the Saharan desert sun is almost scary. I felt every agonizing step that Riley and his crew took: from the burning sand and stinging stones to the torturous rack of stubborn camels. This is one of the best historic adventure novels I've ever read. I can't wait for King's next!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Thirst-Quenching Read
    I am a direct descendant of Capt. James Riley (he was my great-great-great-great grandfather), and as such, grew up vaguely familiar with the story of his shipwreck and survival.Happily, I did not inherit his nose (see his portrait on p. 13).Unhappily, I share his somewhat questionable navigational skills.

    I read Riley's original memoir, "Sufferings in Africa," several years before King's book came out, and agree with other reviewers that it is a fascinating tale well-told in Riley's words and certainly worth reading.However, King's retelling adds a level of depth to Riley's account.

    For example, when reading Riley's memoir, I was baffled by his mention periodically of crossing paths on the vast desert with other shipmates who had been taken captive by other nomads. King's maps and narrative helped immensely to show how the nomads travelled, and where, and why they would, at seemingly random points, meet up and then go their separate ways.

    By interweaving Riley's memoir with that of one of his crew, who also survived and wrote a lesser known memoir upon his return, King brings clarity to Riley's saga.The shared experience of a shipwreck as seen through the eyes of two very different men (one subordinate to the other) helps you see that what may be presented as objective by one was very much filtered and interpreted by the individuals experiencing this ordeal.Accordingly, one can extrapolate that the other 6 or so survivors, had they left any written records of the event (and perhaps they have) would have, in their own way, had different tales to tell as well.(What do you suppose became of Dick Delisle, the cook? As the only Black on board, he had the least to gain by returning to 19th century America and the best chances of long term survival and acceptance in his captor's culture if he were willing to convert to Islam). After all, some came back and went stark raving mad.Others lived to ripe old ages.Thanks to King's diligent research, we know all this: Riley's book will not provide you with this information.

    In short, King's maps, glossaries, careful footnotes, and analysis help clarify many things that were less accessible in Riley's original telling.More importantly, King's story elicits in the reader empathy for Riley as a flawed but principled and sensitive man.You are left understanding that were Riley a different sort of person, he could have returned from this ordeal condemning dark-skinned people as evil based on his horrific experience.Instead, he came back staunchly opposed to the institution of slavery.

    By all means, read Riley's memoir.It will leave you wanting to know more, and you'll find King's book proves invaluable in quenching that thirst for knowledge.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Recommendation: read Riley's own account
    King has taken two first-hand accounts of this 1815 ship wreck story -- Robbin's journal (1817)and Riley's well-known Sufferings in Africa (1817)--and combined them into his own day-by-day account of this survival adventure. And, although his book is nicely written, it adds little to the record. Riley's book was in its time read by over a million readers. It was a favorite of Abe Lincoln. It appeared in numerous editions from 1817 through the Civil War years. It was, and, is called "one of the best adventure books ever written," and is now available in a paperback edition of 316 pages (published in 2000)by Lyons Press. With 195,000 books published last year, in my opinion, King's rehash is one we could have done without. If you want authenticy, immediacy and the real story; read Riley's own first-hand account not this on-looker's composited version.

    4-0 out of 5 stars This book will make you thirsty
    A great book that is in many ways reminiscent of "Endurance".In other ways the story couldn't be more different.From the safety of my living room I was able to feel the extreme discomfort experienced by Riley and his crew.In some senses it makes Shackletons experience seem like a prolonged picnic in a winter wonderland.Ace navigator, Captain Riley was not.The crew of the "Commerce" blundered into a misfortune easily avoidable anddifficult to imagine.Where as the Endurance crew had penguins aplenty and were awash in water, Rileys gang was forced to resort of the consumption of the foulest of substances in order to survive.Worst of all was their lack of control in determining their own destiny, haven been bought and sold more often than the Brooklyn Bridge.King did a great job presenting the story from beginning to end, with an epilogue that cleans up all of the missing bits of each participant in this epic drama.

    You may want to keep in mind that the glossary of Arabic expressions appears toward the back of the book and it's a great help.If you have a world atlas, you may want to dust it off and keep it nearby as you read along. ... Read more

    2. Lonely Planet East Africa
    by Mary Fitzpatrick, Nick Ray, T. Parkinson
    list price: $27.99
    our price: $18.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740591313
    Catlog: Book (2003-06-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 26014
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Whether you choose to visit mountain gorillas in Rwanda, trek Tanzania's Kilimanjaro or join the beach parties at Lamu and Zanzibar, you'll have a wild time in East Africa.

    • 16 page colour wildlife guide
    • in-depth coverage of the region's tribal groups and cultures
    • useful information on organised safaris and national parks
    • up-to-date information on visas, border crossings and safety
    • 117 detailed maps, including full-colour regional map
    • covers: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi
    ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the only guide to have in East Africa
    I am a solo female traveler who has just spent three months in East Africa. Every traveler I met had this guide. I agree that it is the 'bible' of east africa. Travelling to this area you don't have much of a choice of travel guides and this gives good information on all the little villages, how to get around, how to survive a matatu.... all the visa infomation, cultural information.... everything you need to have an awesome trip.

    I also recommend getting the Trekking East Africa guide if you plan on doing any trekking. It goes more in depth then just the East Africa guide and if you find yourself on a mountain you will want a detailed map, which the East Africa guide lacks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute necessity for travellers to east Africa
    There are many places in the world you can travel to without a Lonly Planet. East Africa is not part of that. East Africa is no doubt one of the most beautiful parts of the world but travelling and getting around here is not easy at all and has many "dangers" one should be aware of.

    There are many ways to do it. You can go on an all organised expensive safari in Kenya or Tanzania. Even then I would think you would like to see some of the places outside the parks like Nairobi or Arusha.

    The best way to do it is to travel by yourself. I have done it a couple of times now and find that all the organization by travel agents does not make up for the flexibility you have when you do it yourself. I have been in bad weather conditions necessitating an immediate change of plans. I have been so overwhelmed by the beauty of the Serengeti that I decided on the spot to stay longer. I have been so disgusted by some hotels I prebooked that I decided instantly to look for another one.

    This book gives excellent and absolutely necessary guidance to do so. The getting around sections are good and up to date and, believe me, without it you will not find your way out of, e.g.Arusha on a bus to Nairobi. Local assistance is difficult to find.

    Booking hotels in countries like Tanzania is not like we are used in the rest of the world. In most of the parks you have one or two lodges and if they are full you are outside; not a nice pprospect when you are right in the middle of the animals. The pricing information is fair and, again, you have to do some planning given the huge differences in prices between hotels.If you plan to stay in the Rhino lodge in the Ngorogoro Crater and the only open one is the Sopa, it will set you back at least an additional $100.

    All the "facts for visitors" in particular the medical sections are good and should be read carefully. They can keep you from very annoying situations.

