The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us

The Hidden Europe What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us Francis Tapon yearned for a European adventure but Western Europe seemed too tame and pass So he traveled for years visiting every Eastern European country all of them The Hidden Europe cleverly

  • Title: The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us
  • Author: Francis Tapon
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 235
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Francis Tapon yearned for a European adventure, but Western Europe seemed too tame and pass So he traveled for 3 years visiting every Eastern European country all 25 of them.The Hidden Europe cleverly mixes insightful facts with hilarious personal anecdotes It s profound, yet light Francis Tapon is a sharp observer who helps you distinguish a Latvian from a Lithuanian,Francis Tapon yearned for a European adventure, but Western Europe seemed too tame and pass So he traveled for 3 years visiting every Eastern European country all 25 of them.The Hidden Europe cleverly mixes insightful facts with hilarious personal anecdotes It s profound, yet light Francis Tapon is a sharp observer who helps you distinguish a Latvian from a Lithuanian, while not confusing Slovenia with Slovakia.You ll also learn Why Baltic people are human squirrels When and why Poland disappeared from Europe Why Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia broke up Why Hungarians are really Martians How Slovenians learn languages so quickly Why the Balkans is so screwed up Why there s much to Romania than Dracula Which Moldovan tradition saves marriages What the future holds for Belarus, Ukraine, Russia Why communism was a dream and a nightmare.You ll understand a side of Europe that is still mysterious and misunderstood even 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union Francis Tapon is an ideal guide in a book that will become a classic travel narrative.

    One thought on “The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us”

    1. I read this book after hearing an interview with the author on Rick Steves' radio show, and because I was planning my own trip to the Balkans (had a blast, by the way!) When I finished this VERY LONG book (over 700 pages) I wrote one negative review on , and then offhandedly mentioned my dislike of the book (and my preference for another book about former Yugoslavia, "Impossible Country").Based on those two mentions on the internet the author has harassed me in both reviews, as he has harassed e [...]

    2. I LOVE this book- it's not a travel guide, exactly, but a culture guide- beware, though. The author spares no one in his offbeat, sometimes deprecating but often hilarious descriptions of the people and places he costs as he "couch surfs" across Eastern Europe!

    3. I am Francis Tapon, the author of this book. I'll reflect on my own book while trying to remain as objective as possible. No book will be loved by all. Here are the pros and cons of The Hidden EuropeOS: - It's comprehensive: 25 countries, 25 chapters, 736 pages, 330,000 words, took 7 years to write, based on several years of traveling in each country at least twice. - It's profound, yet light: the book tackles heavy subjects (like history, nationalism, and wars), but interjects humor throughout [...]

    4. Despite the moments where I felt like I might be reading Biff's travelogue (from Lamb by Christopher Moore) I'm still giving this a 5 star review. It's lighthearted enough that it doesn't bore you. Each chapter finishes with a summary of what his collective experiences in that area taught him. It's not a travel guide but essentially a wandering adventure that reveals a different side of Europe that some of us may not be familiar with. Mostly because people on vacation tend to be interested in wh [...]

    5. I decided to read this entertaining book because my family & I had a month trip booked to Eastern Europe. I wanted a quick preview on the countries we would be visiting. Because of a family emergency our trip was cancelled, but I still had a three month experience there by reading this book. It was an easy read and certainly makes me more comfortable with the idea of spending time in any future travels there. It was interesting to note what Tapon's priorities were versus those of ours. I fin [...]

    6. Can be a bit controversial for some readers, but it has its charm. Confronts historical and statistical data, usually from Gallup polls, with the opinion of locals. Chapter about Poland looks to me quite informative and realistic. My opinion could be valuable, because I live there for over 40 years. If other countries are similarly well investigated then this book is a must read for anybody interested in the world.

    7. I will keep this short so as to not waste more time with this book than I already have and hopefully prevent you from doing the same.- It lacks focus. It isn't a travel guide, it isn't a travel log, it isn't a serious or semi-serious attempt at comparative cultural analysis, it isn't a popular history guide, it isn't an amateur economical study. It tries to be all of this, glued with comedy and self-help advice, the result being this clumsy behemoth of 736 pages. If you think that's not too bad [...]

    8. This is not a travel guide nor is this a tome of the typical travel writing. Instead it's a fascinating historical, political, socioeconomical and anthropological account of one man's travels through one of the most misunderstood and unknown areas of the world. My husband bought this book for me before we moved to Europe because one of our primary goals was to use our new home as a launchpad into some of these countries you wouldn't necessarily hop a 18-hour plane ride for. I'll be honest, it to [...]

    9. It was potentially fascinating: a country-by-country tour of Eastern Europe.Alas, Tapon's book is full of rants, sexist digressions on which country has the 'hottest babes', R-rated trips to various saunas with aforementioned hot babes, four letter words in multiple languages.There were some interesting factoids, but not enough to save this 700 page disaster.

    10. Allow me a few bits of preface to this review:1. I love traveling.2. I love reading.3. I love reading about traveling.4. I love reading about places that I haven't visited and getting inspired.5. I love reading about the entertaining misadventures of others.6. I love reading about the happenings of number five during travel.So, when I say that this book was terrible, I am not just talking for the sake of hearing my own voice.The introduction was the best part of this book. Well, the first few pa [...]

