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Around the World in 50 Years: My Adventure…

Around the World in 50 Years: My Adventure to Every Country on Earth (edition 2015)

by Albert Podell (Author)

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805214,385 (3.5)3
Title:Around the World in 50 Years: My Adventure to Every Country on Earth
Authors:Albert Podell (Author)
Info:Thomas Dunne Books (2015), 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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Around the World in 50 Years: My Adventure to Every Country on Earth by Albert Podell



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Story of Albert Podell, an American who sets a record for the longest car journey ever made around the world. After that he sets a record by going to every recognized country on earth.
It is an understatement to say he had a few adventures. !! He had a ton and the book is filled with scary, stressful, terrifying and hilarious recounts of countries. He encounters extremes of life. He is witness to way too much poverty in Africa (TIA:This is Africa). Way too much political uneasiness and religious persecusion in Middle East. He seems to spend a lot of the book talking about these places rather than the cafes in Paris. This bookl is a great learning experience. ( )
  Smits | May 5, 2017 |
This should have been a great book, but it wasn't. It really is a 2.5 star book. The first five chapters are from the 1960's and the rest are spread out since then. It is very sexist but not in a funny way almost in a parody of the guy writing it. He is clearly a product of the Playboy Magazine/ Mad Men/ hip and swinging 60's, but the stories are almost just fun facts and highlights of places he has been. The book closes with where things are around the world but by this point I didn't really care what his opinions were anymore. ( )
  zmagic69 | Feb 22, 2017 |
"this was interesting but not particularly evocative"
read more: http://likeiamfeasting.blogspot.gr/2015/10/around-world-in-50-years-albert-podel... ( )
  mongoosenamedt | Oct 22, 2015 |
An engaging book about the travels of Albert Podell to every contry on Earth. Al tells us all about his extensive travels. From A to Z, he's been to each country. In the book he describes the hardships of actually entering various countries, some of the food, however grotesque and unappealing, he ate, and all about the adventures which made his life's work so worthwhile.

A good airport/airplane read! ( )
  briandrewz | Jun 27, 2015 |
Exhausting, exhaustive, exhilarating

Albert Podell must have a rectal horseshoe. He blithely and blindly goes where he knows he cannot and certainly should not. He takes countless risks that routinely land people in horrific jails. And still he manages to come back to tell the story. All his life he has had one small passion – to visit and understand every country in the world. It took him 50 years, and toward the end, his age pointed itself out to him. But he did it, and he tells an enthralling story. He is humorous, self-aware enough to be self deprecating, and reflective. He took the low road, sleeping in tents and hostels, making contacts with the locals in every nation. He learned their ways, earned their co-operation and often their respect, and could evaluate them and their context.

All the countries of the world is an absurdly, constantly changing, arbitrary number. Even as he checked them off, he had to go back and visit again when they changed. For instance, Czechoslovakia split into two countries, Yugoslavia into a battalion. The inequality is also absurd. Canada, the second largest country on earth, counts as one, just like Monaco, which he walked across. Still, it makes for a very eventful, rewarding and fulfilling life.

This was no cakewalk. Podell got into trouble with authorities, airlines, police, animals, rivers and natives wherever he ventured. Quickwitted, he persevered and innovated, and made it back every time. The last time, he even proposed at the airport, and after a lifetime of girlfriends who never seemed to last more than one trip, he married and presumably settled down (somewhat).

His observations are clear, balanced and fair. Unintentionally, he has pointed out the absurdity of the visa system, where some are permitted to enter or leave, and some not. Sometimes for multiple entry and sometimes for limited days. And depending on what country you’re arriving from, you may or may not enter. Or even be allowed to change planes. And all to no purpose. None.

It’s a romp and an education, and has changed my own bucket list.

We couldn’t do it, but I’m glad he did.

David Wineberg ( )
  DavidWineberg | Jan 8, 2015 |
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"In 2003, Albert Podell realized that he'd been to 110 countries in the world. What if, he wondered, he could go to them all? He would set foot in not just the well-known tourist destinations in Europe or the vacation spots in Latin America, but the little-known, far-off lands that most people don't know exist. In Around the World in 50 Years, Podell recounts the misunderstandings, detours, accidents, breakdowns, robberies, and even wars that he needed to overcome to visit every corner of Earth. He describes his encounters with voodoo rituals, fruit-bat pie, the Ghost Fleet of Truk Lagoon, Cuban counterintelligence agents, the New Guinea wigmen, camel caravans, the Lord's Resistance Army, and much, much more. With a wry, exuberant style, Podell's observations on the unusual and exotic places that lay beyond the usual tourist trails make this book a standout on the travel writing shelf"--… (more)

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