Why do you read book? To enjoy yourself, be entertained by a good story and – at least for me – to travel via the novel to another place and learn something about culture, habits and life in general there. Due to lack of time and money, I cannot visit all the places I would like to see with my own eyes, thus, the fictional world set in real places is often the only alternative available. Especially when it comes to time travel which, of course, will just remain a dream.
Sarah Baxter’s traveller’s guide leads you to 25 famous places of novels, among them Paris, London, St Petersburg, New York and Berlin. She briefly describes the setting of the novel and then compares the presentation as we get it in the book with what to find there today. Some places are almost identical and what you see through the eyes of the protagonist is what you can see yourself when travelling there. Others have changed a lot and the place now only exists between the covers of the book.
The text is accompanied by illustrations by Amy Grimes and even though they are mostly abstract, they wonderfully transport the atmosphere evoked in the novels. When reading make sure you either got a hard copy of the book or an electronic version in colour. I’d be a pity to have them just in black and white.
A beautiful collection which reminded me of novels I read a long time ago and which I definitely want to look at again now.