November 12, 2011
There's No Toilet Paper edited by Doug Lansky
Don't be misled by the name, this book is just a collection of short stories on the humors of travel. Its not about someone lacking toilet paper. These stories were written by various authors, some well known travel authors like Bill Bryson, others from people I have never heard of. They could range in location and a couple took place in the United States but the majority were over in Europe and Asia. Some were about the perils of travel in a foreign country, others about avoiding land mines in the desert. A particular favorite of mine took place on a luxury cruise ship where the author had difficulty with target shooting. But I had a lot of least favorites as well, like the story about what a new ride the author thinks should be at Disney, a bus ride in a developing country. It just kind of fell flat.
As said before this book had its ups and downs. There were more downs than ups, or at least flat lines though. But the few funny ones really did make the difference and I even giggled out loud for a couple of them. You could tell the regular humor writers apart from the others. Bill Bryson for example had some of the better narratives and having read some of his books I think he kept to the same tone as what he uses in them. The ones I didn't care for as much just seemed to illicit that feeling when someone tells a terrible joke and nervous laughter echos through the room. It just isn't comfortable. The stories are pretty mild and I think they'd be appropriate for just about anyone. There is a tad bit of adult humor but nothing too overwhelming.
Not bad but not awesome either. This was an overall average travel book. The stories were short so time passed quickly and I can see someone taking this along to the beach for some light reading.
There's No Toilet Paper