He told The Week magazine about six of his favorite books set in places that their authors never visited.
One title on the list:
Dracula by Bram StokerRead about the other books on the list.
Theater impresario Stoker was very well traveled. He didn’t make it to Eastern Europe, however, so it became a suitable place to let his imagination wander. He did more damage to a country’s reputation than any artist until Borat sank Kazakhstan. Transylvania is beautifully depicted: the mountains, the woods, the succubae.
Also see Phillips' list of "Five Novels That Make You Feel Like You Might Know Something about Life During the Collapse of the Hapsburg Empire."