I saw this book in the bookshop and it was the perfect storm of "buy me": Gorgeous cover, a title with Cursed in it, and content focused on the unusual.
The cover is still gorgeous. Cursed didn't mean exactly what I thought it meant, though it was still very interesting. I flashed on the simplest definition: a hex conjured by really pissed off people. The author used the word in the broader context: places that seem eternally destined for strife, challenges or difficulties; an area prone to high death rates, but because of geography as opposed to the wrath of an individual or group. Still great stuff, just not quite as edgy.
The writing is good, but the editing was disappointing; in a book that was obviously so carefully put together, these word-order errors were jarring. The author, La Carrer is unapologetically sarcastic at times, and not for humorous effect; I got my edginess, but not in the way I was expecting. There are small touches of humor here and there, and the entry for Point Cook, Australia is hilarious; he makes it sound like the mecca for animals who are only here to kill you.
It's a quick, easy read and I learned a lot; I didn't feel like he chose run of the mill places on the map. Amityville and Gaza aren't going to be new to anyone but for me at least, most of these were almost or completely new. Kibera has almost completely squashed my desire to see the Maldives, but I'm now incredibly interested in seeing the Kasanka National Park (spoiler alert: it involves bats).