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Summary

Dom Joly was born in Beirut and lived there until he was 18. He lived through the civil war, went to school with Osama Bin Laden, and learned to ski and speak French and Arabic. At the age of seven, he was sent to an English boarding school, where he would spend term times before returning to his war-torn home. It was a schizophrenic existence. Dom's parents divorced when he was 18, and he moved permanently to the UK, becoming a diplomat, a political journalist and then famous as a man who dressed as a giant squirrel. He has been back to Lebanon only twice since.

Then he read about an attempt to encourage tourism in this long-suffering country: The Lebanon Mountain Trail. This is a hiking trail that runs from the Syrian border in the north of Lebanon, along the spine of the country's mountain range all the way to the Israeli border in the south. The trail takes 30 days to complete. 

Dom immediately decided that he must hike the trail in 2018, the year of his 50th birthday, and invited two friends along. Essentially this is a bonding adventure that just so happens to take place right in the middle of the most important geopolitical region of our times. 

The Hezbollah Hiking Club is a funny, heartwarming travel book full of insight into the Middle East, religion, friendship and growing old disgracefully.... 

It's three men on a camel...without the camel.

©2019 Dom Joly (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK

What listeners say about The Hezbollah Hiking Club

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Outstanding

Outstanding. Utterly outstanding. Joly shows an extraordinary ability to seamlessly blend a writing style that is touching, warm and laugh out loud funny, whilst simultaneously being able to combine it with fascinating insights about Lebanon as a country and a sprinkling of revealing (though never self-indulgent) moments of introspection.

For my money a masterclass in travel writing that anybody with an interest in reaching middle age, treasuring friendships or hiking downhill could do worse than buy. Highly recommended and a great listen.

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Wonderfully entertaining!

Loved it, a very entertaining, informative and in some ways educational account of Don and his dear friends undertaking more than they can chew!! I had always dismissed the Middle East as a travel destination, particularly this part of the world. I now want to go to Lebanon and walk on the LMT! Another cracker by Dom, keep them coming!

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Better than I could do but not Dark Tourist or Scary Monsters.

Not a bad listen but maybe Dom should avoid writing about Lebanon or himself, Not sure why these subjects don’t bring out his best work maybe he struggles to find comedy in subjects so close to heart. Dark Tourist and Scary Monsters and Supercreaps are IMHO incredibly humorous writing but Look at me and this book just seem to lack real substance. I truly wanted to love this book given how many times I have listened to Scary Monsters and Dark Tourist (probably 20 each) I was hopeful, while this is nowhere near as bad as Look at me or the American one with the weird female voiceover it left me feeling like I probably wouldn’t listen again. A little like the chapter of Dark Tourist set in Lebanon, I usually skip.

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A great listen

interesting, informative and very funny to listen to. More adventures with Harry and Chris please!

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Changed name...

Book was originally called The Hezbollah hiking blub, Absolutely wonderful, I now have a hankering to visit Lebanon. Dom Jolys sincere and emotional return to his home country was a delight to listen to, his humour, his appreciation of the beauty of Lebanon, I pretty much listened in one sitting. THOROUGHLY IMPRESSED AND RECOMMEND. Dom Joly, you're a joy.

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Not as enjoyable as his other books

I bought this as really enjoyed Dom’s other books esp here comes the clown. This however was a struggle to get through, it’s really a montage of Dom reliving his youth trying to convince readers that Labanon would make a good holiday destination. Love Dom’s other work but sadly I found it rather tedious.

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A good listen

This is a very interesting and enjoyable listen & was, as much as anything, a very instructive book on all the problems Lebanon has experienced in recent years. An element of me occasionally got annoyed at Dom & his two mates (the others doing the walk with him) for their attitudes but it’s still well worth your time. I can’t say it left me itching to walk the Lebanon Mountain Trail but at least I know it exists now.

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Who’s Bill Bryson ? ;)

The Hezbollah Hiking Club, what a funny and fantastic name for a travel book about the LMT.

Both funny and informative, A gemstone of a travel book, that has made me want to visit the Lebanon and walk the LMT.

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great humourous travel book

really really enjoyed this. fun story and 3 mates going for a walk in the middle east. I've never given the place much thought (other than war torn hell hole) but this made me view the place in a whole new light. the book was funny, light hearted, yet informative. up there with bill bryson (all praise him) in my opinion.

highly recommended!

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  • Di
  • 24-10-20

A revelation!

First of all I have to admit to never having seen anything Dom has done in his other life as an alternative comedian. I came across him by way of a Radio 4 walking program. It was soon very clear there was a lot more to this man than I could ever have imagined. It was mentioned he was also a travel writer so I explored Audible. So very pleased I listened to this book. A fascinating account of the country where Dom’s early days were spent, his family’s home.

Really interesting to hear about places I have only ever associated with sadness and violent kidnapping. So many names I have heard on news reports it was really enlightening.

The trek across his home country was well vividly described combined with happy and sad memories of childhood. Dom was accompanied by two close friends, the type you fight with like family, that was very funny. I have to say there were a lot of laugh out loud moments which is always odd when you’re alone in the car! Thoroughly recommend.

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  • Jen
  • 11-07-19

His master's voice

Thoroughly enjoyed it. Loved hearing it in the author's voice. Funny & informative. Many laugh out loud moments which is unusual for me - and actually made sitting in the car in traffic pleasurable!

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  • Chris Healey
  • 06-08-21

He walked, so you don't have to

I very much enjoy Dom Joly the explorer, and for that matter the narrator too. I honestly can't believe he took on such a grueling walk, dragging his two friends along with him.

Let's face it, most of us will probably never dream of doing this, but it was certainly fascinating to hear about this journey. The author obviously understands the country well, given his time there as a child, and his passion for travel is obvious from the writing.

Really enjoyed the book, I never imagined I'd download an account of a middle aged comedian going on a long arduous walk in Lebanon with his friends, much less enjoy it. But I did, it was great, and I am absolutely certain I will never follow in his footsteps.