Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Around the World in 50 Years-Albert Podell

Around the World in 50 Years-Albert Podell


the facts
satisfaction: side/up
pages: 368
gender: M
nationality: USA
year: 2014
non fiction, travel memoir

Podell has traveled to every country on earth (yes, even Angola, Somalia, and those tiny Pacific islands), survived, and this is his book about it.


Well this was interesting but not particularly evocative? I mean to say that Podell has gone to every country on earth including ones that no longer exist and others that are active war zones. Not every country nor trip is described in this book (thank goodness, that'd be like 3000 pages) so obviously, the book covers the less visited countries (mostly Africa). Unfortunately, Podell primarily describes them as charmless choosing instead to tell us about his sexual escapades-particularly his interest in 20-somethings (even when 60+) which I definitely did not appreciate. Otherwise, it felt very realistic, like me telling stories about places I've been-some good compelling stories, a bit of local flavor, a hefty dose of bad luck, horrible airport stories etc. However, I like my travel writing to be a bit more evocative of local environments so it would have gotten hard to keep myself going had Podell not written thematically. I think the problem is that Podell had too much to talk about so we only got the most vibrant memories which psychology tells us are rarely the best ones. Had this been solely about Africa or the Pacific Rim, I probably would have been more charmed but unfortunately, this might have been too ambitious to fit into one book.

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