Seeing Europe Again: Secrets from a First World Traveler

Elaine Kendall, Author
Elaine Kendall, Author Capra Press $11.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-88496-384-4
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Los Angeles Times book columnist Kendall (Peculiar Institutions) is too precious in this strange amalgam of travel reverie and general guide. The hook is meant to be this: rather than braving rough roads and strange foods, why not explore Europe forever, or be a First World traveler (or FWT, as it is often abbreviated here)? The various chapters discuss aspects of the European experience, none of them in depth and many of them in a laboriously winsome second-person (as in ``You're on your hotel terrace overlooking the Mediterranean, fetchingly dressed in the house bathrobe''). Although Kendall claims to glory in Europe, much of the writing has a snide tone that is probably meant to be humorous but is, mostly, familiar. An example from a section on how reckless European drivers are in comparison to their American counterparts reads: ``We Americans seldom realize that driving in Europe is still more of a sport than a chore.'' Other nuggets of dubious value are two chapters on guidebooks' misleading language, or ``Travlish,'' in which cozy means small and tranquil, boring. The arrangements Kendall describes are decidedly upscale (only a wealthy audience could be looking for advice on investing in ``a marginal vineyard in an enchanting part of Tuscany or a struggling boutique along the Riviera'' in order to write off future vacations), and it is doubtful that travelers with this kind of disposable income will need such basic advice. Illustrations. (July)
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