9781891603006 / 1891603000

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About the book:

"Refuse to be a tourist!" commands the back cover of Avant-Guide Prague. This guide challenges the reader-traveler to buck convention in more ways than one. Created for an audience weaned on MTV and used to lots of in-your-face information, the book is laid out like a music video in print--its pages filled with artsy photographs set askew amid a mix of type styles and sizes.

But once you tackle this optical onslaught, the content is useful and quite thorough for a pocket-sized guide. The authors spread the jargon and humor on lavishly, as this lowdown on the lingo illustrates: "Czech is one of the most difficult languages we have come across, just a hair milder than Mandarin Chinese.... Even people who have studied the language for years still find it tough to collar the jive."

The "Bohemian Rhapsodizing" and "Historical Crash Course" chapters include interviews with a political agitator who admits to planting drugs in the police chief's office, and with a thirtysomething parliamentarian about the fall of socialism, as well as excerpts from Václav Havel's first New Year's address to the nation. Other chapters explain how to navigate the city; provide overviews of the top sights; describe walking tours; and cover fitness and sports, shopping, eating, sleeping, and alternatives to sleeping. The maps are readable and, yes, free of visual clutter. --Kathryn True

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