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Holidays in Hell (Picador thirty) Paperback – 6 Sep 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New edition edition (6 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033049192X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330491921
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 10.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 984,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'The first few pages of this book made me laugh so much I dropped it on my month-old baby... Holidays in Hell is a splendid read' EVENING STANDARD

About the Author

P. J. O'Rourke, the best-selling humorist, was born in 1947 in Ohio. A contributor to publications such as Playboy, Harper's and Vanity Fair, he currently writes for Rolling Stone. He is the author of numerous books, including Republican Party Reptile, Eat the Rich and The CEO of the Sofa.

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First Sentence
I've been working as a foreign correspondent for the past few years, although "working" isn't the right word and "foreign correspondent" is too dignified a little. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By L O'connor on 9 Jun. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant collection of articles written about some of the world's worst trouble spots, and few spots that are awful without being troubled. Nobody else writes like O'Rourke, only he can vividy convey the awfulness of a place and still be funny as well. The tone of the articles ranges from the harrowing 'Christmas in El Salvador' to the purely comic 'Weekend Getaway; Heritage USA' which describes a visit to a Biblical theme park. His girlfriend attempts to go shopping int he park and returns with "a dazed, perplexed expression, like a starved Ethiopian given a piece of wax fruit" I know the feeling, Disneyland Paris had exactly the same effect on me. 'In Whitest Africa' written a few years before the end of apartheid, is absolutely fascinating, and 'The Holy Land, God's Monkey House' is almost unbearably sad, but still with touches of humour among the horror. 'Among the Euro-Weenies' is painful to read if you are one, but funny all the same. 'The Piece of Ireland that Passeth all Understanding' is perhaps the most brilliant article in the book, though it would be tough to choose, but it's so much better than the banal, ignorant piece by Michael Moore in his last book. Will troulbe ever end? Probably not, as O'Rourke writes in his introcution to this book "It will always be more fun to carry a gun around in the hills and sleep with ideology-addled college girls than to spend life behind a water buffalo or rotting in a slum". Absolutely brilliant. Take advantage of Amazon's special offer and buy this one with 'Give War a Chance' that's wonderful too.
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By Pal Joey VINE VOICE on 2 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I own a few of O'Rourke's books and find the quality very variable. Some are funny, some are turgid and some of his early stuff is just a bit dated, and not in a good way.

'Holidays in Hell' is, by a fair distance, the one I have enjoyed and re-read the most. He veers from self-parodic "Yank abroad" to making some pretty thoughtful points. Having been written in the Eighties, there is also an interest to be had when comparing then and now.

I don't agree with much of PJ's worldview, but this is a very good example of his writing.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "grahamcarr23" on 3 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
I learned to stop worrying and love PJ through this book. Sure he's a crotchety old rightwinger, but he is still a whole lot more funny and cutting than Michael Moore whose politics I agree with more. Why can't the left have a man as funny? Not really a travel book, but somehow is too. Riots, religion and fornication. What more can you ask for?
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By Gav on 23 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is laugh out loud funny and was a real page turner. At some point, I ducked out of it to read a Brookmyre novel but was straight back into it after that. Is worth the price!
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Staying in the world's trouble spots seems a damn-fool enterprise, but PJ manages to raise a few laughs whilst describing the violence and squalor. He tries hard to understand the intractable problems facing us across the cultural divide.
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P. J. O'Rourke has a quick mind and great observation, but frankly this disappointed me. Had it for a while - not yet finished. Says it all.
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Not really about holidays, but about PJ's career as a war correspondent. Extremely funny & far from being politically correct.
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Not for the easily offended - the author appears from the style of writing to be totally insensitive and amoral, but raises a lot of really valid points in an entertaining way. He allows the reader to take the higher moral ground whilst provoking some really deep questions. Still very valid today, the place names may come and go, but the incongruity of the hotspots is constant
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