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Toilets of the World

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  136 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
This amusing but highly informative photographic journey reveals the idiosyncrasy and inventiveness that characterize the construction of the humble toilet around the globe.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Merrell Publishers (first published 2006)
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Aug 17, 2015 Melki rated it it was amazing
Yes, indeedly-doo, there is a definite snerk-factor to this book.


Potty stuff makes us giggle, pure and simple, and yet, taking a look at the structures we use for relieving ourselves can tell us as much about a society as a study of eating and mating habits. Here's a fascinating look at a variety of toilets, from a simple hole in the ground to a solid-gold commode. There are hundreds of color photos, but there is also interesting commentary on the whys and occasionally the hows of each fixture.
Sep 11, 2011 Ann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, hi-lo
Have you ever wondered what toilets look like in other countries? Here is a guide like no other.
From a thatched palm leave toilet on stilts in Panama which drains directly into the sea to a "pee tree" in an Alberta, Canada campsite to the pair of 24-carat solid gold toilets in a Hong Kong store, this book brings them all to you.
I have experienced firsthand what some of these toilets look like. I can tell you the one in Barcelona with the caves in Park Gueil is exactly the way it is pictured in
Elaine Meszaros
Dec 03, 2014 Elaine Meszaros rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable photo essay collection of toilets of the world. From a hole in the sand in the middle of a vast desert, a tree marked "p" on a hiking trail, to an ultra-modernist egg shaped pods at a London club, the world takes potty breaks in a remarkable number of ways. And for those of you familiar with the Kohler Art Museum, you may smugly point out toilets you have personally visited... in one way or another.
Jul 15, 2014 Ubalstecha rated it it was ok
Got this because I thought it would be a cute, fun, silly read. Sadly it was lacking. Sure there are the crazy toilets, like the ones with giant heads in Japan that move towards you, but a lot of this book is simply tin shacks and dirt huts in the middle of nowhere.

Skip it.
Aug 22, 2008 Matimate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, 2008
Being good and art aware girl I went to my friend's place who shares passion for art and instead of idle chitchat I went straight to the bathroom and had very good time there with a book. Tell me, have you ever been curious about the simple place of daily interest for example in Zimbabwe? Or is there any difference between yours and Japan's meditation place? The book gives you all answers you were craving for and were to shy to ask. It is the history of the white god in front of every alcoholic ...more
Nov 29, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it
Interesting and eye-opening collection of various toilets around the world!
Oct 21, 2014 AnandaTashie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fic, 2014
Brought great amusement to the whole family. :D
May 31, 2011 Heidi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2011
A little bit of history, a whole lot of fun! Color photos and descriptions of the (sometimes) porcelain pots are arranged geographically, generally by continent. From a thatched palm leave toilet on stilts in Panama which drains directly into the sea to a "pee tree" in an Alberta, Canada campsite to the pair of 24-carat solid gold toilets in a Hong Kong store, this book brings them all to you. Check out the kiddie loos from Izmir, Turkey on pages 214-215: a cute, purple kangaroo toilet and a tur ...more
Jamie Collins
The writing isn't always brilliant, but there are some interesting pictures. It's just for fun, the book doesn't attempt to be comprehensive or try to actually represent the average state of sanitation in any particular place.

For a more serious discussion of worldwide sanitation, I recommend The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters.
Jan 23, 2014 Melanie rated it liked it
Definitely learned a few things. Even if it is slow going- read this through to the end- there is a "grand finale."
Sep 17, 2008 Jenny rated it it was amazing
best book ever!!!!!!! You have to get this book. I know it looks stupid as it is about toilets, but its really fun and neat and gross to see what other people "go" on. It also gives you surprisingly good insight to the country the toilet is at and what they think of customs in relations to a bodily function. Also, I'm not so freaked out about going in public now. it's just really neat and fun, get this book!!!
Sharon Malcolm
Mar 19, 2010 Sharon Malcolm rated it really liked it
Absolutely fascinating stuff. Someone has actually gone around the world and photographed and researched all the different types of toilets in the world, from squatty potties, suspended loos over water, street pissoirs to toilets made of gold, with a bit of historical and cultural relevance thrown in. And I know a good place to read it.
Aug 13, 2011 Harle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book not knowing quite what to expect, but I got a lot more information than I thought possible! From high-tech Japanese toilets to rustic outhouses with mannequins inside, this book taught me more then I ever wanted to know about the porcelain throne. Just be grateful we don't live in the middle east.
Jul 09, 2015 Harvey rated it really liked it
- beautifully illustrated book about toilets
- their history
- an explanation of worldwide styles and designs
- from no-tech, to low-tech, to very high-tech
- an odd subject, I suppose, but I have used toilets in 32 countries and have been exposed (HA!) to a wide range of styles and designs
Mar 18, 2008 Tessa rated it really liked it
This book is both educational and entertaining. It is a collection of photographs of toilets (or what passes as a toilet) from all over the world. There are classy ones, weird ones, terrifying ones, and ones that I would rather go on the street than use. Check it out if you get the chance.
Michelle Young
Feb 26, 2008 Michelle Young rated it liked it
Shelves: culture, funny, nonfiction
The book I've been waiting for! I love seeing diverse bathrooms from around the world. A clean bathroom is so important, and an innovative toilet is very cool. My favorite one was in Germany, which was like the one in this book that has a plastic cover and cleansing agent.
Mar 21, 2010 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel, library_books
The things one finds on the New books shelf!

This coffee-table genre book (if your coffee table resembles an airline meal tray in size) made for fun reading. It is weren't quite so bulky, I'd deem it perfect for carrying about for waiting rooms and other downtime periods.
Dani Lane
Feb 26, 2011 Dani Lane rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Leslie Boomers
I can't think of a better bathroom book! It's both horrifying and delightful. Some of the toilets are the stuff of my worst stress dreams and yet, yep, I do want to go to Japan and experience the wild toilets.
Jan 01, 2014 Shelia rated it really liked it
There are some very interesting toilets out there!
Mar 23, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
I got this for my husband as a stocking stuffer, and it turned out to be great bathroom reading. Very interesting and unusual facilities out there!
Kitty Tomlinson
Jul 07, 2013 Kitty Tomlinson rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Informative guide to the toilets of the world. Very interesting. We all assume that bathrooms would be the same worldwide. Go figure.
Aug 09, 2008 Toby rated it really liked it
What a delightful book. As expected, some of the toilets in Japan are almost beyond comprehension. I must go to Japan.
Photos and information about different kinds of toilets all over the world. It's really pretty interesting.
Feb 11, 2011 Child960801 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Entertaining and educational. Made me glad for my toilet, which is something I don't always say.
Olivia M
Sep 20, 2011 Olivia M rated it it was amazing
okay so maybe i didnt read it from cover to back but i swear i looked at all the pictures

Apr 08, 2009 Salena rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: nonfiction
One of my favorite books about bathrooms. Great combination of pictures and text.
Nov 16, 2012 Jamie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Drôle pendant 5 minutes. Même pas un photo d'une toilette des pays arabes...
Jul 05, 2015 Denise rated it liked it
Shelves: self-chosen
Fascinating, informative, and a bit frightening.
Nov 22, 2009 Catalina rated it it was amazing
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooh yeah
Nov 11, 2008 Melanie rated it really liked it
The second best book near our toilet.
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