Ever since he can remember, Dom Joly has been fascinated by travel to odd places. In part, this stems from a childhood spent in war-torn Lebanon, where instead of swapping marbles in the schoolyard, he had a shrapnel collection - the schoolboy currency of Beirut. These early experiences left Dom with a profound loathing for the sanitized experiences of the modern-day travel industry and a taste for the darkest of places. And in this brilliantly odd and hilariously told travel memoir, Dom Joly sets out on a quest to visit those destinations from which the average tourist would, and should, run a mile.
Funny and frightening in equal measure, this is a uniquely bizarre and compelling travelogue from one of the most fearless and innovative comedians around.
From the author: 'I'm so excited to have my own audio book out- I listen to loads of them while travelling the world- they are often my only companion, a little voice of sanity in scary situations...'
©2010 Dom Joly (P)2011 Audible Ltd
Never having watched Dom Joly's TV programmes, I did not know what to expect, but the premise of the book was interesting, and the author's voice is easy to listen to, so I downloaded version 4, for my old iPod nano 2nd generation, and was hooked straight away. I wasn't surprised to find out that the author's been a researcher for the political comedian/activist Mark Thomas: the same vein of absurdism.compassion, and refusal to toe the party line runs through their respective works. I found myself having to ration my listening, since I had a long train journey coming up, and, once at my holiday destination, I kept sneaking off for a quick listen, to find out what happened next. Particularly poignant for me were the chapters on skiing in Iran, and the visit to Chernobyl in Ukraine, as well as the return to Dom's childhood country, Lebanon. Dom Joly manages to find quirky humour in situations where there is little to be jolly about (did you know, for example, that Osama bin Laden attended an International Quaker boarding school?) I, for one, will be looking out for more of his books. Alternatively, If he wants to create The Dark Tourist volume 2, I'll happily buy that. There's always the Communist Statue park in Budapest, and the Island of Hawar, Bahrain's answer to the Maldives (not!) where visitors are forbidden to leave the hotel compound without authorisation, and the ?7-a-throw cappuccinos are made with Nescafe...
In short, if you're after a funny listen that will still have the power to make you think about the themes long after you've finished listening, this is a winner.
Although well known for his madcap skits in the TV show ?Trigger Happy TV,? what I liked is that this book shows much more of the real Dom Joly.
Traveling the globe he seeks out areas where bad things have happened (a dark tourist,) at points on the time-line of history which have eventually shaped the course of our future.
You?re taken along on his travels, and get to share in his superb and absurdly brilliant observations, and devilish sarcasm. Along the way he employs his genuine ability to interview, and talk to a real variation of people that gives a good idea that he feels a moral duty to expose those who do, and have abused their power. All in all it feels like an honest, humble and very funny account of what he felt and saw along his journey. Great Listen.
Didn't know what to expect from Dom, never watched his tv shows as they don't appeal to me but this book is very, very good. It's a very honest, imformative yet entertaining read - he comes accross as a very likeable chap - intelligent and witty without the sillyness of his tv show. That's not to say it doesn't have its funny moments - it does, the bit where he is trapped in a lift had me in stiches! I am happy to recommend this book to anyone - take a chance on him - it's really good, hope he does another!
I'm not a huge fan of Dom Joly, but this book had me laughing my head off as I walked to work. This is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to and I cannot recommend it enough. The situations he gets into are bizarre, sometimes surreal and very funny. Read by the author, his voice is perfect and his foreign accents add even more humour. A must listen audiobook!
I've really enjoyed listening to this in the car in the last week or so, it was interesting and laugh out loud funny at quite a few points.
If I was really being picky, I thought the last chapter on Lebanon was the weakest of the selection, it was nowhere near as interesting as the other countries. Not sure why. Which is curious given that the author says he is from there. So the book didn't finish completely on a high for me.
However I'd recommend it unreservedly.
After listening to Michael MacIntyre's "Life and Laughing", I found the opening to this audiobook extremely dry and humourless. I began to worry whether I had made a mistake in buying what I thought would be a funny book. After 20 minutes however, my fears were proved unwarranted.
What I love about this book is that it is split into manageable 40-60 minute chunks, which each provide you with a fantastic bed-time tale for grown-ups.
This book is not quite laugh-out-loud and it is not at all just boring informative tourist journalism; it finds a good balance between the two extremes, as an interesting, amusing dark tourism guide.
This book is brilliant. Interesting, funny and gripping, I could not stop listening. I think the section on Iran was probably my personal favourite but I thoroughly enjoyed it all. If you want to find out about different cultures or just want to have an entertaining read, this is definitely for you.
My first internet download of a book. I have downloaded books from CD's previously, but this was a new experience. A brilliant experience. The book was not only funny, it was entertaining, educational and thought provoking. Read in a chatty way, so wasn't slow and sleepy, like many, and kept the listener alert. The book gives insights to many well known places of sadness, which we all tend to visit when we are there. Strange how we all are drawn to something macabre.
Brilliant book for travellers. Gave it 10/10. Strongly recommended. Brilliant. Will now seriously consider other audible books.
Wasn't quite sure what to expect. Have enjoyed most of Dom Jolly's TV programmes but knew little about him as a person or his life outside of TV. Was pleasantly surprised to find that his off screen life is just as hilarious as his on screen antics, he really does have balls of steel. Not only funny and laugh out loud in places it is also informative and thought provoking. His stories of the JFK book repository museum being chased by security after standing up for his rights in the land of the free is as funny as it is ironic. From skiing in Iran to trying to escape the guides in North Korea, the book is a World wide eye opener. Here's hoping that Dom travells even more and writes a follow up. I wonder how many more enquiries the Iranian tourist board have received lately? Download the book you wont be disappointed.
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