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Straight Up: The insiders' guide to the world's most interesting bars and drinking experiences Hardcover – 31 October 2017
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About the Author
- Publisher : Mitchell Beazley; 1st edition (31 October 2017)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1784722731
- ISBN-13 : 978-1784722739
- Dimensions : 15.88 x 2.86 x 21.59 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 612,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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'Straight Up' is very well researched and yet delivered in easily readable digests - I read through it from start to finish but could equally be used as reference guide (before you visited one of the many bars/cities they feature).
The authors clearly know their booze and have a good understanding of why we enjoy going to good bars. I agreed with the reviews of the establishments (that I've visited myself) and will certainly try and visit some of their other suggestions.
It's also a very well-designed book (graphically and in terms of layout) and has a quality feel to the hand.
In a nutshell the book provides you with a short fire overview of a huge range of bars and drinking establishments from across the globe, providing the following info on each:
IN THREE WORDS:
Here the book’s writers provide three words to describe the establishment – usually this is absolutely no help at all to you.
THE DRINK TO BUY:
This is quite a nice little section. Some bars specialise in a certain house drink – and this book will zero in on just that for you.
What the book’s crack team of over 100 well-seasoned bar testers had to say.
What the book’s authors had to say.
In a one to five star rating scale, based on the average price for that style of bar in that area, it’s given a price rating.
The book also includes ‘The Star Tenders’ which provides one to two page interviews on bartenders and people supposedly ‘in the know’ who tell you about their favourite bars and drinking establishments and what you should try there. To be honest, I found these pages of little to no interest, and often barely even skim read them – even when I’m visiting the city they’re talking about.
These sections focus on a particular city, providing a ‘city guide’ which is probably one of the most helpful and interesting aspects of the book.
All in all I really wasn’t very impressed with the book. It’s a bit clumsy with how its put together, not the easiest to navigate, and ends up veering towards pretentiousness rather than insightful hints and tips.
The books also focuses on particular cities, and misses off others. There’s absolutely no coverage of any part of Wales. Cardiff has some of the very best bars in the UK. Why has this modern, well-loved capital city been completely missed? Ok, so they couldn’t cover every city, but being predominantly a British book, it should probably have covered all of the capital cities. Sadly Wales has been forgotten.
All in all, I can’t say I’m all that impressed with the book. Bit of a shame really.
When reading books of this kind I am always a little wary that the style of presentation will trump any substance in the content, that the presentation of information with infographics, accompanied by pictures and photographs are more suited to magazines, blogs or websites than books. Thankfully this is not an issue here, in addition to the travelogue reviews of bars, there are "focus" pieces and interviews with star bartenders, "startenders", and it is good to read their recommendations and views in addition to those of the authors themselves. There are some great photographs too, I know that there are reviewers or readers who will think of this as a "coffee table" book, perhaps it is but I think it does it a bit of a disservice as it strikes me as a more practical book than that.
Finally, I would say its a pretty fun book and fun read, I loved the pieces on Dublin, having resided there for a few years and visited it on and off since, and it has made me think about what other travels I could plan for the future. I have given this four stars rather than five as I agree with some of the other reviewers that the authors have attempted to cover A LOT of ground in a single smaller volume, the could easily have expanded upon what is here in terms of, say, North America or Europe (which are the two larger sections of the book) into a reasonably good and complete stand alone volume (who knows maybe they will).