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Frost on my Moustache: The Arctic Exploits of a Lord and a Loafer Hardcover – January 15, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (January 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312253192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312253196
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,410,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the 1850s, a wealthy British philanthropist by the name of Lord Dufferin sailed his yacht into the Arctic Circle and wrote the bestselling travelogue Letters from High Latitudes. In the 1990s, British writer Tim Moore decided to follow Dufferin's steps--by boat, plane, and bike. This retracing of Dufferin's travels across Iceland, into Norway, and to Spitzbergen (prompted when Moore reads the Lord's 19th-century memoir) is told in a lively, self-deprecating style and starts out brimming with funny anecdotes and interesting tidbits, particularly about Iceland, a report-happy land where the government commissions studies about "the effects of centrifugal force at roundabouts" and where "53 percent of the Icelanders believe in elves."

While Moore continues to unleash an often funny ramble about his northern excursion, something happens mid-book around the time he learns he's lost a work-related lawsuit back in England: perhaps Moore's mind is disintegrating in the polar blasts or he's lost his will to sustain an audience, but the writer's style becomes more manic, his recorded observations are frequently peppered with the base and crude, and his obsession changes from the travels of Lord Dufferin to the fate of one of Dufferin's colleagues, Wilson. The same writing voice that keeps one amused through the first half of the book starts to annoy by the end, as Moore stops providing much relevant info, and instead goes on at great lengths about the price of hot dogs, his nights of drinking and frequent bouts of nausea. Too disgusting in parts to warrant a recommendation to those easily shocked, this jumbled travelogue is nevertheless an often entertaining look into Tim Moore's personal Arctic madness. --Melissa Rossi

From Library Journal

When Moore, a writer for British Esquire, found a copy of Letters from High Latitudes (1856), Lord Dufferin's detailed, best-selling, 19th-century travel memoir of a trip to and from Iceland (on wooden schooner, horseback, and ship), he was so intrigued that he decided to retrace the journey. Instead of a schooner, Moore opted to take a freighter; instead of horseback, he road across Iceland on a mountain bike. Later, he joined a small-boat convoy that sailed from Norway back to Iceland. For the rest of the trip, he took commercial ferries. Moore is a talented writer with a keen wit and sarcastic sense of humor that is sometimes difficult to decipher amid all the contemporary British slang and allusions. There's also an introspective and dark edge to his humor not unlike Gregory Janes's in Come Hell or High Water (LJ 10/1/97). The result is an interesting travel diary--though still not as engaging as Dufferin's classic out-of-print work. For all public libraries.
-John Kenny, San Francisco P.L.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

