- Buy the book
Reviewed by Joe Tackett
ichael Powell’s “Forbidden Knowledge: Travel” is a tongue in cheek must-read for the adventurous scofflaw. For the traveler about to hop on an overseas redeye flight to anywhere, go ahead and grab a copy of the book, and in the process, you may also want to add the name and number of a lawyer who specializes in international criminal law. Put your lawyer’s number on speed dial because you’re going to need it, especially if Powell’s latest creation is serving as your tour guide. The book’s subtitle “101 Things NOT Every Traveler Should Know How to Do” is an aptly termed disclaimer and hints at the many nefarious deeds and felonies waiting to be discovered within.
Ever dream of being the catalyst to an international incident certain to land you in a foreign prison or at the top of Interpol’s most wanted list? If you have, look no further, because the author provides ample fodder for the uninitiated. Have a passion for history? If so, a career in international antiquities smuggling awaits and Powell’s latest installment shows you how. Don’t have time to get a passport or lost yours shuffling from train to shuttle to hostel? No worries. The author includes a section on how to get a fake passport, pointing out that, “Securing a fake passport in Europe is as easy as buying a rack of automatic weapons in a 7-Eleven back home.”
In between Powell’s humorous descriptions of forgery, fraud and scams, he does manage to include some practical travel tips. For instance, one can score free airline tickets by agreeing to be bumped to a later flight. Either that, or choose any of the other options provided by Powell such as dating a flight attendant or feigning a serious illness. Not satisfied with the hotel room your travel agent booked? Powell shows the reader how to manipulate hotel staff and get a free upgrade in the process.
“Forbidden Knowledge: Travel” lives up to its moniker, and this reader is eagerly awaiting the next installment in Powell’s series of all things forbidden.