    The safari sections are good and provide an abundance of companies you can organise your own tours with. They can be checked out in advance. The best way to do it however, if you have time, is to spend a few days in Nairobi or Arusha and compare the offers of the various companies and talk to the owners to see what they provide. You will be amazed how good and cheap these local operators are. A further advantage is that they go off the beaten track, so that you are not having a situation where eleven Volkswagen busses are in a circle around a sleeping lion.

    For those reallly into it, try out camping in the Serengeti or Arusha. You will find yourself one with nature and, allthough there are no fences and you should keep a good fire going, relatively safe.

    For those less adventurous and on a more tight schedule, the Guide still contains such a wealth of information and little sections on 'nice to knows' that it is well worth the investment.

    If I would be allowed to advise I would prefer the Tanzanian side to the Kenyan side for going on safari. It is definitely more beautiful ond not half as busy.

    Finally, I will never forget the images I took away from this part of the world. Cheeta's running through the grasslands in chase of prey. Lion mothers tending their cubs, the vast herds of wildebeest, the zebra's, giraffes peeping curiously through the leaves at your car and the wonderful sunsets sitting at a campfire and reflecting and the beauty of creation.

    I hope you will enjoy your trip.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Don't leave home (for East Africa) without this book!
    I have lived and worked in Africa for 10 years. Loney Planet's East Africa book is "THE BIBLE" of travel in East Africa. You can throw away all the rest of the other travel books for East Africa...this is the one!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The one book to take on any safari to Kenya/Tanzania
    One does not "read" 700 pages of facts about every conceiveable aspect of five countries in East Africa. But as preparation for a visit to the region, no better single source seems to exist for the thoughtful traveler. As the departure date draws near, more and more questions arise about everything from Hepatitis A to the stripes(?) on zebras. With an excellent index, detailed table of contents, and outstanding color plates of wildlife and the people, good and useful answers abound. And no sugar coating. Pungent comments on social conditions, and "cross-cultural" differences lead to one to approach the unfamiliar with confidence. The book has us ready to go. We'll take it along as the only reference we need. ... Read more

    3. Frommer's South Africa
    by Pippa deBruyn
    list price: $22.99
    our price: $16.09
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 076453890X
    Catlog: Book (2003-11-10)
    Publisher: Frommers
    Sales Rank: 9891
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Meticulously researched and beautifully written by a South African native, Frommer's South Africa, 3rd Edition, should be the discerning reader's only guide to a memorable trip to southern Africa, including the lion-rich reserves of Botswana and the wonders of Victoria Falls. It offers complete safari coverage, from what to wear to the top game lodges to tracking tips from professional safari trackers. But there's so much more:

    * An exploration of Cape Town, perhaps the world's most beautiful city, surrounded by mountains and sea, and the nearby picturesque Winelands country;

    * Whale-watching and eating seafood on the Western Cape;

    * Walking through carpets of flowers in Namaqualand plains after the first spring rains;

    * Rafting or surfing the churning waters of the Zambezi River.

    Frommer's South Africa, 3rd Edition, gives you all that and much more, from the best places to stay and eat to expert advice on getting there, getting around, and having the trip of a lifetime! ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars South Africa Trip
    An excellent reference book for anyone visiting Southern Africa. We only found a few minor errors but the recommendations on where to go and what to see were very useful.

    We're looking forward to going again and will certainly take this book along. We didn't have enough time to see it all.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Don't Leave Home Without It!
    We visited South Africa for 20 days in July 2000, driving from Cape Town to Kruger. Before we left we sat down at a large book store and reviewed all their South African travel books. This one looked the best and proved to be very useful, particularly for accomodations. Some of the prices had changed but the standards and services were exactly as described. This is a great book for travellers who are above the backpacker/budget level but not up to "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."

    3-0 out of 5 stars Prices already outdated; frustrating index
    I went in March 2000 and returned a week ago from the Western Cape. ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL TRIP! But, talking about the book...

    Prices for gas and some of the attractions, like Cape Point and a couple nature reserves we visited were already outdated. Gas is nearly R3/litre! I understand their economy isn't doing well, so they've had to increase prices to the visitors. Tourism is their no. 1 business.

    There were several things I remember reading in the text, then later, when I wanted to see it again, I couldn't find them in the index...stuff like the Vergelegen Winery (which has amazing views and delicious wines!) and others. Not all boldface terms are in the index. This is something that could really be improved!

    Lastly, I must reiterate what my hosts said: They've seen many rediculous books on Cape Town and the Western Cape and this is not one of them.

    I debated between 3 and 4 stars, but remembering my frustrations with the index, I knocked it down to 3. :)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great guide to South Africa
    In December 99 we used Frommer's 00 South Africa for a nine day tour by car through the Western Cape -- a good test for relevance and comprehensiveness. We found it by far the most helpful of the guides we looked at. An amazing amount of detail, good maps, lots of interesting background information, and thoroughly entertaining. How all guidebooks should be. ... Read more

    4. Lonely Planet Egypt (Lonely Planet Egypt)
    by Andrew Humphreys, Siona Jenkins, Gadi Farfour, Anthony Sattin, Joann Fletcher
    list price: $23.99
    our price: $16.31
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740594630
    Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 26146
    Average Customer Review: 2.94 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Music and sheesha smoke wafting from the open doorway of a Cairo coffeehouse, the rippling dunes and blinding white sand of the Western Desert, and the awe-inspiring temples of Abu Simbel and Karnak - our bestselling guide to the ancient land of the Pharaohs covers every corner of this inspiring country.

    • TAKE A CRUISE with our dedicated Nile Cruises chapter - we'll give you the low-down on everything that floats, from local feluccas to luxurious cruise ships

    • GET AROUND with our 128 detailed maps - including customized itineraries and a walking tour map to help you discover the medieval alleyways of Islamic Cairo

    • GET THE BACKGROUND on everything from pyramids to papyrus with our special sections on Pharaonic Egypt and the Egyptian Museum

    • DISCOVER THE OUTDOORS with our comprehensive coverage of Red Sea diving and desert safaris - we know every shipwreck and oasis!

    • TALK THE TALK with the help of our Egyptian Arabic language chapter ... Read more

