The Sinner's Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe - Tony Perrottet 2 stars for 'It was ok'

I had high hopes for this book. In many articles and reviews it was billed as a funny guide through Europe's sexual history, and while it was that, it was also a sometimes excruciatingly detailed mini memoir of a man who drags his family across the continent without regard to their vacation wants as he attempts to get into places the public cannot, for the most part, get access to.

As the book wore on, I started nitpicking at the story. If something is great, small things don't matter when the whole of it is enjoyable. But I found myself wondering about a man who walks into a country restaurant that closes at 2 pm and is annoyed that he won't get served because it's 2:05 (why should they want to serve you after closing?). And calls activities such as drawing while sitting on a balcony and talking while sitting in a cafe "eccentric routines". And is so proud of his progressiveness he brags about buying his city-raised 10 year old a boar hunting dagger. And did nobody in editing catch that framboise means raspberry, not strawberry? The truth: the bibliography is the best part of the thing. It led me to much better books.

At first it is light and informative, full of historical odds and ends, but about halfway through the book I was struggling to stay interested as pages and pages became filled with nothing of historical value, but instead turned into the recounting of a nightmare family vacation. As Mr. Perrottet quotes Lord Henry Brougham about the hours dragging on in Switzerland "Ennui comes on the third [hour], and suicide attacks you before the night."