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4.0 out of 5 stars Holidays in Hell
Holidays in Hell - it was pretty good. Better than the Baby Boom book, that was trite and boring to me
Published 1 month ago by heather

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1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, depressing, formulaic and not even funny
I paid £1 for this in a sale. I was grossly overcharged. I read less than half of it before giving up.
O'Rourke can be amusing for a short time in the same way as a saloon bar loudmouth, but is equally tedious after any prolonged exposure. His formulaic writing style and ill-informed ranting are tiresome in the extreme. I can only assume that his popularity is down...
Published on Nov. 5 2000


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5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!, Jan. 30 2002
This review is from: Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This" (Paperback)
This guy knows how to travel! Hitting such tourist hot spots as Lebanon, the Eastern Bloc, and South Korea on election day, PJ O'Rourke has a true gift for humor. He descriptions of his travels are both funny and qusi-informational.
This book is a must for anyone who appreciates well written humor.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Paraguay, the Albania of South America, Jan. 30 2002
This review is from: Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This" (Paperback)
This is one of the nicest quotes from the best of these ascerbic travel essays by old P.J. Paraguay, he reports, is uncomfortably well-populated by seventy-somethings with thick German accents whose sons run businesses such as "Steiner's Karate Studio." Another great spot was Beirut, which P.J. visited prior to its renaissance. Remarking on the unpleasant habit of harbor fisherman who used explosives rather than nets, he observes that "dynamite is one bait fish always rise to." Or his trip to the Phillippines, wherein lie some of the world's greatest wrestling fans. Hell indeed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to know about Lebanon....., Oct. 17 2001
By 
Lon Crabtree (Walton, KY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This" (Paperback)
"If you want to know about Lebanon and the Lebanonese people, read P.J. O'Rourke." This is what my friend from Beirut told me when I kept asking him questions about the culture and politcis of his homeland. Walid thought so much of the book he brought it to me and insisted I read it. PJ calls it like he sees it. He is not P.C. by a long shot, but neither was Walid (an ex-sniper during their brutal civil war) and neither am I.
The people who are offended by this book are the same people who censer themselves and generaly are just boring and no damn fun at all.
Funny stuff, PJ at his brutal best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The more you know, the funnier it is, Oct. 9 2001
This review is from: Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This" (Paperback)
Peege & I would probably never ever vote the same way, but he is one of the sharpest guys on the planet, and not afraid to toss barbs at his fellow conservatives when they deserve it. I own several of his books, but it's Holidays In Hell that I treasure.
The majority of these essays were published in Rolling Stone, and Revenge of the Euroweenies was the first of his essays that I read. That essay was so funny and so ... true ... that I found myself calling friends long distance to read passages to them. Soon thereafter, Holidays In Hell was published and I read it cover to cover with lightening speed, howling all the way. The thing about Peege is that he's not only witty and clever, but many of the essays are thought-provoking and insightful when you look past the funny surface.
The next summer I spent 3 months in Guatemala with an archaeological expedition, and found that Peege was right on the money about so many things. (The essay on driving should be handed out to all Americans upon arrival in any 3rd world country.) I've given this book as a birthday or Christmas present to everyone I know who's been to a trouble spot. Even though it's over 10 years old, and political situations change, it's still a hoot.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, depressing, formulaic and not even funny, Nov. 5 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This" (Paperback)
I paid £1 for this in a sale. I was grossly overcharged. I read less than half of it before giving up.
O'Rourke can be amusing for a short time in the same way as a saloon bar loudmouth, but is equally tedious after any prolonged exposure. His formulaic writing style and ill-informed ranting are tiresome in the extreme. I can only assume that his popularity is down to a significant number of people who have similarly small minds and like to read someone who shares their prejudices and never challenges them.
Judging from this book, I'd be surprised if Mr O'Rourke ever gains any pleasure from travel. I would guess that he only does it to give himself something to write about - it's his job, after all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out Loud, but it's All True!, Sept. 19 2000
By 
Renee Thorpe (Karangasem, Bali) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This" (Paperback)
I think the book's piece about the rules of third world driving is one of the funniest things ever written.
PJ's been around the world enough times to have had every imaginable episode of culture shock, and he writes about these with fine humour. Although he writes about things like being stuck in the middle of a violent student protest demonstration in Seoul, he also includes destinations where bullets and tear gas don't figure into the plot.
I don't see any racism in the book, and in fact he blasts it in his piece on Apartheid South Africa which first appeared in The Rolling Stone. True, he's a Yank with Yank sensibilities, but that's where the humor comes in... anyone who's been confused by "the way we do things here" in a foreign country will appreciate O'Rourke's wry take on the exasperation and fear known by the stranger in a strange land.
His chapter on covering the America's Cup yacht race out of Fremantle, Australia, is pure genius.
A great addition to any travel library!
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4.0 out of 5 stars P.J. is the man, Aug. 3 2000
By 
Brian D. Rubendall (Oakton, VA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This" (Paperback)
"Holidays in Hell" was the first book to collect the travel writings of P.J. O'Rourke for Rolling Stone magazine. Though a bit dated taday (these stories were from the mid 1980s) it is still quite funny and full of classic P.J. He establishes his mantra here, basically that if you really want to know whats going on in a country you should never interview its politicians who will never tell you the straight story. In this book, P.J. travels to Poland, Lebanon, Panama and Heritage U.S.A. among other places. But the best essay is called "Through Darkest America: Epcot Center" that is an absolutely dead on drubbing of the so-called Magic Kingdom. Through it all O'Rourke reminds me of a more political and funnier Bill Bryson. This book is well worth a read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, July 11 2000
By 
R. Smith (Baltimore, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This" (Paperback)
Classic PJ. I constantly laughed out loud while first reading it years ago and it still cracks me up. He skewers idiocy without regard in AK47-like bursts of descriptive prose. What? Oh, and it's a negative 100 on the political correctness weenie scale. Read it now. It will be one of the first books banned when the libs finally dump the Constitution. Where are you PJ? Put together another book soon.
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4.0 out of 5 stars First rate writing!, May 27 2000
By 
Chad Bagley "Chad" (Shanghai China/Provo, UT) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Holidays in Hell (Paperback)
I'll preface my review by saying that I really don't dig P.J.'s politics. This cat's just a little too conservative for my taste and at times can be a bit condescending towards his subject matter.
But...he's conservative and condescending in a damn funny way- so I forgive him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars OUR MAN IN HAITI, March 27 2000
By 
Theodore Shadow (Langley, Virginia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Holidays in Hell (Paperback)
I have always enjoyed O'Rourke's sense of the absurd, however, he has really connected with the reality - the unreality - of Haiti. Beneath the humor lies a great deal of truth, dealt with in a sympathetic manner. One interesting, bizarre element was his contact with a Canadian in the American intelligence service. He tells of meeting Lynn Garrison in Grand Quartier General, Haiti's military headquarters, where he was - of all things - serving as military spokesman, in addition to his duties as special advisor to General Raoul Cedras, the nation's commander in chief. Lynn Garrison was the key factor in delaying the return of Jean Bertrand Aristide for three years. Later factors would prove he was right as evidence now points to Aristide's control of Haiti's cocaine trade.
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