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5.0 out of 5 stars A Most Bizarre Travelogue
I love this book. The premise is that due to a bet while under the influence he has to hitchhike around the perimeter of Ireland in a month. The fact that he paid more for the fridge than the value of the wager makes the concept even more entertaining. Some have criticized (I believe unfairly) the book for not being a detailed travel journal. I think that is a factually...
Published on Sept. 6 2003 by Robert I. Hedges

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3.0 out of 5 stars Way too much time on his hands
"Everything you read from this moment forth is a tribute to what can be achieved as a result of a shabby night of booze."
Thus does Tony Hawks elegantly describe the genesis of his journey chronicled in ROUND IRELAND WITH A FRIDGE. To be more precise, it was the result of a drunken gamble made with a buddy that in itself doesn't make much sense. The bet was for 100...
Published on July 18 2002 by Joseph Haschka


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5.0 out of 5 stars A Most Bizarre Travelogue, Sept. 6 2003
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Ce commentaire est de: Round Ireland with a Fridge (Paperback)
I love this book. The premise is that due to a bet while under the influence he has to hitchhike around the perimeter of Ireland in a month. The fact that he paid more for the fridge than the value of the wager makes the concept even more entertaining. Some have criticized (I believe unfairly) the book for not being a detailed travel journal. I think that is a factually correct statement, but the point here is not to be a serious travel guide, but to be a humor book about funny experiences during a very odd odyssey.
There are many amusing moments in the book, some of which are so well written that they made me laugh out loud. Purists may argue that it is a rather smallish fridge, but I don't think that matters; it's the concept of hitchhiking in a foreign country with a large, ungainly peculiar object that matters here.
Tony Hawks is a very strange, and very funny man. If you are interested in a book filled with unusual comic characters and situations, this would be hard to beat.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Remarkable Story of a Quite Pointless Achievement, Dec 30 2002
Ce commentaire est de: Round Ireland with a Fridge (Paperback)
Given the choice of touring Ireland with a Ferrari or a fridge Hawks provides an unassailable case that you will have a far more enjoyable time if you leave your Italian monster in the garage.
As a fan of Bill Bryson's repartee and Theroux's narrative, the otherwise non-event of circumventing Ireland with a fridge makes for an eye-twinkling, beer-consuming epic that surely some day a Hollywood director will recognize. He may need a few pints of Guinness and his "beer goggles" on before he recognizes this work of genius for the masterpiece that it is.
Hawks skill as an accomplished comedian who is a regular on BBC Radio traverses to a very readable book.
If you've read the title and cannot possibly conceive why somoene might attempt such an excercise then this book is for you. Hawks recounts the confusion, verve and passion that is created on what can only be accurately described as a marathon pub-crawl, with talking point in tow, around the worlds best venue for pub crawling.
If anything this book serves to explain why anyone would take on a bet for 100 pounds involving buying a fridge costing in excess of the winnings.
The one question that remains that after it's travels, immersion in the Atlantic and use as a dirty laundry repository, did the item in question work when plugged in?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh Out Loud, Oct. 7 2002
Ce commentaire est de: Round Ireland with a Fridge (Paperback)
I don't normally read travel books, but my husband is an avid devourer of same, and so when I gave him this as a gift, I was curious. He would read a few pages and then laugh. A lot. Out loud. I wondered what on earth could be so funny in a travel book. I had never read a book which made me laugh out loud. So after he had finished, I began reading the book.
I just couldn't put it down. It was hilarious, right from the ridiculous premise where the author agreed to a drunken bet to hitch-hike round Ireland with a fridge as a travelling companion. He meets a quite a few eccentric characters along the way, none of whom I knew (at least I don't think so, but you can never be quite sure. Nearly everyone in Ireland knows someone who's a cousin of someone else's cousin or brother, or aunt... you get the idea.)
My favourite line has got to be when asking for directions, the author got the reply, "You can't get there from here."
It's so funny because it's true, people do say that, I'm a culprit myself.
How did he manage it? Did people really let the madman with a fridge get into their cars and their lives? Read the book and find out, you won't be disappointed.
You'll be laughing out loud too.
Reviewed by Annette Gisby, author of Silent Screams and Shadows of the Rose.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Way too much time on his hands, July 18 2002
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Round Ireland with a Fridge (Paperback)
"Everything you read from this moment forth is a tribute to what can be achieved as a result of a shabby night of booze."
Thus does Tony Hawks elegantly describe the genesis of his journey chronicled in ROUND IRELAND WITH A FRIDGE. To be more precise, it was the result of a drunken gamble made with a buddy that in itself doesn't make much sense. The bet was for 100 British pounds, and the refrigerator cost Hawks 130 pounds. What was he thinking? By the way, in case you're wondering, the fridge in question was a small cube perhaps two feet or less on a side, not one of the behemoths in which one stores provisions for a family of six (or beer and frozen pizza for a single bachelor).
