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Where the Hell is Matt?: Dancing Badly Around the World Hardcover – June 2, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matt Harding quit his job as a videogame designer to wander the planet. When an Internet video of Matt dancing badly in exotic locations was viewed by millions, a sponsor offered him the opportunity to continue his journey. Matt was born in 1976 and he lives in Seattle, Washington with his partner, Melissa, and their dog, Sydney.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602396523
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602396524
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 7.9 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #999,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Cantor on May 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Matt Harding's spontaneous dance of youth, playfulness and joy became an Internet phenomenon and has touched the hearts of millions. In this book, Matt tells the story of his videos and shows lots of pictures of his travels, but it's much more than a travelogue. It's an account of Matt's journey of self-discovery. His voice shines through--companionable, engaging and self-effacing. A twenty-first century version of Innocents Abroad, Matt's book is funny and perceptive and a great read.
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First, I should come clean, I'm a huge fan of the Matt videos. I've watched them all, I've sent them to friends, and I think I even have a version on my PS3 so I can watch it on my TV from time to time. So, in some ways, I was an easy sell on this book. In fact, I pre-ordered it.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
The Matt videos make you think that it was a snap for this bumbling guy to pop around the planet dancing whenever he felt inclined. This book pulls back the curtain on that misconception with fantastic stories told by a great storyteller. I can't wait to see what he does next!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
technical details first: i read this book using kindle for ipad. on my version, all the maps & photos are in color, and everything is nicely formatted.

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.
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I've enjoyed reading travelogs for many years, (albeit mainly the wonderful Bill Bryson's books), and was aware of Matt's exploits from the incredibly popular Youtube videos. (I'll pause here to say if you haven't seen the videos to look them up - they never fail to put a smile on this jaded face.)

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'd never heard of You Tube sensation Matt Harding. I was a little turned off by the swear word in the title. Even though it was offered free on Kindle, I considered not even downloading it. But just before I clicked the button to send this book into archive oblivion, for some reason I opened it and began reading.

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.
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