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Frost on my Moustache: The Arctic Exploits of a Lord and a Loafer Paperback – February 9, 2001

3.8 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the 1850s, a wealthy British philanthropist by the name of Lord Dufferin sailed his yacht into the Arctic Circle and wrote the bestselling travelogue Letters from High Latitudes. In the 1990s, British writer Tim Moore decided to follow Dufferin's steps--by boat, plane, and bike. This retracing of Dufferin's travels across Iceland, into Norway, and to Spitzbergen (prompted when Moore reads the Lord's 19th-century memoir) is told in a lively, self-deprecating style and starts out brimming with funny anecdotes and interesting tidbits, particularly about Iceland, a report-happy land where the government commissions studies about "the effects of centrifugal force at roundabouts" and where "53 percent of the Icelanders believe in elves."

While Moore continues to unleash an often funny ramble about his northern excursion, something happens mid-book around the time he learns he's lost a work-related lawsuit back in England: perhaps Moore's mind is disintegrating in the polar blasts or he's lost his will to sustain an audience, but the writer's style becomes more manic, his recorded observations are frequently peppered with the base and crude, and his obsession changes from the travels of Lord Dufferin to the fate of one of Dufferin's colleagues, Wilson. The same writing voice that keeps one amused through the first half of the book starts to annoy by the end, as Moore stops providing much relevant info, and instead goes on at great lengths about the price of hot dogs, his nights of drinking and frequent bouts of nausea. Too disgusting in parts to warrant a recommendation to those easily shocked, this jumbled travelogue is nevertheless an often entertaining look into Tim Moore's personal Arctic madness. --Melissa Rossi --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Deciding to re-create the 1850s Icelandic and Scandinavian travels of English Lord Dufferin, Moore sets out to learn about Dufferin, his time, and his motivation by visiting his home and descendants. Moore's description of his stay at the ancestral manor reveals a fascinating lifestyle known to few. As the author travels, he continues to share his very personal reactions to people, places, local history, and situations. While most of his travel is undertaken on a variety of ships, no shipping company is liable to use any of his descriptions in advertising. Moore's writing seems fashioned after a combination of Dave Barry's glib, exaggerated style and Billy Connelly's mental gymnastics. Obviously brilliant, clever, and thoroughly comedic, Moore shares his adventures both in detailed reality and in delusional mind trips. Sounding a little like the supremely talented John Cleese, Richard Greenwood reads it all beautifully. This Monty Python approach is fun for adults, who won't take it too seriously or even try to follow it closely. Expensive, but entertaining, the program contains profanity, hygiene humor, drinking, and sexual innuendo. Not recommended for school libraries or collections used predominately by children. Carolyn Alexander, Brigadoon Lib., Salinas, CA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (February 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312270151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312270155
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,309,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By I. Hunter on February 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Tim Moore has written one of the best travel books I've read in the last five years. His humour is contagious and one finds oneself urging him on as he battles across the northern seas in the footsteps of a 19th Century British aristocrat. Icelanders with a sense of humour about their own country's idiosyncrasies will find the book a delight. The remaining 98% of the population will demand the author is detained and given the full bottom inspection treatment next time he passes through Reykjavik airport. If you enjoy Bill Bryson then you will enjoy Moore. Moore is as funny but is significantly more insightful and ruder! As a regular traveler to Europe this is one of those books I would recommend packing to read as you zip over the pond to the UK (or even Iceland!)
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Format: Hardcover
You will enjoy this fumbling traveller's tribute to a personal hero. Tim Moore's trials and tribulations are too comic to be tragic. His dogged determination to complete a journey in the footsteps of Lord Dufferin keeps him going through graphic sea sickness and prolific pronunciation problems (try Icelandic & Norwegian on the same trip!). The heavy dose of British references means some jokes will be wasted if you don't know much about the UK, but literary slapstick a la Jerry Lewis will keep you giggling anyway.
This is a great book to read as you embark on any journey that looks a bit daunting. If he can survive, anyone can (don't worry, he knows this, too!).
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Format: Paperback
