- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Ridiculous Race Paperback – Bargain Price, July 8, 2008
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Special Offers and Product Promotions
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"No one should set off for a plane ride, a day at the beach, or a lengthy visit to the bathroom without a copy of The Ridiculous Race. I laughed so much I almost died from a lack of oxygen reaching my brain."—Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy and American Dad!
"…will make readers laugh and cry, often simultaneously. Hely’s Victorian notions of world travel and the glory of bygone eras provide the perfect foil for Chandrasekaran’s glib embrace of the comforts of modern life. Their comically inoffensive braggadocio is akin to your older brother’s tales of his misspent youth; Chandrasekaran and Hely might be slightly obnoxious, but therein lies their charm. Hilarious travel writing for the chronically snarky."—Kirkus Reviews
"Riotous fun."—People Magazine
Top Customer Reviews
While their comedic talents really shine through in the book, the book is also fascinating from a travel and cultural perspective. For example, this is personally the most I've ever read about Mongolia. Of course, based on the descriptions in the book, it may also be the most I WILL EVER read about Mongolia, but it made for several very funny stories.
The book is a light, easy read, with no real chapters, but instead with short sections, alternating between the two authors. Easy to get through, very funny, very entertaining and very recommended for anyone who likes a little bit of humor thrown in with their travelogues.
In 2007, two friends -- Steve Hely and Vali Chandrasekaran -- embarked on a race around the world without using airplanes. Steve traveled West, and Vali traveled East. The first guy who circled the planet and make it back to Los Angeles would be declared the winner. The prize? A bottle of the finest Scotch they could find.
Not being just ordinary guys (both are writers for television comedy shows), they were able to get a book advance to bankroll their trip. The result was this book, which chronicles each man's journey.
Steve -- the more serious of the two and the one committed to racing by following the rules -- starts his trip on board the container ship Hanjin Athens. As such, he is able to definitively answer the question: Is fourteen days on the Pacific a grand, romantic adventure or crushingly boring? To quote Steve:
The short answer is "crushingly boring."
By the time we left port, it was clear that the greatest danger facing me wasn't pirates or storms. Or sharks. Or giant squid, Or flesh-eating jellyfish. Or being raped and stabbed by sailors. Or string rays.
It was keeping my idle mind from destroying itself.
After this journey, Steve takes a road trip through China (including a gut-wrenching but hilarious night at the Peking Opera) and ends up on a train that takes him through Mongolia (with a brief stop at Ulaanbaatar , which he affectionately dubs "A City for People Who Hate Cities.") Along the away, he becomes obsessed with drinking fermented mare's milk. (Wonder what fermented mare's milk tastes like? Here is Steve's description: "Get some half-and-half and a can of warm Sprite. Mix the two in a glass. Let sit for a few days on top of your radiator.Read more ›
But as the book labors on, I got the feeling not only did Vali give up on the integrity of the race, but also gave up trying to write a book. Which is a shame, as he is the more gifted of the two writers.
This book had some very funny moments, some that made me laugh out loud, but honestly it felt like homework reading this book at times.
The Ridiculous Race is a journal of the authors' separate circumnavigations, with a witty flair that is expected since both of the authors have worked as comedy writers in Los Angeles for popular TV shows. I especially enjoyed Steve's escapades in China, Italy and the Swedish Ghetto. I appreciated Vali's experiences in the Middle East, particularly in Egypt.
Instead of highlighting well-known touristy places (though they did visit some) their journeys uncover the daily quirks of traveling in foreign lands, often hundreds of miles from typical tourist destinations - why the food on the Siberian railway is scary; how the lavatory in some regions is a mere hole in the floor instead of a toilet; the challenge of renting a car in China to drive across the country. Anything outside the usual life experience of the author or the reader becomes amusing, confusing or hilarious.
Having two writers with separate journal entries is also refreshing. If one writer's current travel narration doesn't interest you then you only have to endure it for a couple of pages before the other writer's journal entry describes somewhere else. Then after a few more pages they each journey onward to describe new countries.
Readers will discover that The Ridiculous Race is both enlightening and entertaining.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the funniest books I've read. Bought Steves other book right after I read this one. Can't wait for his new one to come out.Published 1 month ago by Brian D.
This was a great book. I could not put it down. Actually ended up getting 2 more copies as giftsPublished on February 11, 2014 by D. Clark
Both a comedy book and an insightful sociological study, but the weirdness especially made it a fun read. I have recommended this book to several of my friends who love to travel.Published on December 6, 2012 by Scarecrow
I've read more entertaining and informative bathroom graffiti about travel. Have you ever had to suffer through being cornered at a party by someone who incessantly talks about... Read morePublished on May 27, 2011 by Dopaminergic
Great idea and concept for the book, entertaining for the first half though overall anticlimactic. About 100 pages in you get the idea and it just rinses and repeats the rest of... Read morePublished on November 19, 2010 by CS
Is "laugh out loud funny" too much of a cliche? Who cares if it is--this book was laugh out loud funny. Two ridiculous men take two ridiculous journeys and hilarity ensues. Read morePublished on February 23, 2010 by Bettymouse
It's a great book and I'm constantly laughing when reading it. It is also well written and very educational in regards to learning about different countries.Published on October 18, 2009 by Southern Gal
Starts off fast and funny out of the gates but stumbles quickly when it is obvious that it is nothing even resembling a race. Still, some very funny bits.Published on August 1, 2009 by Craig T