Hearst Magazines president Clinton’s first nonphotography book (American Portraits, 2010, etc.) mixes travel guide and travel diary.
Beginning with a youthful dream to visit family in Ireland, the author relates how he became obsessed with travel and then highlights some of the 122 countries he’s visited, with each chapter representing a different country or region. Fortunately, with so many experiences to choose from, Clinton is able to warn readers to avoid the disappointing or overexposed. In many countries, he suggests itineraries to add on to the usual jaunts—e.g., in Tuscany, certainly visit Florence or Pisa, but also the coastal town of Forte dei Marmi. Unfortunately, these tips are buried among Clinton’s personal asides, thoughts that often come off as arrogant. In an anecdote about trying to leave Europe when a cloud of volcanic ash had stopped most flights, he writes, “Ahhh, now I know what it must have been like when people tried to get out of Europe in 1939!” In relating his memories, the author clearly wants to express the wonder of his experiences, but the stories often fall flat and seem unfinished. Still, each chapter contains the kind of information that could change a journey from average to amazing. At the end of many chapters, Clinton includes a list of tips from other world travelers that will be handy for explorers in different stages of their own globe-trotting adventures. Though it will take perseverance to uncover them, the tips contained in this book are treasures worth the work.
A good choice for those who look for expert advice in finding more adventurous choices for their global journeys.