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Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure Hardcover – September 2, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Four years ago, after locating 54 people who shared his name, stand-up comic Gorman used that frivolous notion as the basis for an award-winning, one-man stage show and book (Are You Dave Gorman?). Specializing in comedic travel writing, he found an excuse for more globe-trotting when he began google-whacking, or typing two words (such as "Dork Turnspit") into Google's search engine that would return only one result. Google-whacking constantly, he began to meet other google-whackers, from Seattle to Sydney. Soon he had a new stage show, and this book, based on that show, probes his obsession with the word game while presenting the colorful cast of eccentrics he encountered—from a Beijing performance artist to the guy whose house is a shrine to Mickey Mouse. Gorman's gift for siphoning silliness from any cubbyhole has an appeal for many (this book quickly became a U.K. bestseller), but not all readers will be ROTFLMAO ("rolling on the floor laughing my ass off"), as per Internet jargon. The nomadic Gorman does manage to maintain a breathless, high-spirited pace, offering an onslaught of amusing anecdotes and digressive detours along the way. 22 b&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

When he turned 31, British stand-up comic Gorman decided he wanted to be taken seriously, so he landed a contract to write a novel. He took novel writing so seriously he grew a beard. But no matter how he tried, Gorman couldn't actually write anything. One of his procrastination methods was googlewhacking--a game in which the "whacker" types two different words into Google and tries to get exactly one hit. His first googlewhack, "Dork Turnspit," led him to a site featuring photographs of women with dogs. Gorman found the site so fascinating that he met its owner and then asked the women-and-dogs fellow to find him another googlewhack. And so begins one of history's greatest ventures in procrastination. Over the next weeks, Gorman traveled tens of thousands of miles, everywhere from Columbus, Ohio, to Beijing, China, meeting googlewhacks, trying to string together 10 in a row by getting two new googlewhacks from each person he met. The descriptions of place are sometimes trite and obvious, but Gorman's self-deprecating wit and irrational dedication to his quest make this a hilarious travelogue. For more titles in the emerging "idiotic but charming quest" travel genre, see the accompanying Read-alike. John Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press; 1 edition (September 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585676144
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585676149
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.3 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,629,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roger M. Smith on January 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
On a recent trip to Gran Canaria I planned to unwind, 7 days by the pool, beer in hand, three good books. I read all three but Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure proved to be streets ahead, what a great read! The appeal for me - his adventure being so far removed from normal daily life. This resulted in my imagination being able to wander at great speed. All the 'real-life distractions we fall victim too we're there also. Delightful, entertaining, gripping, a 'can't put it down' book. I am in no way a professional reviewer, just an ordinary bloke who enjoys a good read. Believe me therefore when I say 'this one is a good read'.
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Format: Hardcover
What a fun and funny book. Dave Gorman sets out to write a novel, but one day receives an email out of the blue saying he is a "googlewhack" and so begins his ultimate procrastination in search of ten googlewhacks in a row, taking him across the Atlantic Ocean numerous times and to far off places like China and Australia as he travels some 80,000 miles in a race against time to meet a series of strangers around the world. And along the way he recounts in a very humourous fashion the strange people he meets and the freaky coincidences that occur.

This book had me laughing and reading passages out loud.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is very funny and worth a read. His writing ability is not as fluid as Danny Wallace (cowriter of "Are You Dave Gorman?" - which is hilarious) but the situations and overall concept is good enough to make this book laugh out loud funny.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't even remember how I first picked this book up, but so glad I did. What a strange and wonderful story! I guess at the time I'd read a few other books in this genre of "funny books about strange adventure written by British comedians" (e.g., Round Ireland With a Fridge, etc.) and thought I'd try this out. A totally bizarre self-imposed quest that takes the author literally all around the world. And funny! I loved it and have read it a few times over.
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Format: Paperback
I'll start with a confession: I suspect that I am exactly the kind of person to whom this sort of book would appeal.

While I don't believe I'd ever do anything quite so extreme to avoid the commitment of writing a novel, I am, nonetheless, a procrastinator at heart. And there is something about books of this genre that makes that little voice in my head pop up and exclaim, "What a cool idea!!" Trying to meet fifty-three other people with the same name as you? Count me in. Travelling around a small country with a large fridge appliance? I'm there. Playing tennis against every member of an obscure Eastern European nation's football team? Why not? Saying `yes' to everything for a year? What an interesting sociological experiment! These are all ridiculous adventures that have led to equally ridiculous but highly entertaining books.

So when I picked up 'Dave Gorman's Googlewhack! Adventure', I knew from the start that it was likely to be something I'd enjoy. I wasn't wrong. Yes, Dave seems to have taken procrastination to new heights, and if he hadn't got a publishing deal out of it all then I would be seriously worried about the likely fragile nature of both his mental health and his bank account. But what stops this from being a cringe-worthy and pity-inducing book is his ability to take us inside his head at each encounter with another Googlewhack, and to help us understand the occasionally bizarre thought processes which drive this obsessive quest.

Travelling all over the world, including numerous flights back and forth across the North Atlantic, Dave meets his Googlewhacks and has a brief insight into the different lives of ordinary (and in some cases not so ordinary) people.
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