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Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure (2004)

by Dave Gorman

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5761941,937 (3.81)11
If someone called you a 'googlewhack' what would you do? Would you end up playing table tennis with a nine year old boy in Boston? Would you find yourself in Los Angeles wrangling snakes, or would you go to China to be licked by a performance artist? If your name is Dave Gorman, then all of these things could be true- Fuelled by a lust for life and a desperate desire to do anything except what he's supposed to be doing (writing that novel and growing up), Dave falls under the spell of an obscure internet word game - Googlewhacking. Addicted to the game, and gripped by obsession, Dave travels three times round the world, visiting four continents and the unlikeliest cast of real life eccentrics you'll ever meet in what becomes an epic challenge, a life-changing, globe-trotting Googlewhack adventure. A hostage to the vagaries of a search engine, Dave Gorman has become a 21st century Dice Man throwing his fortune to the fates. The only difference is that the dice Dave rolls has 3 billion faces- 'A rollicking, funny, sometimes disturbing, high-stakes personal journey with the pace of a thriller- Brilliant.' The Melbourne Age… (more)
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'So, Dave, tell me more about these ...googlewhacks?'
I told him everything. Everything I've told you.
'So I'm number two in a chain?' said David.
'What do you mean?'
'Well, you didn't find my googlewhack, did you? You found Dork Turnspit and he found Unconstructive Superegos so I'm number two in a chain, said David, drawing a little diagram on the back of an envelope.
'I see what you mean.'
'Every link in the chain takes you one step further from your own imagination,' said David. 'Your imagination conjures up two words. Those two words lead you to someone and their imagination conjures up two new words ... it would be interesting to see how long a chain you could get, eh?'
'Yeah, I guess so, I said, guessing so.


Dave Gorman is meant to be writing a novel but is finding it hard to get started, so when he receives an email from a stranger in Australia telling him that he is a googlewhack, it comes as a welcome distractions. But he soon finds himself embroiled in a new challenge when a googlewhack takes him to someone he already knows, one of the 54 other Dave Gormen he met on a previous challenge.

This is a very amusing book, and it includes photos of a lot of the people he met along the way which is good, as I always like to be able to put a face to a name. I enjoy Dave Gorman's television programmes and have read the equally funny "Are You Dave Gorman?", so I grabbed this one straightaway when I saw it at a BookCrossing meeting. ( )
  isabelx | Nov 7, 2017 |
Travel books generally fall in to two categories; someone has a great adventure and then signs a book deal, or someone signs a book deal about a travel idea and tries to make the trip sound interesting. Invariably the first category is better then the second. "Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure" fits into the second category.

Gorman, who struck gold with "Are You Dave Gorman?", gets into the early 2000s hobby of googlewhacking, and decides he would travel the world visiting the people who run the websites he googlewhacks. You would think that normally, this wouldn't sound interesting but with the dab comedic hand of Gorman, it would all turn out interesting in the end. You would be partly right. Meeting some creationists and some Dutch lesbians prove the highpoints but too much of the humour is forced. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Jan 5, 2017 |
A mildly crazy follow-up to Are You Dave Gorman?, itself a mildy crazy book, it follows the adventures of comedian Dave Gorman in discovering as many googlewhacks and googlewhackers as he can worldwide. For those who haven't googlewhacked, it is the art of finding two words that produce just one result on Google, and is actually quite a lot of fun. This is Dave's amusing adventure involving this sport, and it's witty, readable and gripping. ( )
  Arianwen16 | Jan 4, 2017 |
Dave Gorman had just turned 31 and made the rash decision that he wanted to be taken more seriously. He decides the best way of accomplishing this is to grow a beard and write a novel and so makes a call to his agent who, in turn and wholly unexpectedly, sets up a meeting with a publisher. The publisher likes the idea and a contract is signed and an advance is paid. Now that he's committed though Dave can't seem to get past the distractions, CD collection alphabetised, fridge defrosted etc. But by far the worst was the computer he was sat at trying to write. It just so happened that this computer was connected to a thing called the internet and the internet contains everything in the whole wide world ever. One of the things you can do on the internet is check your e-mails and on one particular day that Dave was procrastinating an e-mail arrived asking him if he knew that he was a googlewhack. Not knowing if that was a good or bad thing he enquired further into the subject and found out the answer. If you put two words into the Google search engine and it only returns one result then that is a googlewhack. There are a couple of supplementary rules to go along with it but that's the general upshot. Having been told he was one (Francophile Namesakes) he now had to find one himself and become a proper googlewhacker. This he does and even arranges to meet the person on the end of the one he found. He in turn finds another and this turns out to be someone that Dave recognises. A certain Mr. David Gorman! No, it's not him it's someone with the same name who Dave met while on another adventure (see Are You Dave Gorman?). And as he could do with a few days away in the South of France he arranged to meet back up with him and tell him what a googlewhack was. David then challenged Dave to see if he could find 10 googlewhacks in a row before his 32nd birthday. As with every good challenge there were rules to abide by. Every googlewhack was to supply another two googlewhacks and the time limit was set for Dave's next birthday.

This set-up provides the backdrop for a humorous travel adventure where Dave follows the leads provided by the googlewhacks and sets off to meet a varied cast of people from all around the world. Reality often exceeds his expectations about these people and his own emotions are laid bare throughout his commentary of events. Can he succeed with his latest madcap adventure and what will happen with the unwritten novel? Read this (or watch the show) and find out. ( )
  AHS-Wolfy | May 17, 2012 |
Dave Gorman got hooked on Google Whacks and used them as a basis to travel around the world to meet their creators.
  lreyn | Dec 8, 2011 |
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Epigraph
Australian history is almost always picturesque, indeed it is so curious and strange, that it is itself the chiefest novelty the country has to offer. It does not read like history, but like the most beautiful lies. And all of a fresh sort, not mouldy old stale ones. It is full of surprises, and adventures, and incongruities, and incredibilities, but they are all true, they all happened.
Mark Twain, Following the Equator (1897)
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I am asleep. Now I'm not asleep.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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If someone called you a 'googlewhack' what would you do? Would you end up playing table tennis with a nine year old boy in Boston? Would you find yourself in Los Angeles wrangling snakes, or would you go to China to be licked by a performance artist? If your name is Dave Gorman, then all of these things could be true- Fuelled by a lust for life and a desperate desire to do anything except what he's supposed to be doing (writing that novel and growing up), Dave falls under the spell of an obscure internet word game - Googlewhacking. Addicted to the game, and gripped by obsession, Dave travels three times round the world, visiting four continents and the unlikeliest cast of real life eccentrics you'll ever meet in what becomes an epic challenge, a life-changing, globe-trotting Googlewhack adventure. A hostage to the vagaries of a search engine, Dave Gorman has become a 21st century Dice Man throwing his fortune to the fates. The only difference is that the dice Dave rolls has 3 billion faces- 'A rollicking, funny, sometimes disturbing, high-stakes personal journey with the pace of a thriller- Brilliant.' The Melbourne Age

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