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Holidays in Hell by P. J. O'Rourke
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Holidays in Hell (original 1989; edition 2000)

by P. J. O'Rourke

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1,1291311,782 (3.69)18
A "hair-raisingly hilarious" journey through danger zones from Belfast to Gaza, by the #1 New York Times-bestselling author (Vanity Fair).   "Tired of making bad jokes" and believing that "the world outside seemed a much worse joke than anything I could conjure," journalist and political satirist P. J. O'Rourke decided to traverse 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. The author'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 DC, 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 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 America's most hilarious writers" (Time).   "Wickedly amusing." --The Baltimore Sun   "Funny, outrageous, perceptive." --The Washington Post Book World… (more)
Member:NeoWayland
Title:Holidays in Hell
Authors:P. J. O'Rourke
Info:Grove/Atlantic (2000), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:politics, libertarian, humor, current affairs, current events

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Holidays in Hell by P. J. O'Rourke (1989)

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
P.J. O'Rourke can be a very funny writer and this is on show in "Holidays in hell", a collection of his writing as a foreign affairs journalist.

The most memorable entry is his trip to the Philippines to cover the election result that eventually led to the downfall of Ferdinand Marcos and the rise of Corazon Aquino. Trips to Communist nations and Israel also feature, as do some good one liners. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Nov 21, 2017 |
"A Trouble Tourist- going to see insurrections, stupidities, political crises, civil disturbances... because it's fun"
By sally tarbox on 5 May 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Laugh-out-loud adventures from the 1980s, as journalist PJ O'Rourke travels the globe. A Ramble through Lebanon ("in Lebanon you'd be crazy not to have a gun. Though, I assure you, all the crazy people have guns too."). A student protest in S Korea, patrolling the US / Mexico border for illegal immigrants, a satirical look at Panamanian, Salvadorian and Filipino government... Nearer to home, he visits Belfast during the troubles in The Piece of Ireland that Passeth all Understanding, investigates fun in Warsaw and is underwhelmed by Europe: "The French are a smallish monkey-looking bunch and not dressed any better, on average, than the citizens of Baltimore". He explores Israel, South Africa -and Russia as it begins perestroika.
Some of the funniest episodes are in his native USA, visiting a born-again Christian resort ("Dorothy and I came to scoff - but went away converted. Unfortunately we were converted to Satanism."), the Epcot Centre and the Gorbachev/ Reagan meeting.
Some of the government stuff left a jumbled impression on me - the Central American countriesrun together in my mind. But certainly an entertaining, non-PC account. ( )
  starbox | May 4, 2017 |
Classic O'Rourke. Side splittingly funny and need I say more.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
Classic O'Rourke. Side splittingly funny and need I say more.
  kkhambadkone | Jan 17, 2016 |
The author wrote about his travels, and published as the "International Affairs Desk Chief" at Rolling Stone. This is a travel book. The author chose to visit and write about trouble-spots around the globe. He did sight-seeing in war-torn Lebanon, was pepper-gassed in Korea, checked out night-life in Poland, and did a Christmas in El Salvador. He described a Philippine army officer as "powerful-looking in a short, compressed way, like an attack hamster".

He takes on serious issues, with merciless parody: "Due to this actuarial wrestling match between mortality and screwing like bunnies, average age in the Third World will drop precipitously. By 2013 many Third World business and political leaders will be under the age of five. Thus government and economic matters will be conducted at approximately the same level of maturity and sophistication as they are now." [254]

He's pretending to just be out to have a good time, but usually at the expense of others, and usually others of an oppressive persuasion. ( )
  keylawk | Dec 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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To the memory of John Courtney Boot, in Evelyn Waugh's 'Scoop', who spent 'some harrowing months among the Patagonian Indians' and wrote a book called Waste of Time.
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I've been working as a foreign correspondent for the past few years, although "working" isn't the right word and "foreign correspondent" is too dignified a title.
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If God wanted us to go to church a lot, He'd have given us bigger behinds to sit on and smaller heads to think with.
Due to this actuarial wrestling match between mortality and screwing like bunnies, average age in the Third World will drop precipitously. By 2013 many Third World business and political leaders will be under the age of five. Thus government and economic matters will be conducted at approximately the same level of maturity and sophistication as they are now. [254]
One by one and man to man Arabs are the salt of the earth - generous, hospitable, brave, wise and so forth. But get you in a pack and shove a koran down your pants and you act like a foot-locker full of glue-sniffing civet-cats.
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