The terms of the wager allowed Hawks, a comedian by profession, one calendar month to hitchhike the circumference of Ireland with fridge in tow. A month can accommodate a fair number of paying gigs. So, with apparently that much free time on his hands, one wonders how successful a comedian Tony was at the time (1997). Well, that's neither here nor there. In any case, the author's talent for dry humor translates well to the printed medium, as when he observes:
"Shooting hordes of insubordinate natives was acceptable when 'needs must', but jumping a queue was always quite intolerable. The whole raison d'être for a vast British Empire had been a desire to teach the ignorant peoples of the world how to queue correctly." Quite right. I think even the Queen would agree.
Indeed, it's the humor of ROUND IRELAND WITH A FRIDGE that supports the narrative as far as it goes. It falls short as a travel essay, which, in my mind, should be descriptive of the locale being traversed. Beyond this reader's conclusion that the Irish are remarkably tolerant of and generous to eccentrics, most of the insights gained don't extend beyond the walls of the many pubs where Hawks spends his hours when not actually on the road. Granted, this isn't entirely the author's fault. The friendly Irish are just always offering to buy him a pint. However, as an example, at one stage in his journey Tony and the fridge are coveyed between points A and B by a white van with "Galway Swan Rescue" emblazoned on the side. Now, I'd like to know what a swan rescuer does, but Hawks never tells, and my curiosity remains unsatisfied. This lack of useful information pervades the volume as a whole. In the end, the book's 247 pages were amusing enough to warrant three stars, but it's mindless reading with a capital "M". Even telling how he got a splinter while Doing It in a doghouse didn't add as much to the saga as he probably thought it might. Is Tony a girl's dream date, or what?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Drunk + Fridge = A Good Craic, Aug. 15 2001
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Round Ireland with a Fridge (Paperback)
This very amusing book can be summarized as follows: British comedian gets sloshed at party, makes drunken wager that he can hitchhike around the circumference of Ireland with a refrigerator within one calendar month, wakes up, agrees to follow through on drunken wager, wacky antics ensue. Given that the mini-fridge with which to fulfill the bet costs £130, and the bet is for £100, it’s becomes clear that the book is not so much about winning the bet as it is about how the bet is won. It’s certainly not meant to be any kind of guide to Ireland. If anything, it’s a guide to embracing actions that have no point, to every now and then live outside the sensible boundaries we construct in out lives.
Hawks strikes it lucky at the very beginning, as his silly bet is championed by a RTE2 (Irish national radio station) radio personality, giving him instant notoriety, which eases his path around Ireland. Hawks’ comedian background enables him to kind-heartedly poke fun at everything and everyone he encounters, with large doses of self-depreciation mixed in. He’s constantly amazed at the generous and warm receptions he receives throughout the country, and finds something positive in almost everyone and every place he visits (buoyed no doubt by the numerous free meals and beds bestowed upon him). The book is a silly good time, and the embodiment of easy reading. Toward the end the quirky characters he meets on the road and in bars start to run together a little, and it might have benefited from being fifty pages less or so. But still, it’s not every day you can read about a fridge surfing, a fridge baptizing, a fridge blessing, a fridge party (with requisite New Order cover band),… well, you’ll have to read it to believe it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars With a little help from new friends, May 17 2001
By 
TundraVision (o/~ from the Land of Sky Blue Waters o/~) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Round Ireland with a Fridge (Paperback)
Awakening with a hangover, the author finds that he has made a bet for L100, so he buys a L130 "dorm" refrigerator and gamely goes out to accomplish the mission - hitching `round Ireland with a fridge.
This book does not purport to be a treatise on Anglo-Irish relations. Nonetheless, the author does come to empathy (See, for instance, pages 109 and 185,) while providing the reader with a rollicking fun account of his trek. Without droning on, it speaks volumes that the people we meet in the book embrace the folly and help a Brit with his fridge - christened Saiorse (Gaelic for "freedom") and subsequently blessed by a nun.
Here's how the author sums up: "The journey may not have changed the lives of the people of Ireland, but it had changed mine. I was a different, a better person. I had made discoveries, learned some important lessons. From this day forth, I was going to stop for hitch-hikers, laugh along with happy drunks in pubs, and respect the right of the bad guitarist to play along with the rest. I had learned tolerance, I had learned that you could trust in your fellow man for help, and I had learned a new and pleasurable way of acquiring splinters." (p. 240)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Craic, April 8 2001
Ce commentaire est de: Round Ireland with a Fridge (Paperback)
After a heavy alcohol-fuelled session at a party, English comedian Tony Hawks wakes up to find that he has entered into a bet to hitchhike around the coast of Ireland in the company of a fridge. Not a man to welch on his bets he sets off to do precisely that and manages to write us a hilarious book detailing the experience.
