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Where the Hell is Matt?: Dancing Badly Around the World Hardcover – June 2, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Having read it, I can say it is just what I expected. Matt gives us little stories about the places we've seen in his videos and adds a bit of behind-the-scenes depth to the videos. The travel stories are broken up by intermissions about how it all came into being, and each phase that the viral story goes through.
So, let's be frank, Matt isn't a writer, at least not in the literary meaning of the word. He has a wit and dry humor that is very readable and entertaining, but these stories aren't going to make it into the New Yorker. That said, it's a nice coffee table book. The stories are short enough you can read one while waiting for someone to get you a drink and they are fairly entertaining, if not a bit repetitive. I found myself ready for a break after reading 2-3.
Who should read/buy this book? People who love the Matt videos. People who need a clever book on the table when others come to their house so they seem worldly and in the know on these things. Those looking to buy something for a recent college graduate who already has, or doesn't want, a picture frame, a candle stick holder, and/or an expensive pen.
It's a good book and worth the price.
Matt is a guy that was all over your email inbox a couple of years ago - the video that your pal sent you where some average joe is doing a silly white man's dance in front of a dizzying array of international locales. he ended up getting corporate sponsorship (thanks for those several minutes of bliss, stride gum!) and made another 2 videos, all of the same shtick.
if you haven't seen those videos (go watch 'em now), and if they didn't have some ineffable emotional pull on you (you stone-hearted curmudgeon), this book is pretty much useless. a quick series of anecdotes about some of the locations Matt traveled to, this reads like the director's commentary on a dvd version of the video: tales of how he arrived at some of the more remote locales, the potential for exploitation inherent in getting grubby street urchins to play along for the camera, wandering aimlessly through airports, and the power of the internet to showcase everyone just getting along. the secret to the videos' huge success is that they aren't really about anything, other than taking joy in the time allotted to you on this earth, and the book manages to not be about too much, either. that's not at all a bad thing - Matt knows he's no philosopher or life coach, so he just lets the travelogue and the occasional snapshot speak for themselves - but it does mean that without familiarity with the videos, this isn't a stand-alone tale.
Reading this book was a pleasure. It seems odd at first that such a self-effacing character could have become such an internet sensation through his (bad) dancing, but this book explains how that all came about. Matt writes in a lighthearted and humorous style and there are many chuckle moments in this book. (There are some very poignant observations and introspective moments throughout the book too.)
The ebook contains many photos and has a very big file size, so be prepared for a fairly long download if you download it directly to your Kindle over Whispernet, (it took about 15-20 minutes for me.) It's worth the wait though and will provide several hours of entertainment.
So even though I have no idea why I started this book, I know why I kept reading it, stayed up late to finish and tracked down the You Tube videos to follow along. It's a really, really surprising good book!
The premise is straightforward: Matt Harding describes how he was dying a slow, dismal death in his job as a video game designer. So he quit his job and took a trip touring the world. One day his friend was shooting a video of a site and suggested Matt do a little dance. The dye was cast.
Matt's honest assessment of his unexpected journey to international fame is humorous and touching. Matt tours the world the way I'd want to - with no agenda, no fears and very little luggage. Since that won't happen, reading his book was a fun and totally easy way to hear about fascinating places that I never knew existed. It was like the real-life version of You Shall Know Our Velocity.
The chapters read quickly and use no flowery descriptions, but an unabashedly carefree view of the local culture and the occasional philosophical insight into what he learned by dancing around the globe.
Matt also provided details on how his simple dancing video went viral. Except for the unfortunate word in the title, this would be an excellent book for students and young adults.
I read this book on my Kindle. At the end of each chapter is a short video clip of Matt's dance at that location. I couldn't get them to play on my Kindle, so this would be a good option for a phone or computer app.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nice book with some parts of the story that aren't included (or emphasized) on the website. Not a necessary book, though. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Archer Phil
Like most other reviewers, I am a big fan of Matt Harding's viral videos in which he dances all over the Earth. I'm also a fan of travel memoirs. Read morePublished on May 4, 2013 by Frank Grimes
I thought the commentary was honest and I appreciated that. The concept and the places he talked about where pre interesting to me and i'm sure many other. Read morePublished on March 9, 2013 by sa
I saw his video on You Tube and then went to his website. The book tells the story of where and how the video was made and gives insight about Matt. Read morePublished on January 11, 2013 by Mary M Leveck
I like this book. It is mainly pictures with short stories behind the pictures. It was really interesting reading what was going on behind the scenes - e.g. Read morePublished on October 4, 2012 by FreeSpirit
This book is a quick but enjoyable read, and a great companion to Matt's joyful Youtube videos and website. Read morePublished on June 26, 2012 by M. Carroll
What a great read! I really enjoyed reading about Matt's journey before and during the filming of his famous YouTube dancing videos. Read morePublished on February 23, 2012 by Amazon Customer