This is one of the funniest books I've read in years.
Julia
I read this book, an account of travel in Iceland, while I was actually traveling there this summer.
Eva Wolfsohn
Tim Moore has written one of the best travel books I've read in the last five years.
I. Hunter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By I. Hunter on February 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Tim Moore has written one of the best travel books I've read in the last five years. His humour is contagious and one finds oneself urging him on as he battles across the northern seas in the footsteps of a 19th Century British aristocrat. Icelanders with a sense of humour about their own country's idiosyncrasies will find the book a delight. The remaining 98% of the population will demand the author is detained and given the full bottom inspection treatment next time he passes through Reykjavik airport. If you enjoy Bill Bryson then you will enjoy Moore. Moore is as funny but is significantly more insightful and ruder! As a regular traveler to Europe this is one of those books I would recommend packing to read as you zip over the pond to the UK (or even Iceland!)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christine Taylor on February 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
You will enjoy this fumbling traveller's tribute to a personal hero. Tim Moore's trials and tribulations are too comic to be tragic. His dogged determination to complete a journey in the footsteps of Lord Dufferin keeps him going through graphic sea sickness and prolific pronunciation problems (try Icelandic & Norwegian on the same trip!). The heavy dose of British references means some jokes will be wasted if you don't know much about the UK, but literary slapstick a la Jerry Lewis will keep you giggling anyway.
This is a great book to read as you embark on any journey that looks a bit daunting. If he can survive, anyone can (don't worry, he knows this, too!).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ivy on June 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
It says everything about this book, really, that the title comes from an intensely colloquial joke that is too obscene to repeat here. Frost on My Moustache is a travel humor book that focuses far more on humor and cursing than it does on the travel. But what it lacks in actual information it more than makes up for in laughter - the kind of oh-god-just-let-me-take-another-breath laughter that can lead to hospitalization, insanity, and inexplicable joy. However, Moore - and his book - aren't for everyone.
Moore is very colloquially British - he uses lots of pop culture references that will not be obvious to most Americans (or Europeans or Australians or...). He's also very much like a certain kind of aging college student: perpetually intoxicated, foul-mouthed, inclined to rant and whine. But despite it all, he's lots of fun, and while you might not like him, you'll love reading about his travels.
The word that most often gets used in Tim Moore book reviews is "Bryson." The comparisons between Tim Moore and Bill Bryson are apparently unavoidable. And, to a certain extent, they hold true: both writers are very funny, both are extremely tightfisted, both spend an awful lot of time complaining. But Moore is not Bryson. At most, he could be described as an embryo Bryson - he hasn't yet learned the secrets of a wide appeal, a cultivated air, or a dignified approach to life. Moore curses, he wails, he throws regular temper tantrums, he's sulky and lazy and fixated. And he eats a lot of hot dogs. Don't expect thoughtful cultural exposition, insightful observations, or descriptions of the local cuisine from him.
But I promise you: if you pick up Frost on My Moustache, you will experience frequent bouts of all-out hysteria. This book is well worth buying and reading, not once, but again and again.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "mikewwilson" on July 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
To be considered more than just a good book, any travelogue has to show more than simply intelligence, humour or stylish writing. It requires a good theme - the writer needs to have an original and clearly defined purpose. In all of these criterion (and more presumably)Moore has surpassed all of my own expectations that I had before I bought it. The humour is, in places very English, but that should not deter anyone else from reading it. The only real reason why Tim can't be regarded as an equal to Bill Bryson is because unlike Bill, who has lived in Britain and America for vast periods of time, Moore only knows life in Britain. This alone is probably enough to put lots of Americans, Canadians, Australians etc. off but the fact that many people cant understand the jokes must be very frustrating. Personally, I understood it all but that's firstly because of where I'm from and secondly because I'm a cynic and enjoy reading books where the writer is self-depreciating. The book is informative and witty but something tells me that an attempt at another travel book might prove foolish on his part. He would need at least as good a theme and would need to sustain his humour over an even longer period. Read this one though - it's good.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Julia on March 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the funniest books I've read in years. I'm not normally a lover of travel writing, but I couldn't put this down and was sorry when I got to the end. The style of Frost on My Moustache is witty and unpretentious and the content unusual and extremely amusing. Enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Adam Keeble on April 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Even thinking of Moore's Mr Slee anecdote has me laughing as I type. He is a stylish, witty writer and the comparisons to Bill Bryson are more than fair. I bought this when it first came out in England, and have re-read it over again. No mess-ups here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. Fisher on August 18, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Impossible to read sober, impossibly complex to be reading drunk, I'm still not sure what the author does for a living, but I know it's one of the funniest, most complex travelogues I've ever read.

If you are interested in the North --as in the far north including Iceland and the like-- then this is the way to go.

What does the title mean? I can't ruin it, but it's fantastic. The best ...... of all!

The rest of the book? A classic "made up" travelog in the sense that the author simply creates a journey, goes on it, and writes about it.

With style. And big words/sentences/paragraphs. And laughter. Much laughter.

The title does give a hint of his style: "Exploits of a Lord & Loafer." Accurate.

In the same way that Bill Bryson uses 3 words to conjure up the most vivid picture in my mind, Tim Moore uses complex, nearly poetic language to the same effect -- and the same laugh-out-loud guffaws of pure joy at such fantastic wit.

Cheers to Tim. Next time, I'd just like it if he used shorter sentences to keep my brain from blowing.
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