on 26 March 2006
In a hotel room in Austin, Texas, Dave Gorman drops his razor into the sink. Despite his despair about what he has become he cannot bring himself to shave his beard off. This is the beard that was grown to prove he was a mature thirty one year old who had abandoned his foolish youth, the beard that was also a key element in securing him a commission for his first novel. However, after Dave's good intentions to sit down in front of his PC and become a novelist go astray, he considers shaving to reveal the young fool that he still is. He leaves Texas with facial hair and gets back on course to find ten Googlewhacks in a row.
In this book Dave tells the story of how an e-mail informing that he was a 'Googlewhack' led him to embark on a journey, zigzagging across the world, meeting authors of websites which confirmed the 'whack criteria. A journey that sees him: take an uncomfortable fast spin with a Welsh Mini enthusiast; meet a man who collects random photos of women and their dogs; and take a trip, with a cowboy, over the Mexican border in the search for Coca-Cola made to the original sugary recipe.
Gorman's lust for the mundane oddity that occupies the various characters he meets, together with the hilarious account of his own obsession driven behaviour, will draw you in to a comfortably insane world. This book shows everyone's need for purpose and the immense dread that the threat of failure brings.
Maybe one of the funniest tales of international travel ever told, the Adventure is a must read for anyone who finds it hard to let go and accept defeat. So brew up or pour a shot of tequila and get Googlewhacking.
on 8 January 2004
In his latest paper-based outing, Dave Gorman goes to the ends of the Earth on an insane, yet highly commendable challenge: To find a chain of ten "Googlewhacks" before his next birthday.
As you delve further into the initially whimsical appearance of this book, you begin to understand the importance of this challenge to Dave. It's all about the winning. Experience his highs and his lows as he meets people from incredibly diverse backgrounds - all held together by a fragile chain of 'whacks.
Dave genuinely amuses with his refined wit - springing inspired comical observations upon you at every turn. The characters Dave bumps into on his travels will have you in hysterics, and their generosity will restore your faith in human nature.
Thanks to Gorman's intuitive style of writing and sturucturing of 'Googlewhack Adventure', you're always kept on your toes, wondering what may lie around the corner for the author. Surprisingly, for such a light read, Gorman is even able to introduce complex concepts - informing his readers about subjects such as Creationist beliefs while still entertaining thoroughly.
The author never leaves the audience in doubt about his emotional state, and is remarkably honest about how he feels at all stages of this tale of woe, intrigue, competition and humour.
All in all, Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure comes highly recommended, whatever your level of technological literacy. A fun excursion into the mind of a jetset without a cause.
The best thing I can say is that I toyed with giving this to my wife for Christmas - and then kept it for myself. Anybody who has already seen the stageshow will know that the book is about another seemingly impossible Dave Gorman quest - this time to make a chain of 10 Googlewhacks.
The funniest thing by far is that Dave really, really did not want to take this bet on. However, thanks to a bizarre series of co-incidences (not to mention a large amount of tequila), he found himself yet again travelling the world, foresaking both the novel he should have been writing and his vow to be sensible.
If you don't spend half of this book laughing out loud, there must be something wrong with you; and if you then don't find yourself thinking of strange bets you yourself could make with Dave, then you're a better man than me.
It's a shame this book isn't out for Christmas; I have been lucky to somehow get a copy delivered early. If you make only one New Year's resolution for 2004, it should be to buy this book before everybody else does. And, whilst you're at it, buy 'Are You Dave Gorman?' as well. And then, when Dave is as famous as God in six months time, sit round looking smug and making sure everyone knows that you were one of the first to buy it.
on 14 February 2004
As quite a big fan of Google and of Dave Gorman, this book was a must have and it didn't disappoint. The humorous feel good quest genre that has grown out of the likes of Tony Hawks' "Round Ireland with a fridge" and Dave Gorman's earlier book "Are you Dave Gorman?" is becoming big business. To know that some people are prepared to drop everything and follow a whim to its illogical conclusion somehow makes life seem a great deal more worth living.
As you probably know, Dave Gorman fell under the spell of Googlewhacking and traversed the world several times searching for people who owned websites that included Googlewhacks; two words that together produce just one search result from Google.
While most of us would feel satisfied if we found a single googlewhack in itself, Dave Gorman takes the game to a much higher level. He attempts to find a chain of ten Googlewhacks, encouraging the owner of each whack included website to furnish him with two more whacks to further the quest.
The result is a roller coaster ride through the world wide web and across the world. It's no surprise that he spent much time in the US, given that so much of the internet is based there. However, due to the nature of the journey Gorman found himself inhabiting airspace far more often than most people would deem possible. The exercise in statistics and cumulative jet lag would be enough to floor many, but the energy that can only be produced by the ultimate displacement activity sees this adventure to its nail biting conclusion.
If your life seems dull and mundane, leaf through Dave Gorman's latest offerring. It'll show you that the alternative to the quiet life, while entertaining, is not for the faint hearted.
on 3 February 2004
I have just finished Dave Gorman's Googlewhack adventures and true to form he did not disappoint.
The book is a funny, if yet a little strange at times, description of Dave's journey to get 10 googlewhacks in a row. A challenge given to him by another Dave Gorman (have to read Are you Dave Gorman)
Dave is an obsessive person to say the least, not many people would travel the world to complete a challenge like this but I think this is one of the most adhering qualities he has, because although you may think he is weird for putting himself through this you just can't put the book down, it really made me smile.