    Reviews (18)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Didn't Meet My Expectations
    I just completed a three week trip to Egypt. Some of the areas I visited included Cairo, Sharm el-Sheik, Mt. Sinai, Western Desert, Alexandria, Luxor and Aswan. While the book does have solid information regarding places to stay, restaurants to eat at, Internet cafes, etc., it does not provide its readers with a good, thorough backgrounder on each of the areas I visited. This can especially be said for the temples visited in Luxor and Aswan. The book really didn't give you a feel of the history behind what you were looking at. In addition, it was not complete in that certain monuments were described while others didn't even make it into the book, it seems. What makes things particularly worse is that information you would expect to be physically near to each other is all over the book. One thing that had me a bit angry was a lack of information about the bus system and a lack of detail on the scarcely available maps. If I were to make one recommendation, it would be to have a nice, detailed map of each area of Egypt one would visit.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely useful
    I spent about a month reading this book and the Rough Guide series while planning my trip to Egypt... Well, they were both OK, the RG by Dan Richardson is more practical while LP goes into more detail on places of interest. Incidentally, this is the first book I read with systematic description of Egyptian gods and their relationships. Through the fortnight trip (Hurghada - Aswan - Luxor - Cairo - Suez - Hurghada) the LP was what I read in the evening before going to museums or tombs and RG was what I carried around in my pocket through the day. I would recommend a serious traveller to buy both.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Lonely Planet--Egypt Correction
    There is one correction I'd like to add to the Lonely Planet, Egypt. I recently returned from Cairo, Egypt. I bought my papyrus art from Mr. Said (pronounced Saieed) and highly recommend him. However, go to his office (Delta Papyrus Center--21 El Ghouria St., 3rd floor #17, Cairo, Egypt) BY YOURSELF. There will be people trying to "guide" you to his office and then ask you to pay them. He will give you an excellent price, but go alone without any guide. Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars best LP guide i've used
    I have used several LP guides and this was the best one yet. I found the info to almost always be spot-on, and the writers of this edition present it to you with far more wit and humor than you would expect in a guide. I looked at a couple of the other reviews and noticed they were quite critical. This doesn't square with my experience at all. I spent 6 weeks in Egypt in spring 2003 and this guide was incredibly useful. Aside from the inevitable little mistake here and there, the only major inconsistency I found was that bus trips usually took about 20-30% longer than the guide estimated. that is, a 4 hour trip would usually take closer to 5. Other than that I had no complaints in 6 weeks of using this guide every single day.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Useful but use with caution
    This is a very useful companian as it is easy to read and in a format which is fairly ready to use as a quick reference. Prior to going to egypt it enthused and motivated me even more as it really conveyed the message that this is a truly amazing country to visit. It also provides some useful key tips, such as suggested itineraries and how to avoid AEO (Ancient Egypt Overload - getting fed up of seeing temple after temple...). It also seems to be a popular choice amongst other travellers, so to use this guide will provide some common ground when you meet people.

    The book's greatest shortcoming, however, is that the costs of hotels, goods and services are way off. Either the prices they quote are impossibly too low (especially their price they quote about a round trip down to Abu Simbel from Cairo, two days and nights on a felucca and luxor if you go through Amigo travel agents - a simple calculation proves that just the train ticket and the cheap hotels would be more expensive than the price the Lonely Planet claims) or too high (I managed to make some purchases for about half the prices quoted in the book). In addition, its descriptions of the quality of hotels are as accurate as one person's one-off experience.

    That said, it prepares and guides you very well for an adventure of a lifetime... ... Read more

    5. Lonely Planet Morocco (Lonely Planet Morocco)
    by Paula Hardy, Mara Vorhees, Heidi Edsell
    list price: $23.99
    our price: $16.31
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740596781
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 18153
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Be inspired by the adventure of Morocco - take a camel trek through the Sahara, hunt out bargains in an exotic souq, soak up the buzz of Marrakesh then catch some waves off a pristine Atlantic beach.Experience the color, life and lure of the Maghreb with our comprehensive guide.

    • STAY IN STYLE on any budget in cozy kasbahs or glam riads

    • GET AROUND with 97 detailed maps of the cities and more remote regions

    • TRAVEL YOUR TASTEBUDS with our enticing chapter on Moroccan food and drink

    • EXPLORE the insider's Marrakesh with our walking tour through the souqs and tips on this happening city

    • GET HIGH above it all - our trekking chapter gives advice on the best mountain journeys ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    3-0 out of 5 stars mixed results
    For budget-minded travelers, LP usually provides a good guide to to inexpensively explore new countries, and this just-released edition is no exception. The guide provides accurate lodging descriptions for Fez, Marrakesh and Essaouira and great bargaining tactic suggestions, but very poor food recommendations.

    Its restaurant reviews consistently focus on decor rather than the quality of food, leaving me and my travel companion to suffer more than once through lonely, barely-edible meals at empty restaurants where owners spend more time focusing on decorations than on sauces. As usual when traveling, follow your nose and look for places where lots of locals eat, as these typically present best value, quality, and "authenticity."

    A good alternative to LP for Morocco is Rough Guide, which also just came out with a new edition. ... Read more

    6. Listen!the Wind
    by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
    list price: $39.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0151526494
    Catlog: Book (1940-06-01)
    Publisher: Harcourt
    Sales Rank: 532931
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    7. South Africa (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
    by Michael Brett, Brian Johnson-Barker, Marielle Renssen
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0789497239
    Catlog: Book (2003-09)
    Publisher: DK Publishing Inc
    Sales Rank: 7680
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Features: Cape Town, Cape Winelands, Western Coastal Terrace, Southern Cape, Garden Route to Grahamstown, Wild Coast, Drakensberg, Midlands, Durban, Zululand, Gauteng, Sun City, Blyde River Canyon, Kruger, as well as South and North of the Orange. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A picture is worth a thousand words.
    I bought South Africa (Eyewitness Travel Guides) and have found it very helpful. We already had an itinerary planned and this guide showed us where we would be visiting, the weather, and gave useful background on each area. This guidebook gives pictorial views of historical sites, attractions etc. This was enlightening information, some of the places we will be going are far larger in area than we would have imagined. Also the attraction maps will help us keep oriented so time is not wasted being lost. With this guide and a good detail map of South Africa we gained insight about the length of travel needed each day. The biggest plusses were the pictures and drawings, they really are worth a thousand words as used in this guide. There is plenty of "survival" information; important phone numbers, medical suggestions, lodging recommendations etc. Lots of fun to read just for enjoyment!

    5-0 out of 5 stars These are Great Books
    I first discovered these books (a series Eyewitness Travel) by accident in a Stockholm bookstore. I had just come from Gothenborg by train and was a bit dazed. The book I bought by accident was in swedish but it still useful because of all the photos, cut away views, museum pictures, and maps and historical details. When I got home I bought a pile on of different places that I was going or had visited - but in english.

    On a cold day back here in the USA (or Canada) or elsewhere, have a glass of wine and sit in a nice chair or in the garden on a warm day and read this book. For a moment you will be back in South Africa. You are back in a small restaurant overlooking a busy street in Cape Town.

    The photos and desicriptions and cutaway drawings are excellent. Plus they throw in some history and details on the art and many other things of interest. A solid 400 page effort - lots of stuff to see and absorb. What is attractive about this book is that South Africa is not a well traveled country so we are not so familiar with the coutry. But the book brings it all to life with just magnificent photos and maps.

    Jack in Toronto ... Read more

    8. Lonely Planet Kenya (Lonely Planet Kenya)
    by Joseph Bindloss, Tom Parkinson, Matt Fletcher
    list price: $22.99
    our price: $15.63
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1864503033
    Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 10478
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    With some of the world's best wildlife viewing, most intriguing tribes and striking scenery, Kenya will take your breath away.Let this guide lead you on the trip of a lifetime.

