I’m back, everyone! I have been painfully busy and haven’t finished a book until now (even though I haven’t *technically* finished this book), I think it’s about time I post SOMETHING. Hopefully November will be a bit less crazy for me (not likely) and I can get back to my usual reading and writing schedule. I’ve missed you all so very much and I’m happy to be back!
Okay, so here’s the thing. I can’t exactly write a traditional Olivia review on this book. Why? Because, as stated above, I haven’t finished. I’ve tried and tried and spent TWO WEEKS on this sucker, but I just can’t bring myself to finish it. So instead of going the traditional route, I’m going to write a bit about the book, where this was lacking, and what I look for in travel books in general.
I love travel books, I really do! (see ‘I Went to France for Bastille Day’) I saw this in the library, and without looking too hard at it, I just got it. I hardly ever get books on a whim like that, but I figured it couldn’t be too bad!
Let’s just talk about the title. It’s eye catching because no one who looks at it has any clue whatsoever what it means! I got a million questions about this book while reading, most of which I fended off with “It’s a travel book about a guy who uses a really old travel guide to go through Europe.” He uses an old book published in the 60’s called ‘Europe on 5 Dollars a Day.” This book is almost like a collection of short stories, one from each city he visited. He set out on this trip to get out of the monotony of his life, find love (okay…), and see all of the worlds most special European landmarks, purposefully looking for the touristy stuff.
At first, it was great. What a great concept, a quick-and-dirty of Europe’s most traveled cities! But the problem is that the narrator is completely unlikable. He is whiny, annoying, and a total armchair traveler. Part of the way through his trip he’s joined by his friend Lee, who is more of an adventurous spirit. Lee drags Doug into crazy situations that aren’t really that crazy, but at least makes the book a *wee* bit more interesting. I got to the chapter where Lee was supposed to leave, and there I couldn’t take it anymore. The thought of Lee leaving, Lee who brought all of the life to the book despite being more obnoxious than Doug, was enough to bring me to finally put the book down.
Heavens, y’all, don’t bother picking this one up. It brought a bit more realism to the overly-glorified picture of cities you get from guide books, but pushed it way too far with exaggerated cynicism.
What I’m looking for next, after I get a nice break with some beloved YA (I finished an ARC of Dualed on Sunday and now I’m reading the sequel to Princess Academy), is a book like this one in concept, but more likeable. A kind, softer, less obnoxious narrator who spends a little more time on the places themselves and less on the old German guys in laderhosen that were very entertaining to watch. (I mean, seriously.)
When I go to YALLFest in Charleston in a few weeks, I’m planning on doing something like this, actually. Except in the form of a vlog. Hopefully I’ll take video clips from my trip and different parts of Charleston and seal them all together with some nice voice over information. I don’t claim to be an expert, but most people have never been to this beautiful city, and I think it would be really cool to watch! Just tossing the idea around, please let me know in the comments if you have suggestions and stuff. I’m thinking about focusing on three main aspects: food, history, and architechture.
Have a lovely week, all! 🙂
P.S. if you were worried about me with Hurricane Sandy, rest assured- I’m fine! Most of North Carolina is just getting blustery cold weather! I can’t say the same for most people up North, however. Millions are still without power, and the confirmed death count is now at 30. Please consider donating to the Red Cross to provide relief to the victims! Thank you. (donate here)