Every country in the world in just 350 pages? Impossible. Naturally, this book provides only tidbits and anecdotes. Albert Podell writes mostly well and funny, albeit sometimes he comes of as feeling superior to the “primitive” countries. Even though I was a little sad that nearly no country I knew was included in the book, in the end I was happy. I did not get to agree (or disagree) with Podell’s view on countries I knew but got to know completely new ones.
However, my enjoyment of the book was extremely dampened by the way the author talks about his encounters with women and his general view on women. Although mostly cloaked in appreciative and flattering words, in the end he was too much of a chauvinistic macho (and proud of it) for me. The moment I wanted to quit this book was when he talked about a supposedly “thai massage” he and his friend enjoyed. Buddy, a thai massage is not sex with a little bit of back-rubbing! What he describes is an hour of prostitution and has nothing to do with a thai massage!
I only skimmed through the rest of the book because this falsehood made me seriously dislike him and question the things he presents as facts about culture and custom of countries I am unfamiliar with.
In conclusion, it has some interesting and informative snapshots of countries off the well-trodden tourist routes (Lesotho, for example) but I seriously doubt many of the things he presents as facts. In the end, I would not recommend this book.