    • Spotting the wild and furry: 16-page colour wildlife guide
    • The last word on politics, history and culture, including a Swahili language chapter
    • Camel, balloon, trek or 4WD? An invaluable chapter devoted to safaris will help you choose
    • Camp under the stars or lap up the luxury – all the accommodation options you could hope for
    • Over 60 detailed maps, including a colour country map
    ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is THE travel guide for Kenya
    I was simply stunned by the number of detailed maps in this book. The amount of information for each region of Kenya is outstanding and well done. If you need to know it - it's in this book. Hotels, restaurants, parks, reserves, tribes, Swahili it's all here. Very nicely organized.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a must for traveling in Kenya
    This book is perfect for traveling the roads of Kenya. I used it when I spent 9 months in Kenya. It lists every detail of the area very accurately. I would not travel without it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent investment for virtually everyone
    This book, and its relative, the guide to East Africa, got me (and my husband) comfortably through 8 weeks of travel in East Africa. It was equally useful for the trip where I was a woman traveling alone, and the trip I took with my never-been-to-the-third-world dyed-in-the-wool- American husband. The only travellers who PERHAPS might not benefit from this book are people on top-shelf tours that ensure that the travellers' feet never really touch the ground. But I truly think that everyone else will find it well worth the few dollars and the few ounces in their luggage, whether that luggage is a matched leather set or a backpack. the history, the explanations of local occurrences, the accurate and pragmatic tips and techniques for getting around/eating/shopping/sleeping/safari-ing/living are difficult to survive without ... Read more

    9. Homicide
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0804109990
    Catlog: Book (1993-01-23)
    Publisher: Ballantine Books
    Sales Rank: 11512
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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    This 1992 Edgar Award winner for best fact crime is nothing short of a classic. David Simon, a police reporter for the Baltimore Sun, spent the year 1988 with three homicide squads, accompanying them through all the grim and grisly moments of their work--from first telephone call to final piece of paperwork. The picture that emerges through a masterful accumulation of details is that homicide detectives are a rare breed who seem to thrive on coffee, cigarettes, and persistence, through an endlessly exhausting parade of murder scenes. As the Washington Post writes, "We seem to have an insatiable appetite for police stories.... David Simon's entry is far and away the best, the most readable, the most reliable and relentless of them all.... An eye for the scenes of slaughter and pursuit and an ear for the cadences of cop talk, both business and banter, lend Simon's account the fascination that truth often has." ... Read more

    Reviews (42)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Can't get any closer than this
    Homicide does an amazing job of taking the reader inside the day-to-day operations of the Homicide unit in Baltimore. Reading this book, you gain an appreciation not only for the investigative work done by the detectives, but also for the troubles they encounter. Simon gives you a detailed account of the inner-workings that you cannot learn anywhere else. From the murder to the trial, Homicide shows how the real-world criminal justice system works with all of its flaws. This is a page-turning whodunit in every form, and the best part is that it is true!

    I am concerned to see other people claiming that this book does not deserve 5 stars because it does not live up to the characters in the T.V. show and because it has too much vulgarity. If these are the only criticisms (weak ones at that) that one can find within Homicide, then it deserves every star offered.

    Read Homicide and you won't be dissapointed.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Candid look at a Year in the Life of a Homicide Division
    I picked up this book without realizing that it was the genesis of the television program by the same name, and I was immediately dragged in to the stories. Written as a yearlong narrative of the events and personalities of the Baltimore Police Homicide Division, it really gives the reader a feeling of being along for the investigation. The dialogue and descriptions are so realistic and insightful that I found myself wondering how the Detectives felt to read this objective reflection of themselves. The pacing of the book contributes to the overall effectiveness of the narrative by educating the reader slowly as to the characters, the lingo and the mentality of a Baltimore homocide detective. By the end (and I was sorry to have it end) I felt like I knew the detectives and the criminals and the victims and their families. If you like true crime, this is the book for you!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not just for fans of the show...
    This book is brilliant. As a would-be journalist, I would say "life-altering". Not only is the subject matter compelling, the style is sweet enough to make Ann Rule cry like a little girl. And to think I only bought it to play "Match The Composite" with the series.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and readable
    Here's a book that gets into the minds of homicide detectives like no other. The author is insightful and thorough, but his writing style is a celebration of brevity. Working within the law and sometimes around it or even in spite of it, the detectives are revealed as all-too-human but praiseworthy individuals. Read this with Randy Sutton's "True Blue : Police Stories by Those Who Have Lived Them" and you'll have the best writing on cops and crime available today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read
    If you are interested at all in the criminal justice, police, CSI, law enforcement, or legal MUST read this book!!! I had to read it for a CJA class I took a while back and all I can say is WOW! Simon gets into the minds of the detectives so well, the book almost reads like a fiction novel!!! ... Read more

    10. The Valley of the Kings: The Tombs and the Funerary of Thebes West
    by Kent Weeks
    list price: $65.00
    our price: $65.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1586632957
    Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
    Publisher: Friedman/Fairfax Publishing
    Sales Rank: 306842
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Take a spectacular armchair voyage to one of earth's most magnificent and ancient sites--shown in a resplendent oversized volume, lavishly illustrated with more than 800 pictures (including archeological reconstruction drawings); 6 gatefolds; and the finest paper. Conducted by a team of world-acknowledged experts, who provide the most up-to-date information available, it's the perfect mix of artistic brilliance and scholarly research. The Valley of the Kings and the tombs of the nobles are, together with the pyramids of Giza, among the world's most visited and best-known sites. Although millions come each year to gaze upon these ancient wonders, a significant portion of this remarkable place remains unseen by most. For the first time, an illuminating and spectacularly produced guide brings together both the artistic and the architectural features of the tombs and maps them out fully. The only photographer granted full access to the site over the past decade provides unrivaled color images of the funerary temples and private necropolises, and in addition, an exploration of their structures and embellishments features plans, photos, drawings of motifs, and hieroglyphs. To complete the presentation: walking itineraries in the Theban mountains, shown from many unusual vantage points. A visual treat, and an extraordinary adventure, for real and virtual travelers alike.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buried
    This is the best book on the Valley of the Kings. I own John Romer's and Nicholas Reeves books,which I highly recommend,but this one I like best. This is a must own book if you love the tombs. It won't let you down. Well worth the money. Buy it before it goes out of print.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Took my breath away!
    Having read Kent Week's book "The Lost Tomb" I was impressed with his accessable writing style. So, seeing this book was like waving a red flag at a bull. I have been to many of the sights featured in this book and could not afford to visit all. To my joy, on opening this volume and seeing the quality of the photographs I realised now that I could! It is the next best thing to actually BEING tere and in some cases .. better! I know that sounds odd ... but in reality a lot of the KV paintings are covered with glass to prevent damage ... or you are not allowed to take a camera in ... even if you can, you may not use flash. So your own pictures always fall short. THIS is professionally lit, photographed and documented ... with great care taken to render the Theabian west bank in all it's glory. Bravo!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Treasure
    I had looked forward with great anticipation to the arrival of this book - and I am not at all disappointed. In the past few years a few books have been published which have delighted my eyes, Tutankhamun, by T.G.H. James, and Egyptian Treasures from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and now the present work. They share in common the photographer - Araldo De Luca.

