Sue bought me this for Christmas – an excellent choice from my Amazon Wishlist, even if, as Sue said, it was “about the most unchristmassy title” there.
In Bad Lands, Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler, spurred on to look beyond and behind the “Axis of Evil” label applied by certain powerful Americans, visits nine of the world’s less, how shall we put it, ‘popular’ destinations: Afghanistan, Albania, Burma (Myanmar), Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea and Saudi Arabia.
His reactions range from the disappointed (Cuba) to openly cynical (North Korea) and are neatly drawn together in his chapter titled The Evil Meter TM. Mine ranged from the “Glad I don’t ever envisage needing to go there” (Saudi Arabia) to the “One day, I must get there” (Afghanistan, Libya and North Korea). The only caveat relating to this book, which I’ve been recommending left, right and centre, is the slight contrivance in including countries on the basis of tyrants of times past – particularly Albania and Iraq. With that forewarning, read it – I’ll even lend you my copy provided you promise to give it back…..