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No Touch Monkey!: And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late (Adventura Books Series) Paperback – October 28, 2003

3.3 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"No Touch Monkey" is shocking and scatological and straight-out hilarious... a delightful hybrid of Hemingway, David Sedaris and Helen Fielding. -- Kate Zambreno, New City

Not just a sweet read, but an object lesson in what to do when, as they say, "shit happens." -- Marion Winik, Austin Chronicle

a well-remembered riot -- Wendy Ward, Baltimore City Paper

an almost shamefully entertaining travelogue of backpacking mishaps, ill-placed trust, and gastric distress. -- Andi Zeisler, Bitch Magazine

About the Author

Ayun Halliday is the sole employee of the East Village Inky, the 2002 Firecracker Alternative Book Award Winner for Best Zine. She is the author of The Big Rumpus: A Mother's Tale From The Trenches. No Touch Monkey is like The Big Rumpus with barely any kids, quadruple the ex-boyfriends and fourteen exotic locations.Dare to be heinie!
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Product Details

  • Series: Adventura Books Series
  • Paperback: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (October 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580050972
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580050975
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,083,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The cover is the best part of the book. I bought the book because one reviewer said he laughed on every page, but he must be easily amused, because I never laughed once. The author relates how she got dysentery, malaria and a dislocated knee while traveling, and how she was frightened by dogs, monkeys and prostitutes. Good travel writers can transform misfortune into interesting stories because of affection for the countries and people visited, or at least a good eye for detail. Ten minutes after reading the book, I couldn't remember any of the countries the author traveled through or any of the people she met except for one monk who liked to swim. The people she described most were her disfunctional boyfriends. The last chapter is typical, where she relates her non-adventure of staying in the hotel room with the baby while everybody else goes out and has fun. The only reason I read the whole book was because I had a back spasm and I was too uncomfortable to get up and get another book. Now I wish I had just thrown it against the wall and taken a nap instead.
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Format: Paperback
I bought No Touch Monkey based on title alone. So funny, it perfectly describes situations I've seen while traveling. That said, I found the writing to be less funny than the title. Not bad by any means, just not gut-splitting or snicker inducing. I had the same response from two of my traveling friends who'd read it. They smiled, but no laughs.

Ayun Halliday's self-deprecating and sarcastic writing is likeable. But the pattern in each chapter quickly becomes apparent: she and her companions make incredibly naive and/or dangerous choices in oddball foreign places and bumble through the results. Halliday's younger self is often whiny or dislikeable, which is to the author's credit and done in a self-mocking manner, but even this becomes tiring when combined with the predictability of the essays. Sadly, the "No Touch Monkey" chapter that I'd been anticipating was a bit of a let-down. Maybe the brilliant title dooms the book. Compared, the writing lags. Which is a dead shame, because Halliday is a genuinely funny lady. Her column in Bust magazine is a spirited and slightly twisted take on motherhood and she also maintains an excellently quirky website.
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Format: Paperback
Don't waste your money by increasing her coffers. Surprised it ever got published. It is a journey in self-indulgence; offensive and not entertaining. I have to question Stephen Colbert's review capabilities and sense of humor. He 'laughed hard on nearly every page....". I think I laughed once and then it was not with her, but at her. Seriously, save your money and your time.
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Format: Paperback
It has such a cute cover, but as they say, "Don't judge the book by the cover." This book is about a young woman and her misadventures, not only traveling, but in dating.

I really didn't want to read chapter after chapter of her describing her bad gas, or the farting of her roommates, or how filthy her clothes or body were. I didn't need to hear that she was releasing fluid from all of her orifaces, including her eye balls. Nor did I need to hear how she got drunk or stoned yet again.

I put the book down about 2/3 of the way through, and am literally debating throwing it away rather than resell it. It's that bad, I don't want to subject some poor soul to this mediocre writer who sounds like an absolute idiot to have as a travel companion. She makes good, decent backpackers sound like scumbags who mooch, steal and have no idea what proper hygiene consists of.

She's not a "hippie" as she keeps calling herself, she's an unwashed pig who doesn't have the human decency enjoys living like a homeless person as she "travels". She's a transient, not a traveler. There is a big difference. I wonder what fratboy editor agreed to publish this poor excuse for a novel.

There are very few books that I am unable to find any redeeming value in, but this is one of those books.
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Format: Paperback
"I laughed hard on nearly every page of this shockingly intimate travel memoir and deeply funny book" - Stephen Colbert. Really? I must have missed something. Ayun Halliday's , "No Touch Monkey! : And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late", Is a collection of one woman's travels on a shoe-string budget. Interesting; yes, but funny? I didn't see it. If you like books about traveling in other countries, drug induced stupidity, whining over lost loves, and just down right idiotic adventures. Then maybe "No Touch Monkey" is your kind of book. I was very disappointed. I have seen this book in store for years. I love reading about traveling in foreign countries, having had done so myself. I like reading about areas , I have seen. But Halliday seem's to feel it more important telling about her "doobie-rolling-expereances" , her "hippy-vagabond -travels" and her "poor little me, my boy friend doesn't want to join me…" than anything else. To call this book a "Travel Memoir" is far-fetched. The cover of the book was far funnier than the book itself. Long story short: Life is too short to read boring, bad books.
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Format: Paperback
It would appear that Ms Halliday would be a blast as a traveling companion. Unfortunately, she doesn't do a very good job of translating her experiences into short stories. For the most part, her long-winded tomes bordered on tedium and confusion. The 5 star reviews undoubtedly came from friends, family and whoever the publisher coerced into writing one. At times the author could be quite comical but these flashes were rare.
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