    De Luca is a consumate artist of light. Throughout this book you will see exquisite shots, described and formed by the light of Egypt - Medinet Habu at dawn, The Temples of Hatshepsut and Mentuhotep, from the air in the dawn light, at the precise moment that the entire Valley of the Kings lies in shadows between golden cliffs behind. There are more - photographs of objects and buildings that I have never seen, or at least not so clearly. De Luca has found the perfect vantage point for every shot, it seems, and has waited for the light to lift the ordinary into statement, explanation rather than simple recording.

    Sprinkled through the various essays - and each essay written by a distinguished expert in their field - are delightful drawings, diagrams and maps. We have sumptuous renderings of the interior of Tutankhamon's tomb, which are not so uncommon, but this volume goes on to show us drawings of the interior of Nefertari's tomb, and there's more! The tombs of the Nobles are pictured with the same fine sensitivity as well as the mortuary temples of the west bank.

    The essays take a back seat, at first glance, so truly wonderful are the photographs, but here you will find rich descriptions and explanations of the monuments and the objects found within them. Kent Weeks is the general editor; there is an introduction by Her Excellency Mrs. Suzanne Mubarek; Rita Freed, Melinda K. Hartwig, Erik Hornung, Christian Leblanc ... the list of eminent persons goes on.

    Congratulations to the publishers, Friedman/Fairfax, and to all those who produced this wonderful book, from type-setters to press persons. This is a treasure! Thank you! L.P.H.!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Valley of the Kings"
    With out a doubt one of the best and most stuning visual
    books I have ever seen about ancient Egypt. Dr Kent Weeks
    narative is both interesting and detailed yet should still
    appeal to the amateur with an interest in Egypt.
    The book details the modern exploration of the valley over the
    last few hundred years. It then details the great Temples of
    the Luxor area useing altitude photos, maps, line drawings, artist drawings floor plans and photos...lots of photos.
    The book then moves into the Valley of the Kings, tomb by
    tomb using the same type detailed drawings, photos, plans and
    artists renditions.
    There is also a detailed section of the Queens Valley using the same techniques as the rest of the book.
    But the star of the book is Araldo de Lucas photos. The clearity and detail of the close ups leaps off the pages
    and are as near flawless as one can get in colour and content. there are several fold out pages and the detail
    is incredable. This book is excellent in every aspect. A must for
    anyone interested in Ancient Egyptolgy . ... Read more

    11. Lonely Planet South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (Lonely Planet South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland)
    by Rebecca Blond, Jane Cornwell, Mary Fitzpatrick
    list price: $25.99
    our price: $17.15
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1741041627
    Catlog: Book (2004-11-15)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 18572
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Cosmopolitan Cape Town and exuberant Soweto, rugged coastlines and Drakensberg peaks, Winelands and grassy velds - discover the manifold delights of South Africa and the mountain kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland with this inspiring guide.Set out on a safari through the region's rainbow of cultures, landscapes, wildlife and sights - let Lonely Planet take you there.

    • EYEBALL AN ELEPHANT - our full-color wildlife guide is your essential animal-spotting companion
    • MOVE TO THE GROOVE - dedicated music chapter gives you the lowdown on the thriving music scene
    • REST EASY - camp site, B&B, hostel or luxurious lodge, whatever your preference, we've got it covered
    • HIT THE ROAD using our detailed maps, including customized itineraries maps and full-color country map
    • TALK THE TALK - our language chapter, covering 11 local languages, will have you chatting with the locals ... Read more

    12. Egypt (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
    by Not Applicable (Na )
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0789497182
    Catlog: Book (2003-09)
    Publisher: DK Publishing Inc
    Sales Rank: 7380
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    Book Description

    Covers: Cairo and its surrounding areas, the Nile Valley, Sinai, the Red Sea Coast, the Delta, the North Coast, and the Western Desert region. ... Read more

    13. Lonely Planet West Africa (Lonely Planet West Africa)
    by Mary Fitzpatrick, Andrew Burke, Greg Campbell, Bethune Carmichael, Matt Fletcher, Frances Linzee Gordon, Anthony Ham, Amy Karafin, Kim Wildman, Isabelle Young
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $19.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740592492
    Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 128457
    Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Rewarding and rugged, West Africa's 17 countries have much to offer the adventurous traveler.Laze on golden-sand beaches, trek up cool Mt Cameroon or see Saharan caravans set off from Timbuktu — this updated guide leads you through all of this alluring region.

    Covers: Bein, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Ashanti, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

    • More than 170 maps, including a colour map of the region.
    • Full-colour Arts & Craftwork special section
    • Dedicated sections on West Africa’s music and peoples
    • Stay safe and healthy – the lowdown on hotspots and health issues
    • Eat your fill, rest your head – places to eat and stay, to suit all budgets
    ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars From a returned Peace Corps Volunteer
    This book is practically the bible for W. Africa travel. I lived and worked in W. Africa for 3 years (2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer) and I never went anywhere without consulting LP. The information is as accurate as anything out there. It offers you suggested itineraries and "off the beaten path" suggestions as well as the traditionally touristy destinations. Many parts are less objective than other parts and the writers tend to harp on corruption. But W. Africa is a pretty corrupt place in general. If you don't like the editorial sections, skip 'em, the info you need is still there.

    1-0 out of 5 stars SMEARED BY DEROGATORY PHRASES
    Indeed, this book ("Lonely Planet West Africa") did a good job in outlining many of the popular tourist attractions that are located in this Sub-Saharan region of Africa. I also appreciated its details on several tourists' trails, accomodations, means of transportation, and so on. However, I was very disappointed to note that (just like the "Lonely Planet Africa on a Shoestring") this book is full of discouraging comments. Some of the phrases Lonely Planet used in this book are quite offensive.
    For sure, most foreigners who travel to (West) African countries are not expecting to see a paradise, but that does not mean that there is no better way of presenting real and imaginary negative thoughts. This book is smeared by terms and phrases, which I consider derogatory to both (West) Africa and (West) Africans. As a result of this, I will never recommend it to anyone until there is a change of heart by Lonely Planet in subsequent editions.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good for a shoestring traveller, one-sided at times
    I once said I would never buy a Lonely Planet guide again, so disappointed I was with their Iceland and Greenland book which was poorly researched, inaccurate and full of rabid anti-American rhetoric.

    For my trip to Ghana, it was, however, a choice of only three books available: a semiprofessional Bradt's Ghana (not a guidebook really, more an amateurish newsletter), supremely boring Rough Guide or Lonely Planet. I bought them all in the name of research.

    I would say Lonely Planet is best of them all, although certain chapters preaching about evil ways of Western capitalism still reek of Lonely Planet's self-appointed role of bettering the world. Quite annoying, really, and in many cases hypocritical, coming from a lean-and-mean profit-making publishing house.

    Most facts about travel, eating, accommodation, etc are accurate and well-researched, although as usual information to someone with a bit bigger budget is very fragmented.

    They could give more information about useful websites for both ticket booking and accommodation.