The people of Ireland respond to the idea of this English lunatic pulling this stunt as if it's an excellent proposal and pitch in to help Tony on his way with madcap enthusiasm. By car, truck and van, Tony and his fridge progress around the coast; on the way having the fridge christened, blessed, named and adopted as well as entering into a batchelor competition. The passing through of Tony and his fridge becomes an event in many areas and he achieves a cult following as "Fridge-man".
If you want to read a travelogue with a difference you'd be hard-pressed to find one as bizarre and enjoyable as this which serves to warm the reader's heart to Ireland, the Irish, Tony and free-willed kitchen appliances everywhere. Good craic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A light, entertaining read..., Dec 21 2000
This book doesn't claim to be anything but what it is: a rollicking good time. Hawks has detailed his misadventures with a fridge whilst traipsing around the Green Isle. It makes for a fun time, it really does.
The premise is so absurd it has to be real: the author makes a bet with a mate in the midst of a party... that he attempt to take a fridge all the way around the country of Ireland - and do it in 30 days or less. Hawks, not being of right mind, agrees. Then he gets sober and realizes the enormity of this £100 bet. The first hilarious mis-step in the adventure is that the fridge he bought for the trek cost him roughly what the bet was for.
From there things get better (or worse, if you're Hawks) and a great time begins. The book doesn't just reflect Hawks' strange experiences whilst hitching with a compact fridge - it also shows the generous and good-natured heart of the Irish.
I bought this book for my trans-atlantic flight home and it keep me fully entertained for the entire 8 hours. This isn't a challenging read, but it's darn good fun all the same. I give it a recommend.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very highly entertaining...but Bryson it is not, Sept. 8 2000
By 
M. D. Lewis (Ravenstown, Maryland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I picked this up on a whim from an Amazon UK travel e-mailing and I am quite glad that I did. Hawks' tale is quite amusing - how could a tale about carting a fridge around a country not be? - and is a progressively better read as it goes along. Yet after reading the likes of Bill Bryson's _Notes From A Small Island_, I couldn't help but be slightly disappointed. It is perhaps an unfair comparison, because travel writing has not seen any better than Bryson's work in that volume - where the humor and insight on the culture being examined (that of the UK) was simply impeccable. Bryson knew his subject very well, and his past experience with the native culture made the book so effective. Hawks essentially went into the fridge experience knowing nothing about the culture, and thus the treatment of Irish life is somewhat superficial.
Invariably, any book taking the same sort of approach of Bryson's book (itself the Dave Barry version of Paul Theroux) will seem somewhat weak in comparison. Yet, all the same, of its own merits, _Round Ireland..._ is a quite enjoyable read - laugh-out loud funny enough to justify the cover price, and will be of particular interest to Eirephiles.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, cute, silly, and entertaining, but hardly uproarious, Aug. 15 2000
This is a fine book if you seek a light, fun read. If you have an taste for the cute, the sweet and the absurd you'll find it entertaining. However, in terms of what you might expect based upon the setting and title, and recognizing how much more the book could have been, it is somewhat disappointing.
As Hawks stresses, his is a pointless exercise and adventure. The fact that he enjoys such success, and encounters so many kind, good hearted people who are above taking themselves too seriously, and who are willing to play along and help him in his hitchhiking journey, is uplifting. Furthermore one is touched by the unhesitating generosity that he encounters. He comes to some realizations about the importance of human relationships which are truly substantive and profound. They are presumably the underlying thesis, and make the book worth reading.
What detracts from the book is how Hawks contrasts most of Ireland from the more serious minded, task oriented world. While his intent is probably to draw a favorable contrast between Irish priorities and attitudes and those of other cultures, particularly the English who Hawks uses as his reference, he unwittingly betrays typically British attitudes about the Irish. This comes across through subtly condescending descriptions which convey the impression that he finds the Irish less productive, less focused, less mature, and even childlike. He also continually reinforces the negative stereotype that the Irish typically spend much of their time in ongoing, excessive consumption of alcohol. The book almost suggests that "only in Ireland...". Maybe it would be less grating if the writer weren't English.
This would be a good book to read on the plane or by the pool. However, don't expect to learn much about Ireland, or even the Irish by buying it.
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Round Ireland with a Fridge
Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks (Paperback - March 7 2001)
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