Ever since he can remember, Dom Joly has been fascinated by travel to odd places. In part, this stems from a childhood spent in war-torn Lebanon, where instead of swapping marbles in the schoolyard, he had a shrapnel collection - the schoolboy currency of Beirut. These early experiences left Dom with a profound loathing for the sanitized experiences of the modern-day travel industry and a taste for the darkest of places. And in this brilliantly odd and hilariously told travel memoir, Dom Joly sets out on a quest to visit those destinations from which the average tourist would, and should, run a mile.
Funny and frightening in equal measure, this is a uniquely bizarre and compelling travelogue from one of the most fearless and innovative comedians around.
©2010 Dom Joly (P)2011 Audible Ltd
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"Funny, touching stories from Odd places"
Dom Joly's very unusual upbringing in the Lebanon, where he went to school - if we believe it - with Osama Bin Laden, and regular travel as an unaccompanied minor has obviously created in him a very peculiar brand of wanderlust.
I must confess that I share his distaste for anywhere with a Starbucks or MacDonald's and for visiting beautiful places which have clearly been trampled all over by thousands of others, but could not endure the pain and difficulties he puts himself through to get to these unusual places.
He hares it so much he chooses to visit totalitarian states, sites of nuclear disaster and anywhere, which if he visits it, will provoke 3 hours of interview when tries to enter the USA. Added to this, his wonderfully, almost suicidal childishness: "Telling a narrow-minded US border official he'd been to Iran to Ski!" and putting deliberately provocative statements on his boarding cards, means that each trip plays like a cross between a chance to see how humans live in incredible circumstances and a trip over the wall to steal the headmasters prize marrow.
The stories are wonderfully entertaining and enlightening in equal measure. I for one enjoy my own company, but I doubt I would enjoy sitting for hours in uncomfortable rooms in Kiev, Pyongyang or Phnom Penh, but he is willing to put himself through it and write it up to amuse himself and the reader.
I loved it. I look forward to his next excuse for a travel book.
I normally listen to material I can learn from and so it took me a while to get around to listening to this but once I started I couldn't turn it off - a very good listen.
Craig Beck, Author
"surprising what you learn"
There were many things I didn't know before listening to this book, about both Dom (he's a fellow left handy for example) but also about places I'll probably never be able to afford to visit - or dare to.
I'm not usually into travel books, but this was really engaging and the imagery created is strong enough to help you create a mental picture. It's really funny too, so easy to get into. Certainly has a few dark bits but things seldom talked about so worth knowing.
I was initially skeptical about this book. Once I started listening to it, I just could not put it down. Dom Joly - God bless him, has visited those places which a normal and sane tourist would not dream off. Iran, North Korea, Lebnan and Chernobyl nuclear facility are few of the places I would not dream of visiting in my life time. However Dom has done it for all of us. His account of these visits are not only honest, eye opening but most important of all humorous which make this book a very enjoyable experience to listen. I learned a lot about these places than I would normally know from the news coverage. After listening to this audio book, I actually purchased the paper copy to read and passed it on in my family.
"Exotic and Entertaining"
Dom Jolly takes you on an adventure like non I've ever heard before. He goes to all sorts of off limit places and laughs in the face of danger (literally). There are two things that stand out to me in listening to this audio book. First, Jolly is a good story teller. He's funny and considerate with a good eye for detail. Second, I truly enjoyed the personal account of places that I will never visit during my lifetime. To me, hearing accounts of what its actually like inside Iran and N. Korea; how the people live and the environment they live in was amazing. I wish there was a follow up book. I highly recommend it!
Makes me want to visit Iran AND North Korea!
Great narrator and really funny stories! :)
"stick with the freebie"
the free 1st chapter was the best part of tbis book, so I was a little let down by the other chapters,, althoughthey wereimteresting and humurous.
"Better than I thought!"
I bought this audio book after listening to the free first chapter. I have to say I was surprised. I only knew Dom joly from the silly comedic tv shows he was in, which I wasn't too keen on! This book however really does take a fresh, youthful, funny approach to describing countries I'd love to experience. In this format, his comedy is welcome. The north Korea and Lebanon chapters were eye opening. American, not so much. I would recommend this audio book if you are interested in travel especially to off the beaten path locations.
"Enjoyable and interesting"
I enjoyed some sections (e.g. Iran, USA, North Korea) more than others, but overall an informative and entertaining book. Well worth a listen.
"Bit of a letdown"
Huge fan of Dom Joly from TV experience but unfortunately the book just didn't come to life. Not to say there were not a couple of amusing anecdotes and also some touching observations, it was just a rather bland offering.
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