betting on the absurd
[note: I’ve been reading a German translation]
The story: We’re in the late 1990s, and Tony Hawks is a British music composer and comedian who frequently gets mistaken for a pro skater. In 1997, he sets out to lug a refrigerator around Ireland. You might have already guessed it: he is trying to win a bet.
He buys a compact fridge and starts hitchhiking. A radio station picks up on his adventure and supports him with regular broadcasts. Within a few weeks’ time, he manages to travel around the island, make a bunch of new friends, drink a lot of beer and become a minor celebrity.
Tony Hawks – funny or forced?
The book is okay. Hawks has a strong passion for the absurd, and his writing is humorous most of the time. Some of his conversations with the people he runs into are pretty enjoyable, as are his rather drunken insights into Irish pub life.
There are times when it all feels a bit contrived, though, maybe even bloated. It seems as if there is nothing really interesting going on, with Hawks desperately trying to make something happen for the sake of the story. Taking the fridge out to go surfing, for example.
Anyway, it’s not a terrible book.
who might want to read this
Hawks’ feat of hitchhiking around Ireland with his compact fridge isn’t much. His storytelling is okay, though it gets a bit boring. His writing style is basically good when he manages to be funny. There’s not much in terms of valuable information in this book.
If you want to read something light and entertaining, you could give this one a try.
Also read: Tim Moore, for an equally gimmicky travel book that I liked better than this one.