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Round Ireland with a Fridge Paperback – March 7, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (March 7, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312274920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312274924
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

On his only prior visit to Ireland, English songwriter-comic Tony Hawks had seen a man hitchhiking with a refrigerator. For years, he was wont to tell the tale during late-night drinking matches, and after one particularly heavy-duty night of partying, he awoke to find a bet scrawled pillowside: a friend wagered 100 pounds that Hawks wouldn't travel Ireland for a month with a refrigerator at his side.

Out of this stupid premise, a ridiculously amusing book was born. Quickly discovered by the Irish media, the thumbing Englishman finds that he and his box fridge are elevated to celebrity status, and there's no dearth of rides, places to stay, or goofy people to meet, from kings to spoons players to locals who take his fridge surfing. As insightful about the strange inner workings of Hawk's mind as it is about charming peculiarities of Irishmen--it's doubtful that Hawks would have been similarly embraced by Germans, Italians, or the French--Round Ireland with a Fridge is an entirely silly, heartwarming tale told in a rollicking funny and refreshing style. --Melissa Rossi --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

When British writer, performer and musician Hawks makes a drunken bet for ?100 that he can "hitchhike round the circumference of Ireland, with a fridge, in one calendar month," he starts, in 1997, an unexpectedly wonderful adventure into the good-natured soul of the Irish people. Though the book begins inauspiciously as a bad parody of Dave Barry's travel books, with Hawks assuming a smug distance from the people and events he encounters, happily fate intervenes in the form of a jovial radio-show host who convinces Hawks to phone in daily to share updates about his travels with the fridge. Almost overnight, Hawks becomes a regional legendA"The Fridge Man"Awith all sorts of people willing to help him achieve his goal, however silly it may be. What could have been a convenient contrivance actually allows a kinder and far funnier Hawks to appear, as his daily talks with his radio "fans" bring him unexpected delights, including encounters with an overenthusiastic innkeeper and his family, the amazing champion surfer Bingo, various musicians and lots of pub visits. In the end, Hawks's book becomes a lively celebration of contemporary Irish society and the goodwill of its people that neither revels in irony nor descends into mawkishness. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Tony Hawks is a very strange, and very funny man.
Robert I. Hedges
I had a trip to Ireland planned and a friend of mine recommended this book.
Lisa Ryan
If you just want a good laugh in a quick read, pick up this book!
A. G. Daniels

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Caz on December 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book doesn't claim to be anything but what it is: a rollicking good time. Hawks has detailed his misadventures with a fridge whilst traipsing around the Green Isle. It makes for a fun time, it really does.
The premise is so absurd it has to be real: the author makes a bet with a mate in the midst of a party... that he attempt to take a fridge all the way around the country of Ireland - and do it in 30 days or less. Hawks, not being of right mind, agrees. Then he gets sober and realizes the enormity of this £100 bet. The first hilarious mis-step in the adventure is that the fridge he bought for the trek cost him roughly what the bet was for.
From there things get better (or worse, if you're Hawks) and a great time begins. The book doesn't just reflect Hawks' strange experiences whilst hitching with a compact fridge - it also shows the generous and good-natured heart of the Irish.
I bought this book for my trans-atlantic flight home and it keep me fully entertained for the entire 8 hours. This isn't a challenging read, but it's darn good fun all the same. I give it a recommend.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Erik on March 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book on a trip to London based soley on its cover, putting down a copy of another travel book by Bill Bryson. It seemed kind of dumb, but potentially funny. I was very pleased to find that this book was well-written with sharp humour, insight, and rich descriptions of the author's travels around Ireland with a small dormitory-style refrigerator. It did turn out to be quite a stupid idea, but that's what makes the book an enjoyable read; there's really nowhere to go but up from that point. The fridge goes surfing, gets blessed by a nun, and travels with a horse while Tony makes numerous friends along the way.
If you like the British flair in the novels of Nick Horby and Helen Fielding and enjoy travel writing, you should enjoy this book as well.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amy Battis on July 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I had no idea what a "laugh out loud" book this would be! Imagine, taking someone up on a bet to hitchhike around Ireland with a dorm-sized fridge, then writing a book about your exploits of fulfilling the terms of the bet. Tony Hawks did it, and here we have the fruits of his efforts.
From the beginning, he admits that it's a frivolous idea....but I think that's what makes it that much more interesting. In 30 days, Tony works his way around the perimeter of Ireland with the fridge on a dolly. We get to read of his encounters with various Irish, English and Americans who help him reach his goal. We see how the fridge becomes more of a celebrity than Tony (an ego-reducing reality!) and how people banded together behind this crazy idea.
I have traveled extensively in Ireland, and while some of the incidents and reactions may seem a bit over the top or overly charitable, I can believe that they happened. I haven't read a travelogue that more fully captures the true heart, spirit and imagination of Ireland better than this.
Bravo to Tony for completing the task...and for letting us accompany him on his journey.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Claire on February 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that will have you laughing out loud, as you read of Tony's varied stories of his travels around Ireland.
It is a purely light-hearted and entertaining read, yet it shows the generosity and love of life that the Irish have.
Written in a chatty way, you find yourself cringeing at some of the antics that he gets up to, such as surfing with the fridge, or sleeping in a dog kennel.
This is a book you will definitely not want to put down, but at the same time, you don't want it to finish!
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Annette Gisby on October 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I don't normally read travel books, but my husband is an avid devourer of same, and so when I gave him this as a gift, I was curious. He would read a few pages and then laugh. A lot. Out loud. I wondered what on earth could be so funny in a travel book. I had never read a book which made me laugh out loud. So after he had finished, I began reading the book.

I just couldn't put it down. It was hilarious, right from the ridiculous premise where the author agreed to a drunken bet to hitch-hike round Ireland with a fridge as a travelling companion. He meets a quite a few eccentric characters along the way, none of whom I knew (at least I don't think so, but you can never be quite sure. Nearly everyone in Ireland knows someone who's a cousin of someone else's cousin or brother, or aunt... you get the idea.)

My favourite line has got to be when asking for directions, the author got the reply, "You can't get there from here."

It's so funny because it's true, people do say that, I'm a culprit myself.

How did he manage it? Did people really let the madman with a fridge get into their cars and their lives? Read the book and find out, you won't be disappointed.

You'll be laughing out loud too.

Reviewed by Annette Gisby, author of Silent Screams
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nico Taudarian on April 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
After a heavy alcohol-fuelled session at a party, English comedian Tony Hawks wakes up to find that he has entered into a bet to hitchhike around the coast of Ireland in the company of a fridge. Not a man to welch on his bets he sets off to do precisely that and manages to write us a hilarious book detailing the experience.
The people of Ireland respond to the idea of this English lunatic pulling this stunt as if it's an excellent proposal and pitch in to help Tony on his way with madcap enthusiasm. By car, truck and van, Tony and his fridge progress around the coast; on the way having the fridge christened, blessed, named and adopted as well as entering into a batchelor competition. The passing through of Tony and his fridge becomes an event in many areas and he achieves a cult following as "Fridge-man".
If you want to read a travelogue with a difference you'd be hard-pressed to find one as bizarre and enjoyable as this which serves to warm the reader's heart to Ireland, the Irish, Tony and free-willed kitchen appliances everywhere. Good craic.
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