Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This" (O'Rourke, P. J.)

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9780802137012: Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks,

Now available from Grove Press, P. J. O'Rourke's classic, best-selling guided tour of the world's most desolate, dangerous, and desperate places. "Tired of making bad jokes" and believing that "the world outside seemed a much worse joke than anything I could conjure," P. J. O'Rourke traversed the globe on a fun-finding mission, investigating the way of life in the most desperate places on the planet, including Warsaw, Managua, and Belfast. The result is Holidays in Hell--a full-tilt, no-holds-barred romp through politics, culture, and ideology. P.J.'s adventures include storming student protesters' barricades with riot police in South Korea, interviewing Communist insurrectionists in the Philippines, and going undercover dressed in Arab garb in the Gaza Strip. He also takes a look at America's homegrown horrors as he braves the media frenzy surrounding the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Washington D.C., uncovers the mortifying banality behind the white-bread kitsch of Jerry Falwell's Heritage USA, and survives the stultifying boredom of Harvard's 350th anniversary celebration. Packed with P.J.'s classic riffs on everything from Polish nightlife under communism to Third World driving tips, Holidays in Hell is one of the best-loved books by one of today's most celebrated humorists.

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Review:

No doubt about it: P. J. O'Rourke has a bizarre sense of fun. "What I've ... been," he writes in his introduction to Holidays in Hell "is a Trouble Tourist--going to see insurrections, stupidities, political crises, civil disturbances and other human folly because ... because it's fun." Forget Hawaii or the Poconos--O'Rourke gets his jollies in places like war-torn Lebanon where he is greeted at the border by a gun barrel in his face, or Seoul, just in time for election-day violence. Wherever he goes, however, O'Rourke takes his quirky sense of humor, laser eye for detail, and artful way with words: a Philippine army officer is "powerful-looking in a short, compressed way, like an attack hamster," and the Syrian army is described as having "dozens of silly hats, mostly berets in yellow, orange and shocking pink, but also tiny pillbox chapeaux.... The paratroopers wear shiny gold jumpsuits and crack commando units have skin-tight fatigues in a camouflage pattern of violet, peach, flesh tone and vermilion on a background of vivid purple. This must give excellent protective coloration in, say, a room full of Palm Beach divorcees in Lily Pulitzer dresses."

O'Rourke's flip, sarcastic style isn't for everyone, of course; the concept that anyone could find sightseeing in the Beirut or El Salvador of the 1980s fun might prove offensive to more than a few readers right off the bat. But love him or hate him, P. J. O'Rourke knows how to tell a good story, and if you like your travel writing laced with more than a little cynicism, Holidays in Hell could be just the book you've been looking for.

From the Inside Flap:

A spin with P.J. O'Rourke is like a ride in the back of an old pickup over unpaved roads. You get where you're going fast, with exhilarating views -- but not without a few bruises."

-- The New York Times Book Review

P.J. O'Rourke travels to hellholes around the globe in Holidays in Hell, looking for trouble, the truth, and a good time. He is pepper-gassed in Korea; has a close encounter with a Philippine army officer he describes as "powerful-looking in a short, compressed way, like an attack hamster"; and concludes from these and various other journeys that "Some people are worried about the difference between fight and wrong. I'm worried about the difference between wrong and fun."

Victor Slezak's film work includes The Saint of Fort Washington and Strictly Business. He has starred on Television in "The Good Policeman" and "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles," and has guest starred on "Law and Order" and "Crime Story."

The Bachelor Home Companion, Give War a Chance, Parliament of Whores, and All the Trouble in the World, by P.J. O'Rourke, are also available from Random House AudioBooks.

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O'Rourke, P. J.:
Verlag: Grove Press, 01.06.2000. (2000)
ISBN 10: 0802137016 ISBN 13: 9780802137012
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Buchbeschreibung Grove Press, 01.06.2000., 2000. Buchzustand: Sehr gut. Auflage: Reprint. 272 Seiten kleine Lagerspuren am Buch, Inhalt einwandfrei und ungelesen 236014 Sprache: Englisch Gewicht in Gramm: 335 20,8 x 13,7 x 2,3 cm, Taschenbuch. Artikel-Nr. 177197

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