    Overall, if you are only buying one book for West Africa, this is the one. If you can get two - buy the Rough Guide as well: it may be boring and cultural information reads as if it was written by your local tax office, but you will get many additional addresses and phone numbers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best written Lonely Planet I've read
    I really enjoyed this book. I feel it is the best written LP I've ever read (and I've read and traveled with many LP titles). I used the Sénégal section and found the hotel listings current and the maps very accurate. I really liked the special boxes with additional information on dangers, scams, and personal safety. I personally witnessed many things that I had read about in this book, making me ready for would be scam artists. One guy approached me and said "Remember me from the hotel lobby?" I had to keep myself from laughing. I replied back "I think so, which hotel?" and he didn't know what to say. With LP West Africa you will be well prepared to travel in one of the hardest places to travel in the world.

    NOTE: The book is 4 years old and the region is even more unsafe now then it was 4 years ago. Be careful when traveling there.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Job!
    I spent several weeks travelling through Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire and Senegal in late 1999. it was the first time i had ever travelled alone and this book served as my primary companion. although i didn't always agree with the ratings of particular establishments (especially in Cote D'Ivoire), I found it to be very well researched and handy to have both for its quick maps and background information on the countries. I also purchased the Rough Guide to West Africa, b/c I am a big fan of their series, but the Lonely Planet guide was by far the best for this region. Keep in mind that the political situations in these countries change so abruptly that you still need to be prepared for anything. For example, there was a coup d'etat in Cote D'Ivoire while i was there. I still had a tremendous time on my trip, and i know that lonely planet deserves some of the credit. ... Read more

    14. Dark Star Safari : Overland from Cairo to Capetown
    by Paul Theroux
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0618446877
    Catlog: Book (2004-04-05)
    Publisher: Mariner Books
    Sales Rank: 4146
    Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    In Dark Star Safari the wittily observant and endearingly irascible Paul Theroux takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train. In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstances. Gauging the state of affairs, he talks to Africans, aid workers, missionaries, and tourists. What results is an insightful meditation on the history, politics, and beauty of Africa and its people, and "a vivid portrayal of the secret sweetness, the hidden vitality, and the long-patient hope that lies just beneath the surface" (Rocky Mountain News). In a new postscript, Theroux recounts the dramatic events of a return to Africa to visit Zimbabwe. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Accurate Portrayal Described with Literary Prowess
    I have lived in Africa for over 20 years, and recently completed a similar overland journey (Morocco to Cape Town). I am busy writing my own book, so was a little disappointed when the pre-eminent travel writer of our times released his own account. In any event, as a prelude to my own literary ambitions, I decided to read every book on the topic that I could find - and this one stands head and shoulders above the rest. (For those interested,' Running with the Moon' by Johnny Bealby, and 'Africa Solo' by Kevin Kertscher were runners up).

    Theroux travels with Africans in conditions which are unspeakable for those of us accustomed to jet travel, high speed trains and air-conditioned vehicles. He meets with many of Africa's literary icons, numerous dignitaries, and contacts from time spent in Africa 40 years previously. He is also not afraid to use his renown to gain access and audience where the rest of us would have no chance. Combine these factors with his considerable literary skill, and the result is an unrivalled publication.

    His descriptions (notably the sunset on the East African plains) are breathtaking without being long-winded. He is able to contrast this with descriptions of squalor, hardship, the disintegrated infrastructure of the towns, and the transport used to travel between them . The various colleagues and friends he visits along the way, including the vice-president of Uganda, represent Africa's intellectual and political elite. Mostly, these people are enlightened, pro-active and deeply aware of the problems facing their countries. It is encouraging to read their discourse, as it is so easy to dismiss Africa as the stereotype of disenfranchised paupers governed by despotic tyrants.

    His time spent in Africa during the 1960's was a time of liberation. Nationalist movements were gaining momentum, and Africans were giddy at the prospect of independence from their colonial overlords. Theroux is almost certainly unique in that he witnessed the Africa of then, and the Africa of now (but nothing of the in between) and is able to communicate his observations to a large, receptive audience. This perspective adds another level to the book which sets it apart.

    Much is said about charities, missionaries and NGO's, both by Theroux, and the various others who have reviewed this book. I agree entirely with Theroux's observations. I found that the personnel working with these agencies seemed disdainful towards those of us who were really enjoying Africa, and often arrogant towards those they were professing to help. Their efforts nurture some of the most contemptible qualities of the African condition, turning them into subjugated beggars rather than empowering their independence. The deployment of aid does not improve lives, but merely provides the necessary resources required for reproduction - more aid recipients, all now living at the previous, lowest common denominator. Much of the aid is taken by the local chiefs, and is traded in the markets (lest we forget, America fought a battle in Somalia over this very issue, see the movie 'Black Hawk Down'). It may seem anathema to our sensibilities that Theroux is so scathing of these worthy men and women who have given up so much to go and help the dispossessed, but if the aid is counter-productive, even if only by Theroux's estimation, then he has the right (obligation?) to communicate it to us.

    Theroux is particularly scathing of one missionary whose efforts involve reforming the 'sinful' ways of African prostitutes. In the USA prostitution may be a crime, but in Africa, he points out, it is the only channel of independence and financial freedom for women. It should be considered criminal that we are going there and preaching some dogma based on our value system, which is intended to deprive them of their livelihood. And this goes to the root of the issue, Theroux says. We are trying to solve their problems from our perspective, while driving around in a fancy white Landcruiser, the value of which is the entire life's earnings of a whole African family. African problems need African solutions run by Africans (with help from outside if necessary). They need dignity, empowerment and education - not grain, medicine and preaching. I think Theroux does a great job of communicating this - even if it does ruffle some philanthropic feathers in the process.

    Why didn't I give the book five stars? Well, I feel that Theroux didn't give sufficient credence to the majority of proud Africans who lead the free and happy existence to which we all aspire. As a white traveler in Africa one is continuously exposed to the 'Give me money' syndrome. But this represents only a minute percentage of the population - those who await foreign travelers at bus stations, hotels and markets. These hustlers are a by-product of most societies - there were 8 million in Los Angeles by my last estimation. It took me at least two months of cultural immersion before I was able to transcend this exposure, and meet real Africans who were interested in my travels and reasons for being in Africa - people who I had to seek out. Indeed, most Africans are contented, hard-working individuals unaffected by the tribulations of modern western society, let alone of their own autocratic governments whose influence over their own population is token compared to what we are used to in the west. African society thrived for millennia before the ancestors of western society even left the continent. It is cultural arrogance to assume that we need to impose our new-found values on them. Sure there are pockets of famine, abusive dictators and colonial fall-out - but for the vast majority of the continent's population, life goes on unabated. It is mostly their exposure to our society (fancy white landcruisers, satellite TV etc.) that might give them cause to kowtow. It is Theroux' failure to acknowledge this, or at least comment upon it, that I feel is the only shortcoming of an otherwise outstanding account.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Armchair Traveler
    This is a marvelously engrossing book, perfect for those, like me, who want to see the world without actually enduring the necessary discomforts. Theroux has lived in Africa, speaks some of its languages, and knows his way around. He writes of what an ordinary tourist would never see.

