||The Rough Guide series, famous for its listings of skanky Italian hostels and super-cheap Istanbul eateries, now covers the wildest territory of all. The Internet: The Rough Guide 2000 is a tourist's guide to the online world, complete with information on what equipment you need, what it'll cost, and what to see once you're connected. This latest edition reflects recent changes in site locations and contents.
Hardly bigger than a coaster, this book packs a remarkable amount of information into its minimal bulk. Though its small format makes it somewhat difficult to use (it won't lie open), author Angus Kennedy competently explains everything from basic connection procedures to multimedia and page publishing in a fraction of the space other books require (and at far less cost too). Fans of other Rough Guide books will be pleased by coverage of the Internet as it applies to travelers (Web-based mail sites, cybercafés, and the like).
The how-to information represents only half of what this guide contains. The rest is a random walk, largely on the Web's weird side. You'll find references to sites claiming to be the grossest (in an 8-year-old's sense of the word) on the Web, a site where you can get a downward-ticking death clock, Mr. Cranky's movie reviews, and "99 Ways to Open a Beer Bottle." Sure, there's some serious reference stuff, but it misses the point. Overall, the book is almost as much fun as opening 99 beer bottles in a skanky Italian hostel. --David Wall
Topics covered: The Internet from every angle. What it is, what it's good for, why and how you should connect. Having connected you, the author skips off on a eclectic tour of things to see and do online.