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Paradise Updated

by Mic Looby


The Author

Through the kindness of Eric (dr. pepper) and the wonderful people of Affirm Press (Melbourne, Australia), I received a copy of Mic Looby's first offering as a novelist - Paradise Updated. Prior to this endeavor, Mr. Looby had been an author (Lonely Planet Myanmar (Burma)) and an editor (Lonely Planet Outback Australia) for guess who - yup - Lonely Planet. He is also well known for his illustrations in It's True! Frogs Are Cannibals (It's True!) by Michael J. Tyler and It's True! Animals Are Electrifying (It's True!) by Rick Wilkinson.

The Introduction

Welcome to SmallWorld™ - the Utopian sanctuary for travel guide authors and editors. Here is where your dream destinations are written down, catalogued, dated, updated and published for your reading pleasure. Here is where the fine line between fact and fiction also disappears in a haze of cost-cutting managerial decisions. Regardless, if there's a spot on this earth that someone wants to visit, you can be sure SmallWorld™ has an author on location to compile the complete travel guide just for you. Or, do they...

Welcome to Maganda. A country comprised of a small group of islands situated off the coast of South East Asia and virtually ignored by everyone except the young backpacking set - all carrying their copy of the travel guide (aka The Bible). The Bible is a lifetime's worth of work by SmallWorld's most notorious author, Robert Rind. He's a legend. A legend the publishers are eager to replace with just about anyone who is young, breathing and resembles a well-known actress. Who cares if she is inexperienced. She'll learn. Or, will she...

The Review

It took me awhile to actually get into this book but I'm very glad I kept reading. By the end, I was laughing hysterically with each turn of the page. You have a guide book publisher unwilling to pay an author's travel expenses because, "We can't afford to throw money at every guidebook author who wants to go travelling." That line alone forced me onward. Upon arriving in Maganda, the continual introduction to key characters (and finally) the infamous Robert Rind himself, had me hooked.

It is rumored that Paradise Updated is just a fictionalized representation of factual guide book publisher's tactics. I don't know and I don't really care. I can see the correlation with wanting to cut budgets, trying to appeal to broader (read younger) user base and altering a company's image. It happens daily around the world. But, it's the back story and the coming together of the key characters that make this book so enjoyable. Whether you believe the rumor or not, you will be wondering how Robert Rind has lasted as long as he has. And then there's poor Rudy...

The book is written in a travel guide-esque format. Bits from The Bible are interspersed at the end of chapters and chapters are also categorized in guide style. I recommend this book to anyone who has used a travel guide. I definitely recommend it to anyone thinking of becoming a travel guide writer. Kudos to Mr. Looby's first novel and I hope there is another on the horizon.

This book is not yet available on Amazon. Presently, it is for sale on the Affirm Press website: Paradise Updated

Posted by Isadora 13:09

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