    I'm prompted to write this review by one of the reviews already posted here, which accuses Theroux of negativity and a dislike of people. I had the opposite impression. He does indeed see much to be disturbed by in Africa--any compassionate person would be disturbed by it. Civil society has broken down in many of the countries he visits. Poverty, disease, crime, and corruption beset the cities, and Theroux shows clearly how aid workers who come to help, and the missionaries who want to foist their beliefs on the Africans, often make things worse. He is opinionated and sometimes testy, which makes his account interesting, never a dry recital of facts. He talks with people wherever he goes, and most important of all, he listens to them. As a result, he learns what few outsiders ever do, and gives us a view of Africa--a place he loves--that is a fascinating, deeply unsettling revelation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Fresh Look From A Professional Skeptic
    This may be the best of all of the Theroux travel books. Theroux, skeptical of everything, revisits the Africa he left 30 years before. Theroux concludes that things are worse in much of Africa and he strongly implies that Western aid; Western Charity and Western Liberal Do-Gooders have accomplished little or nothing in Africa. They have trained the local people to expect handouts instead of taking care of themselves. Here he sounds like a conservative Republican. However, Theroux is especially skeptical of the religious workers in Africa who, in his view, are wasting their time attempting to convert Africans to Christianity to save souls. This book caused me to rethink the African Charity issue.
    As always, Theroux is fresh and unpredictable. He pokes fun at himself and his life, but he also concludes that his own journey through life has been very rewarding. You get the sense that no one handed Theroux any breaks in his career. He feels he had to earn every break he got.
    He makes a few references to V.S. Naipaul in the book. He also interviews Nadine Gordimer, the South African novelist, and paints a portrait of an interesting and courageous woman.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A new look on Africa
    While reading this book by Paul Theroux I had to pause a number of times. I had to let all the information he gave me settle into my brain and translate it into what I could understand for myself. They way I interpreted the story was pretty much not to judge a book by its cover. In onther words, when it comes to Africa many people judge this great continent just on what they hear on the News. About the AIDS epidemic and all that. But that's only a fraction of what Africa is all about. You really need to get to know the people in Africa and actually see it for yourself before you can make a judgment. That's exactly what Theroux did in this book. He went to Africa and really got to know the people and the actual continent. My only complaint about the book was that it was a little wordy, but in general it was an amazing book. I would recommend this book to anyone who is willing to throw all their preconceptions of Africa out the window and one who is open-minded and willing to learn a life-lesson and learn more about Africa as well.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Interesting topic, but much too negative
    Theroux always chooses interesting topics to write about, and this book is no exception. But having read a number of his books, I always find myself disappointed, and I'm afraid that happened again here, too. Problem is, Theroux doesn't like people. So it's so depressing to hear him write an entire book on people! Listen to his assessment of a foreign aid worker, a young woman who had an outreach to the street children of a large African city: "...this Christ-bitten nag and every other twaddler like her sought out abuse them with the notion that thery were sinners, to browbeat them into arcane forms of atonement, such as screeching hymns and the dues-paying routine of tithes." Is that the type of tone you want to hear through all 472 pages? I don't think anyone does. It certainly turned me off. Better look for a book from a person who seeks out the good in people and places and writes about that, not for someone who can't seem to stand people. ... Read more

    15. Lonely Planet Southern Africa (Lonely Planet Southern Africa)
    by Deanna Swaney, Mary Fitzpatrick, Paul Greenway, Andrew Stone, Justine Vaisutis
    list price: $29.99
    our price: $19.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740592239
    Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 48862
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    Book Description

    Coverage: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Southern Africa is an extraordinary and varied region. Explore its coral reefs and mountain peaks, fast towns and ghost towns, red deserts and Cape vineyards with this indispensable guide.

    • 131 detailed maps, including a colour regional map
    • up-to-date information on visas, border crossings and safety
    • extensive advice on hiking, white-water rafting, pony trekking and bird watching
    • a wide range of accommodation options, from camp sites to luxury lodges
    • invaluable language sections, with phrases in 16 local languages
    ... Read more

    16. The Rough Guide to Egypt
    by Dan Richardson
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1843530503
    Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
    Publisher: Rough Guides Limited
    Sales Rank: 48996
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description


    Egypt is the oldest tourist destination on earth. Ancient Greeks and Romans started the trend, coming to goggle at the cyclopean scale of the Pyramids and the Colossi of Thebes. At the onset of colonial times, Napoleon and the British in turn looted Egypt’s treasures to fill their national museums, sparking off a trickle of Grand Tourists that eventually became a flood of travellers, packaged for their Nile cruises and Egyptological lectures by the enterprising Thomas Cook.

    Today, the attractions of the country are not only the monuments of the Nile Valley and the souks, mosques and madrassas of Islamic Cairo, but the natural wonders of the Red Sea, Sinai, and the Eastern and Western deserts: fantastic coral reefs and tropical fish, dunes and rockscapes – plus ancient fortresses, monasteries and rock art.

    The land itself is a freak of nature, whose lifeblood is the River Nile. From the Sudanese border to the shores of the Mediterranean, the Nile Valley and its Delta are flanked by arid wastes, the latter as empty as the former are teeming with people. This stark duality between fertility and desolation is fundamental to Egypt’s character and has shaped its development since prehistoric times, imparting continuity to diverse cultures and peoples over seven millennia. It is a sense of permanence and timelessness that is buttressed by religion, which pervades every aspect of life. Although the pagan cults of ancient Egypt are as moribund as its legacy of mummies and temples, their ancient fertility rites and processions of boats still hold their place in the celebrations of Islam and Christianity.

    The result is a multi-layered culture, which seems to accord equal respect to ancient and modern. The peasants (fellaheen) of the Nile and Bedouin tribes of the desert live much as their ancestors did a thousand years ago. Other communities include the Nubians of the far south, and the Coptic Christians, who trace their ancestry back to pharaonic times. What unites them is a love of their homeland, extended family ties, dignity, warmth and hospitality towards strangers. Though most visitors are drawn to Egypt by its monuments, the enduring memory is likely to be of its people and their way of life. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best of several guide books we brought to Egypt
    While my companion and I had four guide books between us for our two week trip, the Rough Guide was the one that we constantly referred to. After a while, we didn't even look at the others, even though they had fancier and more colorful illustrations. By far, the Rough Guide gave us more, and more useful, information on the locations we visited than the others. The descriptions of the various neighborhoods and the sights along the way were most helpul in our planning for the one free day in Cairo that we had from our group tour. We also appreciated the discussion of customs and practices (the notes on baksheesh, for example, helped us gain a better understanding of a practice that many Americans found annoying). An added benefit: it weighed less than the fancier guides with glossy pages, so it was far easier to carry with us.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Rough Guide to Egypt
    Overall I was quite pleased with this guide. It provided accurate information for transportaion details, hotels and restaurants and gave good basic introductions to the sites and cities, as well as what to expect in the culture. The city maps were accurate and the maps of ancient egyptian monuments were helpful and enough for me, though anyone with a serious interest in them will want to pick up something extra (the guide recommends titles). DOn't rely on the arabic section at the back - if you need to teach yourself any arabic for a trip you'd do best to buy an egytian arabic phrasebook as the rough guides section is small and can mislead your pronounciation. ... Read more

