Time journalist Iyer's cosmopolitan travelogue explores the cultural isolation of such regions as North Korea, Iceland and Bhutan. Only some of the "lonely places" covered in this book (North Korea, Argentina, Cuba, Iceland, Bhutan, Vietnam, Paraguay, Australia) are isolated by geography, but all are culturally or politically isolated. That few tourist itineraries include these misfit countries increases their sense of being alone in the world.
Wonderful, offbeat travel adventures.
Enjoyable reading. Some of the pieces are dated, but are like old letters sent years ago that you find stashed away in your attic. Reminds you of how these places were at that time, and that they're never coming back. The chapter on Paraguay is probably the funniest, and the one on Bhutan probably the most informative as Bhutan doesn't get as many tourists as the other places visited here.