If you have read Are you Dave Gorman or seen any of his shows (TV or theatre) you must know that he has a wicked sense of humor and in this book you see him at his best and worse (texas comes to mind!) but he always manages to make you smile.
Definately a good read.
Also he has added some extra dates to his Googlewhack adevntures show for May, so if you missed him first time round make sure you get a ticket now.
on 26 June 2006
Having read and seen Are You Dave Gorman, I was well accustomed to DG's inane ramblings. He is both mad and highly engaging. This book starts off with a basic precept of trying to write a novel, and getting nowhere (although I liked the sound of the concept) and like everybody, resorting to work-avoidance tactics - however DG takes this, as is his style, a stage further than we might!
The tone of the book is impersonal and entertaining, and fully vindicates the view that the digital age has not (fully) removed the souls of those who see the internet as a way of communicating with people. It mixes humour with sadness (his final contact in Australia) and by the end you are willing him on to the finish line.
DG takes a small idea, which isn't even his, and largesses it to the nth degree!
A great, quick read.
on 18 January 2005
This is a very funny book - filled with laugh out loud moments.
It follows the journey of Dave Gorman as he attempts to get a sequence of ten googlewhacks (two real words that get one and only one hit from the search engine Google). For each Googlewhack he attempts to find and meet the author of the web-site and then persuade the author to find him two more Googlewhacks.
What could have been a rather dull story is brought to life by Gorman's wit, sense of humour and evident good nature and the respect with which he treats everybody he meets (even when they do not really deserve it). In his travels he meets a slightly off-centre cast of characters starting with a man who runs the Women & Dogs web site (surprisingly not pornographic) and ending with a man who wants to be a Minogue.
Very, very funny
I read this after thoroughly enjoying "Are you Dave Gorman?" and wasn't disappointed.
I've spoken with some people who felt this was weaker than the book of the previous adventure, and I would have to say that I preferred "Are you Dave Gorman" - but this is still a quality book, and one of the funniest I've ever read.
For those who don't know what this is about; Dave Gorman received an e-mail saying he's a Googlewhack, from a guy in Australia. Thinking this might be an insult, Dave Gorman e-mails the guy only to find out that a Googlewhack is where you enter two words in Google and only get 1 result. This seems like an easy thing to bag, but try it - it's anything but easy.
This kicks off an adventure where Dave aims to find Googlewhacks. He arranges to meet them and accepts a bet to find a chain of ten Googlewhacks. So he finds the owner of a Googlewhacked site, and get them to find a Googlewhack, he goes to meet them, and so on....
Dave forms relationships with people all over the globe, by Googlewhacking his way around the world he makes some good friends - and this is the strength of the story. If the adventure was purely one of comedy then this would seem a bit hollow, but the human story is what makes this a magical read.
It's not all plain sailing either, towards the end of the Googlewhack Adventure Dave is feeling down and doomed to failure, in a depressed rage he sends a spiteful e-mail to a vulnerable person and starts to regret it.
This is a book which can't be tied to a genre, it's neither a simple comedy book nor a travel book, it's not a biography either - although it reveals masses about the author.
I can't recommend enough that you read this book, and then perhaps enjoy the DVD of the Stage show around this amazing Googlewhack Adventure.
on 3 March 2006
So what is Google-whack all about!? Pretty much nothing really!
Dave makes another bet, the second one he's written a book about, and catalogues his trials and tribulations right here for you to read about. The hope it inspires you to go and do something equally as trivial, you see, the thing is, people like Dave Gorman are infectious. They view the world as a place to meet people with an open mind, and his honest, warm-hearted approach to people is so refreshing to read in a world full of cynicism. The fact that he goes around meeting just everyday people adds something, you can imagine Dave, turning up at your door and having a nice cup of tea and a good laugh!
Nice one Dave.
Can't wait for the next adventure.
on 14 February 2006
This is one of my favourite books, which is odd given that in many ways it is a travelogue. In the same vein as Bill Bryson so ably manages to fill, it combines humour, a look at the world, and travel writing all in one go. What it does that Bryson doesn't is give that slightly off the wall tint to the humour. Dave wonderfully writes outside the box at times, and manages to envelop the reader in his world for a few hundred pages. His writing is endearing and admirably genuine, a joy to read throughout. And, very very funny. I won't precis the contents as you can read the back cover for that - or even go on to his website and read about it.
I have two friends that refuse to read books. Both postgraduate educated, intelligent and funny guys. After much cajoling I have got them both to read this, and having loved it, they have also read 'Are you Dave Gorman?' and loved that too. I just have to get them to read the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy now...
I'll finish with a story of my first read of the book: I read googlewhack for the first time on a plane to New York to speak at a conference. I was tired and had recently finished a 450 page research report on a very dull subject (having taken just over a year beyond my deadline...) and managed to chuckle my way through the first 200 pages. After about 4 hours and a number of very strange looks, the stewardess told me that they had had complaints and could I keep the noise down please. I was tempted to make a comment about the man behind me snoring, but kept that british stiff upper lip and stayed quiet.
I'm a former writer, so i'm slightly biased in that I can relate to pretty much all of Dave's experiences (especially cronic displacement) while trying to write, but I still think that this is a book that almost anyone would enjoy and as such is thoroughly recommended.