Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$4.44
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Book is used, fast shipping and great customer service.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Ridiculous Race Paperback – Bargain Price, July 8, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, Bargain Price, July 8, 2008
$12.28 $0.43

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hely and Chandrasekaran are friends, TV comedy writers, and 20-something Los Angelinos who decide to circle the globe and make a race of it, starting in LA and going in opposite directions. The hook: no planes. Told in alternating voices, their story fails to engage, but is funny. Hely, for example, arranges passage on a container ship from Long Beach to Shanghai: "about as exciting as a giant floating Kinkos... Entire days I spent staring at the ocean. I read so much that my eyes broke and I couldn't see words." Chandrasekaran begins his adventure with a days-long drive to Mexico City, where he makes an absurd attempt to purchase a jetpack. Beyond comedy, the experiment yields little. Virtually formless, the narrative becomes a slave to its subject, racing from antic to antic without slowing for reflection or a sense of the world's impact on the travelers. At the finish line, Hely confesses that their conclusion is "impossibly anticlimactic," but given the setup it's more like an inevitability. What's seemingly impossible (and unfortunate) is how quickly this speedy narrative runs out of momentum.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"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

"Hilarious."—Entertainment Weekly

“Reads like a 300-page Simpsons episode.”—WIRED
 
“Hilarious race around the world.”—Publisher’s Weekly
 
“This is one of the funniest books I’ve read in years….The hilarity lasts the whole way.”—Anne Stephenson, The Arizona Republic
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; First Edition edition (July 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805087400
  • ASIN: B0058M8GRO
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,150,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Derek J. Archambault on September 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
I haven't laughed while reading a book as much as I did reading this one in a while. It is exactly what you would expect from a couple of television comedy writers (My Name is Earl and Family Guy!) who decide to race around the world without using airplanes. If you're not a fan of those shows/that type of humor, then you may want to stay away.

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.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Ridiculous Race by Steve Hely and Vali Chandrasekaran is a funny memoir about two men racing each other around the world. It's a bet to see who can circle the globe the fastest--without the use of airplanes. The prize: A bottle of the best Scotch (Kinclaith, 1969). The competitors: Two television comedy writers. The year: 2007. The outcome: Hilarious! The starting point is Los Angles and Steve heads west while Vali heads east. This book is their outrageous travelogue noting their separate adventures in Mexico, China, Brazil, England, France, Ulaanbaatar, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Egypt, Italy, and more. They try new things: Segway tour through Paris, ride a horse in Mongolia, ride on the Trans-Siberian railroad, four-wheel in Dubai. And of course, they try new food. Steve tried duck in China. Maybe he should have skipped that one. One memorable moment in the book (and there were many) was when Steve got sick attending an opera in Peking. Imagine, such a once-in-a-lifetime experience and here he is in the bathroom "in a frenzied head-shaking hurricane of violent vomiting." I smiled and laughed my way around the world with these two jokers. So did my husband. We both gave it a thumbs-up for a ridiculously fun read. Read other reviews at http://readinginthegarden.blogspot.com
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was enthralled with this book from the beginning to the very end. I laughed often and enjoyed it all. The guys personalities were so entertaining. I recommend this book to everyone. The adventures were wonderful, the travel was superb and the writing was humorous and interesting, kept me reading from start to finish and would happily read again and again.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book Overview

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 ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This book started off with a bang. It follows the story of two young men, Vali and Steve as they first make a wager to travel the world without airplanes, and then commence their journey.

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.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
One of the authors, Steve Hely, sent me a copy of this book after he read a book that I wrote (Crossing the Darien Gap.) I thoroughly enjoyed Steve and Vali's book to the point where I would look forward to having a spare hour in the evenings devoted to reading about their adventures.

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.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?