    17. Lonely Planet Ethiopia & Eritrea (Lonely Planet Ethiopia and Eritrea)
    by Frances Linzee Gordon, Jean-Bernard Carillet
    list price: $25.99
    our price: $17.15
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1740592905
    Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 28687
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    18. Lonely Planet Healthy Travel Africa (Lonely Planet Healthy Travel Guides Africa)
    by Isabelle Young
    list price: $5.95
    our price: $5.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1864500506
    Catlog: Book (2000-01-01)
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
    Sales Rank: 30879
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Getting the most out of your travels means staying healthy. Healthy Travel Africa is a user-friendly guide to minimising health risks for travellers to all parts of Africa, including Egypt. Written by Dr Isabelle Young, with a team of travel health experts, Healthy Travel Africa provides advice on planning your trip, staying healthy while travelling, and what to do if you run into problems.

    • tailored advice for travellers of all ages and needs
    • clear guidelines on treating common travel illnesses
    • how to avoid wildlife hazards, from insects to hippos
    • safety tips for outdoor action, including safaris and trekking
    • comprehensive first-aid section
    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Africa book yet!!
    The most consise, clear account of what you need, and what you need to do to get ready for Africa. I loved the book. Even though it is entitled " Read this first" it is the only guide book I am taking in it's entirety , to Africa.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Purchase For Travelers To Africa
    If you are planning to travel anywhere in Africa, especially Sub-Saharan Africa this small, handy book is a must. With the number of infectious diseases prevelant in Africa it is foolish to take unneccessary risks, but most people are probably not familiar with the health risks and options open to them. This book contains comprehensive information on what do to before you go, how to stay healthy, and what to do when you get back. It also has a substantial list of symptoms, diseases and treatments just in case you do get sick (or injured from outdoor activities). It works for outdoor adventurer's, resort go-ers, and urban-only businessmen. Plus its minature size makes it convenient to carry. ... Read more

    19. Bill Bryson's African Diary
    list price: $12.00
    our price: $9.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767915062
    Catlog: Book (2002-12-03)
    Publisher: Broadway
    Sales Rank: 7214
    Average Customer Review: 3.65 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    “Here is a man who suffers so his readers can laugh.” — Daily Telegraph

    Bill Bryson travels to Kenya in support of CARE International. All royalties and profits go to CARE International.

    Bryson visits Kenya at the invitation of CARE International, the charity dedicated to eradicating poverty. Kenya is a land of contrasts, with famous game reserves and a vibrant culture. It also provides plenty to worry a traveller like Bill Bryson, fixated as he is on the dangers posed by snakes, insects and large predators. It is also a country with many serious problems: refugees, AIDS, drought, and grinding poverty. The resultant diary, though short in length, contains the trademark Bryson stamp of wry observation and curious insight.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (20)

    4-0 out of 5 stars too short but fun bit of travel writing for a good cause
    Bill Bryson is a fantastic travel writer, and made this very very short book (only 49 pages!) still fun to read. I definitely wish it had been longer, but as all of the book's proceeds go to charity (specifically CARE, a wonderful organization that spends its money wisely and helps those in impoverished countries help themselves), I don't really mind.

    The book recounts his all too brief time in Africa (eight days), where he tours the east African nation of Kenya. He visits some of the areas in Kenya in the most need of CARE's help, such as the Nairobi slum of Kibera and the eastern refugee camp of Dadaab, filled with Somali exiles. It is quite sad to read about the horrible conditions many of these people face (wait till you read about what a flying toilet is), but heart warming to see that many are still hopeful and that all is not lost. It would seem that many of these people are good people; all they need is a chance. was still fun to read and parts were hilarious. I enjoyed his early thoughts on Africa, such as the initial conversations with those who convinced him to go to Africa that except for the "diseases and the bandits and the railway from Nairobi to Mombasa, there's absolutely nothing to worry about"! I enjoyed reading about that railroad, which Bryson writes has a tradition of killing passengers and has even been named the Lunatic Express, though Bryson rode it without any serious mishap. Also lots of fun to read was his arrival in Nairobi; expecting the sunny little country town in "Out of Africa," Bryson was amazed to instead find traffic, high rise buildings, bill boards - as he puts it, Omaha! His description of a harrowing single-engine plane ride was very funny as well.

    A fun little book, one in you can read in an hour or two.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Loin King
    I promised myself I wouldn't write a review because I work for CARE and went on the trip to Kenya with Bill Bryson. However - His undertaking was phenomenal. Breaking off from his current writing project to travel to an unknown continent for 8 days, make sense of it, write up 10,000 words ( that's how many we felt we could ask him to undertake, he actually wrote 12,000)in two weeks, and turn it round in time for a Christmas book. Admire that, but also admire the motives and the results of this short but sweet volume. There are classic Bryson moments, humour and a well structured view of a country on the verge of great change. Believe me, your ($$) is making a huge difference to people's lives. And the book on your shelf can be a gentle reminder of your generosity and compassion. Thank you Amazon and all purchasers!

    5-0 out of 5 stars More about the CARE organisation should be known
    An enthralling account of Bryson's visit to Kenya to observe the work of CARE workers. Written with clarity as regards facts of what he saw and with his inimitable style that adds humor to serious topics. All royalties of his book he donated to CARE.

    4-0 out of 5 stars CARE
    I read Bill Bryson's book on my way to Europe. A great little carry along that doesn't take up much space, and doesn't take long to read. I love the fact that humor is mixed in with the seriousness of what the book really covers. It is great that all profits go to help the CARE cause.

    5-0 out of 5 stars OK it is short but the cause is great!
    OK it is rather short but the cause is great and Bryson really does convey his care for the people of Africa. So buy this book, buy one for each of your friends and make sure that they do the same. You will have a light but fun read and meanwhile you will have helped a lot of people who urgently need it. Christopher Catherwood (author of CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS AND ISLAMIC RAGE, Zondervan, 2003) ... Read more

    20. Adventures in Ancient Egypt (Good Times Travel Agency (Paperback))
    by Linda Bailey, Bill Slavin
    list price: $7.95
    our price: $7.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1550745484
    Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
    Publisher: Kids Can Press
    Sales Rank: 39354
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    Book Description

    Adventures in Ancient Egypt and Adventures in the MiddleAges mix fact and fiction for fast, funny and fascinating romps through the past.Kids will love each book¹s contemporary comic-book look with its zanyillustrations, speech balloons and guidebook. Parents and teachers will love thewell-researched story lines and solid factual information. In the first book, the Binkerton twins, Josh and Emma, and their little sisterLibby, stumble into the Good Times Travel Agency and take a once-in-a-lifetimetrip back to ancient Egypt! The trio soon find themselves running from kid-eatingcrocodiles, tomb robbers and some very angry soldiers. ... Read more

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