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Playing the Moldovans at Tennis Paperback – November 9, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Tony's bet and ensuing journey make for laugh-out-loud, can't put it down reading. The funniest part it, having seen the country first hand, how remarkably accurate his circumstances and plights are - and similar to many situations I found myself in (though I didn't actually play any tennis whilst there).
The fact Tony takes the bet so seriously and ends up traveling to Israel to complete it speaks volumes for Tony's determination to stick to his guns. His writing, whilst entirely amusing, always is serious and reflective in parts, and balances the entire novel out. There is no question that Tony's travels to Moldova change him as he learns and experiences a part of the world so little know about.
This is a great read for anyone who plans to go or who has been to Moldova, to look back and laugh tongue-in-cheek at the wonderful way of life these people live - or to make you more excited to visit this country totally void of tourists. And if you get the chance to visit Transdnistria - do so - it is one of the single most amazing places in the world...
Tony - 5 stars mate - keep up the great writing; I look forward to your next novel: Across Antarctica with a Pogo Stick.
And if you are looking for that hostel, go to 'marisha dot net'.
While not as fascinating as "Round Ireland," (there's less of travel interest here to the casual reader), Hawks brings his usual humor punctuated by moments of hilarious despair, and the ending even has a twist that couldn't have been written more cleverly if it had been in a Hollywood movie. In the end it's a gentle and affectionate portrait of the Moldovans, a people and country I knew nothing about before this book. More important, Tony himself sums up the real result of his offbeat quest as *not* the chance to avoid singing starkers outside a London pub, but inspiring a young Moldovan man who, pessimistic at the first, comes to realize a silly impossible pursuit is just as worth doing as a dull everyday task.
He knows nothing about Moldova (it's somewhere between Romania and the Ukraine) but he's an optimist, so he gets the most basic of leads and off he goes on his 6-month quest.
It's a mix of an appreciation/travelogue of this emerging, poor country (think Albania with a few nightclubs but no streetlights at night) with a good appreciation of its people (pleasant but whose history has made them fatalistic) and his connection with a generous family who let him in. He can't play against all the footballers there and to complete his bet he needs to visit Northern Ireland for an international football match and a quirky interlude. And then the final footballer has transferred an Israel football club...
I enjoyed it. Hawks gives a good account of his own ups and downs on his 6-month mission, and the interactions with the Moldovans and others brighten his tale.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hilarious! Having been to Moldova over five times this made the reading experience even funnier. The book had it's funny and also sad moments which made it worth my time to read! Read morePublished 6 months ago by wes
Refreshing and interesting. It was a fun, touching way to experience another culture while reminding to appreciate the blessings of western society.Published 10 months ago by Love to Love Books
Tony's second book about a ridiculous bet is charming, poignant, and above all inspirational in the most absurd way. Loved itPublished 13 months ago by Nicole Soltis
Though the author is amusing, I was more taken with his attitudes regarding life and it made me examine more closely my attitude.Published 19 months ago by Angela
Being a Romanian, the sister country of Moldova it was enlightening how a foreigner view the problema of the Moldovan Republic, problems which my country faced in the day. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Bogdan Jianu
great book already completed it will read more by that author soon reccommend to others as excellent reading choice author is fantastic i have read some of his other titlesPublished on January 4, 2013 by barbara206
Why haven't I heard of this guy before? He seems to me like a British Dave Barry or Bill Bryson. I'm talking snort-out-loud, make-the-bed-jiggle kind of funny. Read morePublished on November 12, 2010 by C. P. Anderson
A disappointing and tedious read. Tony Hawks clearly considers himself an extremely funny guy, but he comes across as arrogant and condescending, and occasionally mean-spirited as... Read morePublished on May 2, 2010 by Violet Adamson