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Holidays in Hell by P.J. O'ROURKE
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Holidays in Hell (original 1989; edition 1988)

by P.J. O'ROURKE

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1,1041311,366 (3.69)18
Member:bergs47
Title:Holidays in Hell
Authors:P.J. O'ROURKE
Info:Vintage Books (1988), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:non-fiction travel humor

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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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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0802137016, Paperback)

No doubt about it: P. J. O'Rourke has a bizarre sense of fun. "What I've ... been," he writes in his introduction to Holidays in Hell "is a Trouble Tourist--going to see insurrections, stupidities, political crises, civil disturbances and other human folly because ... because it's fun." Forget Hawaii or the Poconos--O'Rourke gets his jollies in places like war-torn Lebanon where he is greeted at the border by a gun barrel in his face, or Seoul, just in time for election-day violence. Wherever he goes, however, O'Rourke takes his quirky sense of humor, laser eye for detail, and artful way with words: a Philippine army officer is "powerful-looking in a short, compressed way, like an attack hamster," and the Syrian army is described as having "dozens of silly hats, mostly berets in yellow, orange and shocking pink, but also tiny pillbox chapeaux.... The paratroopers wear shiny gold jumpsuits and crack commando units have skin-tight fatigues in a camouflage pattern of violet, peach, flesh tone and vermilion on a background of vivid purple. This must give excellent protective coloration in, say, a room full of Palm Beach divorcees in Lily Pulitzer dresses."

O'Rourke's flip, sarcastic style isn't for everyone, of course; the concept that anyone could find sightseeing in the Beirut or El Salvador of the 1980s fun might prove offensive to more than a few readers right off the bat. But love him or hate him, P. J. O'Rourke knows how to tell a good story, and if you like your travel writing laced with more than a little cynicism, Holidays in Hell could be just the book you've been looking for.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:27 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

P.J. O'Rourke travels to hellholes around the globe looking for trouble, the truth and a good time.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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