Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: ROUND IRELAND WITH A FRIDGE, by Tony Hawks

Round Ireland with a Fridge, by Tony Hawks. Published 2001 by St. Martins Griffin. Nonfiction. Humor.

If you've ever been to Ireland, or wanted to go to Ireland, this is the book for you. I lived in Ireland for four short months when I was 22 and the experience has stayed with me since then; even hearing an Irish accent can bring me right back to that time. I lived in Dublin and will never forget the kindness and good nature of Dubliners, or the charm of the city itself.  And in fact, I'm going back there soon for a short trip. Yay! So I've been doing some reading on Ireland, both fiction and non, and this book was recommended to me and my husband (who will shortly have the pleasure of going there for the first time) by a relative. It's great.

So this is a memoir of what happened when an English comedian named Tony Hawks bet a friend that he could hitchhike around Ireland in a month with a fridge in tow. Yes, they had been drinking. Hawks is mostly known for stand up comedy and for being confused with the American skateboarder Tony Hawk. And, in certain areas around the coast of Ireland, for being The Fridge Man. He even has a jacket that says so.

The book covers his journey through large towns and small, though mostly small, and through some very off-the-beaten-path places indeed. Did you know that certain small islands off the west coast of Ireland have kings? Or that if you travel around with a fridge, people will feel more comfortable with you if you let them name it? These are among the many things you will learn if you read this book.

And I really do recommend that you read it. It's the closest thing to being there without getting on a plane or a boat, from the landscape to the personalities to the patterns of speech. It's laugh-out-loud funny in some places, wryly humorous in others and sometimes just absurd. Mostly it's just delightful.

Rating: BEACH

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.