    11. This is a long book; however, I honestly don't see how it could be shortened. Francis Tapon traveled to the 25 Eastern European countries to asked the locals: What can Americans learn from your country?. Is it an authoritative history? No, is it a scientific treatise? No. I do think it was worth reading, although at times it did seem to get bogged down with statistics and language lessons.One of the things that he says in his conclusion section is worth quoting: "The failed communist experiment [...]

    12. Like the author, I've also traveled around Eastern Europe, though, in my case, only for two weeks. After reading, I could make sense what's really going on in Eastern Europe, how Eastern European think things (in most case, "pessimistic"), what the traditional cuisine was all about, and so on. I admire his all attempts and efforts to deeply understand local folks. If you wanna travel around Eastern Europe, you have to read this before leaving.

    13. CaptivatingMy search for a deeper understanding of my Eastern European roots led me to the discovery of this amazing book😊. The britannica was my traveling companion through the journey meeting the personae and learning (and many times, relearning) lessons from the regions. Truly a worthwhile experience.

    14. I bought this book after deciding to do a spot of backpacking around Eastern Europe this coming Autumn. Although this was of particular interest to me personally due to my proposed adventure, I think that all Western Europeans and beyond should be made or perhaps more appropriately offered the opportunity to read this book. It eliminates many common misconceptions about 'Hidden Europe' and has a great balance of anecdotes, history and fact. I pick it up and read it and re read it again and again [...]

    15. I found the writing uninteresting and shallow. I read through the first 5 countries, but couldn't go any farther. His insights were far from insightful and I could care less about how sexy the babes in the sauna were or how he saw his soul mate on a train platform. Truly disappointing since the subject matter is so interesting and could have been wonderful with a different author.

    16. Francis offers historical as well as contemporary insides about eastern European countries in his uniquely humorous way. A condensed evaluation of the state of several countries behind the former iron curtain. Check out his other book "Hike your own hike." too.

    17. Brilliant book. It isn't just a plain travelogue - it is a brilliant mixture of history, economics, politics and travel writing. I suppose I am a bit biased because I am also fascinated with Eastern Europe and also have travelled to some of these 'hidden' countries.

    18. If you feel like reading my original review from 2013/14, it is below. As I used to ramble a lot when I first started writing reviews, here is a three part summary of my thoughts:1. The book is advertised as having something to teach the reader about Eastern Europe. The book doesn't really teach you anything new that you wouldn't have learned either in high school or online. When he does drop a fact that you may not have known, he doesn't mention any sources for it.2. The author spends much of t [...]

    19. On one hand, I really liked the book. I've read it from cover to cover (and this is a LONG book), and I couldn't put it down.I'm originally from Eastern Europe myself, but, as the author rightfully noted, we, Eastern Europeans, often don't know a thing about our neighbors. I, for example, knew very little about Balkan countries, so I learned a lot. On the other hand, I did not like at all that often the author was very chauvinistic. The descriptions of women in the book are extremely sexist and [...]

    20. I read this before my own European adventure. Tapon focuses on one country at a time in little-known Eastern Europe telling of his experiences that are often comic and always entertaining and then leaves little anecdotes about what we could learn from the countries as well as some general tips. This book made me really want to travel all over Eastern europe so I'm making stops in Budapest and Prague to find my own little adventures.

    21. This book opened my eyes to a lot of different perspectives from different Eastern European countries. Although no author can give a completely objective view on any country, I felt the author certainly gave an intelligent attempt at depicting many of the main ideas that make up each of these countries and their current situations. He also makes the book more lively with his honesty and sense of humor. I think it is a must read for anyone interested in knowing more about Eastern Europe and some [...]

    22. I read this book in about 2 weeks because I read slowly and English is my 5th language. It was very educating. For the first time, I knew a country like Latvia even exists. I am from the Sahara and have lived in a village for half of my life. So naturally, I didn't know what Finland or Slovakia is or where they are located until I read this book. I am very happy I did. I love it and the humor in the book makes it even better.For example, in Latvia, there's a hilarious part where Francis is watch [...]

    23. The book is long, but most academics will not have an issue with it.Mainstream readers will struggle due to the myriad of anecdotes the author chooses to include.I read this less as a travel book and more as a personal glimpse into the daily lives of an otherwise forgotten people - the different peoples and daily lives of the formerly communist Eastern Europe. In that regard, the author scores high marks.But part of this book seems to have been ghostwritten by Richard Laymon (no offense) and Ian [...]

    24. Egotistical, condescending and poorly writtenSeriously,this melange of factoids,self absorption and Western eccentricity may be the worst travel book I have ever read. It could easily have been edited to half and been better ,if not for the self centered awareness of the author. If I could give it no stars ,I would

    25. Great resource, particularly for people who are curious about lesser known history and cultural attractions in Europe. I want to meet locals and find wonderful out-of-the-way or eccentric things, but the trouble is having the time to do it on my own. That problem is solved with this book.

    26. I felt as if the author has given me great insight into the people and culture of the countries I have visited or will be visiting next year.

    27. I'd love to give this book a great review. In terms of the information provided and the author's ability to see history from multiple angles, it's great. Some of the stories are both fun and informative. And I understand that there needed to be some stereotyping involved -- he even acknowledges this. But Tapon's consistent sexism and treatment of women as objects is, for lack of a better word, disgusting. Women are constantly rated in terms of their hottness. He describes his sexual conquests fo [...]

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