I actually liked the audio tour, much to my surprise. I was half expecting a propogandish PG-rated happy-place-for-tourists sort of thing, perhaps reminiscent of the photojournal we first read. But they didn’t leave the nitty gritty out (they even discribed the sound of a knife getting stabbed into someone (and then played that sound)), and they a decent amount of interview time and some interesting details that none of the books covered, like the actual quality of the food.
In general, I have a healthy distrust for the whole touristy business, so I’ll share one thing I thought was funny. Upon disembarking, the tour guides reminded us we weren’t allowed to take home rocks from The Rock – they’re pieces of the historic landmark, and not for you to take home as souvenirs to put with all your other rocks. You could, of course, buy them in the gift shop, and for only $8! They even came with their own fancy little plastic enclosures and child safety warnings: “This is not a toy. Not for children under the age of 5. Do not remove from enclosure.” Yes, that’s right parents, be careful not to let your kids ever get their hands on rocks. Or play with them. Also, this is actually not a rock – it’s a souvenir. I wonder if people really buy them.