It says everything about this book, really, that the title comes from an intensely colloquial joke that is too obscene to repeat here. Frost on My Moustache is a travel humor book that focuses far more on humor and cursing than it does on the travel. But what it lacks in actual information it more than makes up for in laughter - the kind of oh-god-just-let-me-take-another-breath laughter that can lead to hospitalization, insanity, and inexplicable joy. However, Moore - and his book - aren't for everyone.
Moore is very colloquially British - he uses lots of pop culture references that will not be obvious to most Americans (or Europeans or Australians or...). He's also very much like a certain kind of aging college student: perpetually intoxicated, foul-mouthed, inclined to rant and whine. But despite it all, he's lots of fun, and while you might not like him, you'll love reading about his travels.
The word that most often gets used in Tim Moore book reviews is "Bryson." The comparisons between Tim Moore and Bill Bryson are apparently unavoidable. And, to a certain extent, they hold true: both writers are very funny, both are extremely tightfisted, both spend an awful lot of time complaining. But Moore is not Bryson. At most, he could be described as an embryo Bryson - he hasn't yet learned the secrets of a wide appeal, a cultivated air, or a dignified approach to life. Moore curses, he wails, he throws regular temper tantrums, he's sulky and lazy and fixated. And he eats a lot of hot dogs. Don't expect thoughtful cultural exposition, insightful observations, or descriptions of the local cuisine from him.
But I promise you: if you pick up Frost on My Moustache, you will experience frequent bouts of all-out hysteria. This book is well worth buying and reading, not once, but again and again.
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Format: Paperback
To be considered more than just a good book, any travelogue has to show more than simply intelligence, humour or stylish writing. It requires a good theme - the writer needs to have an original and clearly defined purpose. In all of these criterion (and more presumably)Moore has surpassed all of my own expectations that I had before I bought it. The humour is, in places very English, but that should not deter anyone else from reading it. The only real reason why Tim can't be regarded as an equal to Bill Bryson is because unlike Bill, who has lived in Britain and America for vast periods of time, Moore only knows life in Britain. This alone is probably enough to put lots of Americans, Canadians, Australians etc. off but the fact that many people cant understand the jokes must be very frustrating. Personally, I understood it all but that's firstly because of where I'm from and secondly because I'm a cynic and enjoy reading books where the writer is self-depreciating. The book is informative and witty but something tells me that an attempt at another travel book might prove foolish on his part. He would need at least as good a theme and would need to sustain his humour over an even longer period. Read this one though - it's good.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the funniest books I've read in years. I'm not normally a lover of travel writing, but I couldn't put this down and was sorry when I got to the end. The style of Frost on My Moustache is witty and unpretentious and the content unusual and extremely amusing. Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
Frost On My Moustache: The Arctic Exploits of a Lord and a Loafer is Tim Moore's a hilarious laugh-on-every-page account of his Arctic adventures. His trip from England to Iceland, then to the Faroes, Norway, Jan Mayen (almost) and concluding in the Svalbard archipelago was not a voyage chosen at random. Moore decided to mirror the exploits of Lord Dufferin, who is known to Canadians as our third Governor-General. Lord Dufferin explored the north Atlantic in 1856 and published his own amusing travel tale, Letters from High Latitudes. Frost On My Moustache can be looked at as a modern-day Letters. Moore kept me laughing, and since I had been to many of the same places, I felt a degree of familiarity that only made me laugh more.

Moore spent most of his nine-week adventure in Iceland. I am planning a two-week trip to Iceland this summer, although I did spend an entire day in Reykjavík in the summer of 2013, so the references to the capital city were still fresh. What I found most interesting though was Moore's cycle trek across the country. Roads suddenly disappeared and he was left bouncing his tires over rough lava, worrying about getting a flat. His observations about the perils of the outdoors sounded both serious as well as downright hilarious:

"What heightened the senses was the complete absence of warning signs, fences or barriers. In Iceland, a healthy respect for the nation's geological and climactic [1] extremes is taken for granted. If they went around trying to signpost every danger the nation would be bankrupted. 'Warning--enormous hidden hole in ground', 'Danger--no shops or petrol or any living thing for miles and miles--oh yeah, and you just fell into a geyser'. That's what Iceland is about--confronting the elements, and man's puniness beside them.
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