I'll start with a confession: I suspect that I am exactly the kind of person to whom this sort of book would appeal.
While I don't believe I'd ever do anything quite so extreme to avoid the commitment of writing a novel, I am, nonetheless, a procrastinator at heart. And there is something about books of this genre that makes that little voice in my head pop up and exclaim, "What a cool idea!!" Trying to meet fifty-three other people with the same name as you? Count me in. Travelling around a small country with a large fridge appliance? I'm there. Playing tennis against every member of an obscure Eastern European nation's football team? Why not? Saying `yes' to everything for a year? What an interesting sociological experiment! These are all ridiculous adventures that have led to equally ridiculous but highly entertaining books.
So when I picked up 'Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure', I knew from the start that it was likely to be something I'd enjoy. I wasn't wrong. Yes, Dave seems to have taken procrastination to new heights, and if he hadn't got a publishing deal out of it all then I would be seriously worried about the likely fragile nature of both his mental health and his bank account. But what stops this from being a cringe-worthy and pity-inducing book is his ability to take us inside his head at each encounter with another Googlewhack, and to help us understand the occasionally bizarre thought processes which drive this obsessive quest.
Travelling all over the world, including numerous flights back and forth across the North Atlantic, Dave meets his Googlewhacks and has a brief insight into the different lives of ordinary (and in some cases not so ordinary) people. I could feel the fun and excitement when he played Yankee Grab at a family's Christmas party in Boston. I could feel his squirming sense of discomfort as he sat opposite an 81-year-old Creationist in San Diego. And I could feel his utmost despair in Austin, Texas when within minutes his chain of Googlewhacks disintegrates, prompting him to go out on the town and drink himself into a stupor - one which also involves waking up to discover a tattoo of a fake Texan drivers' license permanently imprinted on his left arm.
Dave might be a chronic procrastinator, but fortunately for us he is also a masterful storyteller. If you're looking for a fun, light-hearted read, enjoy vicarious travel, and aren't averse to a dose of silliness every now and then, give this book a go: it might be the most fun you can have without leaving your chair.