Category Archives: Travel

Friends Like These- Danny Wallace


Synopsis (from amazon)

Danny Wallace is about to turn thirty and his life has become a cliché. Recently married and living in a smart new area of town, he’s swapped pints down the pub for lattes and brunch. For the first time in his life, he’s feeling, well … grown-up.

But something’s not right. Something’s missing. Until he finds an old address book containing just twelve names. His best mates as a kid. Where are they now? Who are they now? And how are they coping with being grown-up too?

And so begins a journey from A-Z, tracking down and meeting his old gang. He travels from Berlin to Tokyo, from Sydney to LA. He even goes to Loughborough. He meets Fijian chiefs. German rappers. Some ninjas. And a carvery manager who’s managed to solve time travel. But how will they respond to a man they haven’t seen in twenty years, turning up and asking if they’re coming out to play?

Part-comedy, part-travelogue, part-memoir, Friends Like These is the story of what can happen when you track down your past, and of where the friendships you thought you’d outgrown can take you today…

Review

I nicked borrowed this book off the boyfriend the other week when nothing on my kindle was inspiring me and I just fancied an easy read. I actually got it  for him for Christmas because he loves the film Yes Man– I wasn’t sure if he had read the book the film is based on so I went for another Danny Wallace instead. When he read it he said I should too.

Well I did say after reading Charlotte Street that I wanted to try some of Wallace’s non-fiction, and who am I to deny an offer of a book?

I’m sure everyone knows the sort of friends Danny is trying to find. Those friends who you somehow lost, never really intending to, but still it happens. So I think Danny’s feelings about his friends are easy to relate to (not that most of us have the time or money to find and visit all our friends from primary school).

In a way I liked this more than other similar types of books (i.e. comedian goes on an adventure to find people, or things e.g. Googlewhack, Around Ireland with a fridge, Dave Gorman Vs. The Rest of the World), because it was more real. It was sort of inspirational. Not in the sense of I would go around the world to find people I knew in school, but in the sense of wanting to try and reconnect with lost friends.

But it had what those types of books have too. It was funny, and a bit stupid, and a little unbelievable and over the top.

4/5

Buy it:

Paperback (£5.99)

Kindle (£5.22)

1 Comment

Filed under Comedy, non-fiction review, Travel

Dave Gorman Vs The Rest of the World- Dave Gorman


Image from Amazon

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Remember when you were a kid, and you used to go round to a friend’s house to see if they were playing? Well, as adults we’re not supposed to do that. Which is a shame… because Dave Gorman likes playing. He REALLY likes games. So he knocked on the biggest door you could ever imagine – the internet – and asked 76,000 people if they fancied a game. This is the story of what happened next.

Dave was up for anything and gamely played them at whatever they chose. He played some classics – Monopoly, Scrabble, dominoes and cribbage. He played many games he’d never heard of before – Khet, Kubb, Tikal or Smite anyone?

He played board games and physical games. He’s thrown sticks, balls, frisbees and darts. He’s rolled dice and he’s drawn cards.

From Liverpool to Hampstead and from Croydon to Nottingham, Dave travelled the length and breadth of Britain meeting strangers in strange places – their homes, at work, in the back rooms of pubs – and getting some hardcore game action. From casual players to serious game geeks, from the rank amateur to the world champion, he discovered a nation of gamers more than happy to welcome him into their midst.

He’s travelled all around the country and met all sorts of people – and it turns out us Brits are a competitive bunch. And it seems that playing games can teach you a lot about what makes the British tick. Of course, Dave hasn’t been keeping score. Much.

Review

The last time I read a Dave Gorman book (America Unchained) I was disappointed by the lack of funny, but fairly interested in the topic. It seems that this is just Dave Gorman’s style of writing now, more about topic than funny. In America Unchained it did at times feel a bit preachy, but it’s probably pretty difficult to be preachy about games. With Are You Dave Gorman? and Googlewhack it was really the humour I liked about Dave Gorman’s writing. With this one it was certainly finding out about different games that I enjoyed- seriously I would love to attempt to play Khet, and the German style games sound fun (even if one did kind of sound like a board game version of Farmville!). Don’t get me wrong there were still the funny moments that you expect from Dave Gorman, it’s just more about the interesting games, and the people.

4/5

Buy it:

Paperback (£5.07)

Kindle (£4.49)

Other Reviews:

Curiosity Killed the Bookworm

Have I missed your review? Link me up!

6 Comments

Filed under Comedy, Games, non-fiction review, Travel