Las Vegas for Dummies

Dummies books in general are nicely laid out, with easy to read text, informative highlights, and simple symbols to keep you in check. That all being said, this just isn't my favorite travel book about Vegas. The Dummies style works great for figuring out how your software works, but it doesn't seem to key in properly to what Las Vegas is all about.

I think the main issue here is that the Dummies book tries to cover a number of different topics in a very shallow manner. Let's start at the beginning. It dedicates the first two chapters on how to get to Vegas. It lists things like "surf the web" to find cheap airline rates. I really didn't need a book to tell me that. It tells you to bring a cell phone. Really, if I get a book on Vegas, I want to know what to do and see in Vegas, and where to stay. The rest of this intro stuff is just fluff.

OK, so we get to the actual "arrival" part of the book. Once again you have a ton of fluff about "look on the web to find hotel prices" and "avoiding hidden costs". They could almost have a cookie cutter travel book at this point, with no actual content about the city you are visiting. When we finally get to the actual hotel descriptions, there is a brief paragraph (or maybe 2) on each one. I would really have liked some sort of easy to use table listing them all and their features, rather than having to scan the paragraphs hoping they mentioned the items I was interested in.

The restaurant area is the same way, a paragraph on each, no real organization to help you out on making your choices. But don't blink - quickly you are into "gambling tips and tricks". Really, if I wanted to learn how to gamble, there are ample books on the topic. I need to know the details in Vegas to choose where to stay and eat, and I still really haven't gotten enough of that information.

You get some information on shows and nightclubs, but then you get lists of top 10 things that aren't in Vegas any more. This might be historically informative, and I might not have minded its inclusion if otherwise the book was chock-full of specific, useful information. But given how much of the rest of the book was already generic, it sort of rubbed that in my face. So now I know even more about things that aren't around any more :)

I do love Dummies books. I own many of them and think they're great. For some reason, the Vegas Dummies book is the worst book in my Vegas collection. I guess it just goes to show that no one system can fit every need.

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