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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars one joke wanderlust
As in his previous two books, Hawks stops every couple of pages to remark on how crazy the quest he has embarked on is, and how very very nutty he himself must be. As before, he also has the thinnest imaginable motivation for starting it in the first place, unless you read the glaring message between the lines, which is that he is trying to have a hit so he can write a...
Published on 22 Aug 2002

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A safe bet ?
Tony Hawks, loveable author of the superb "Round Ireland with a Fridge" is back again, after beating the Moldovans at Tennis.
This time, you have to worry about his sanity, as he's made a bet with someone at a dinner party that he'll get another top 20 record back in the charts, after his debut with "Morris Minor and the Majors". However, the person at the dinner...
Published on 20 Aug 2002


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars one joke wanderlust, 22 Aug 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: One Hit Wonderland (Paperback)
As in his previous two books, Hawks stops every couple of pages to remark on how crazy the quest he has embarked on is, and how very very nutty he himself must be. As before, he also has the thinnest imaginable motivation for starting it in the first place, unless you read the glaring message between the lines, which is that he is trying to have a hit so he can write a book about it.
These minor irritations aside, Hawks is an amiable companion, and he scores over others in this field - Bryson, McCarthy et al - because he knows how to write and tell the occasional joke. By far the most enjoyable section is the last, in Albania, and it just about makes up for the faintly disappointing earlier bits in Nashville and the Sudan.
Quite good fun, all in all.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a One Hit Wonder., 1 Aug 2002
This review is from: One Hit Wonderland (Paperback)
If, as I did, you have read Hawks' first two books and loved them, then you'll find it hard to be disappointed. Tony's new challenge, for once not taken on under the influence of alcohol, but rather an attractive lady, is to have a Top Twenty Hit anywhere in the world, in order prove that as the creator of "The Stutter Rap" , he is no One Hit Wonder. He has two years to do it, but this time round there is no clear-cut forfeit like money, or even dignity! With no tangible forfeit should he lose, you'd be forgiven for wondering if Hawks was undertaking a half-hearted challenge - however, what touchingly emerges as the real prize of success is Hawks' self-belief in his abilities as a songwriter.
Like his previous bets, Tony's new task takes him all over the world. He scours Nashville, Sudan, Holland and finally Albania in his search for a hit, amassing a small but varied catalogue of songs as he goes. As ever, his dry observations of the people and places elicit quite a few chuckles. However, it's the sections covering his time in Sudan and Albania that really stand out. Hawks' primary objective in Sudan is to write on his experiences, in order to raise funds for UNICEF, and as in Moldova, Hawks' writes with touching empathy as he describes the conditions in Sudan and the daily troubles of its people. However, the moving subject matter doesn't drag the lighter moments down, and the introspective moments blend well. The Albanian section however, is a real joy, mainly due to Hawks' ability to wrest every comic ounce out of the ludicrous situation he has found himself in. Hawks recalls that Norman Wisdom is adored and revered in Albania (and readers are left in no doubt as to just how much), so Tony, along with Sir Tim Rice (yes, Sir Tim Rice!), pen a catchy song to this effect. Add to this a backing band, some toy instruments and a tour of Albania with Sir Wisdom himself, and you have a laugh-out-loud funny and upbeat (if slightly surreal) end to the challenge.
If there is a downside to the end of the book, it's the feeling of unfinished business with both the instigator of the bet, and a well known record producer, who Tony met along the way. The book does conclude on an upnote though, and at the reader can at least look forward to the prospect of Hawks' making a certain somebody eat their words (or a large novelty-shaped cake).
I won't reveal whether or not Tony met his challenge, but I'm positive that "One Hit Wonderland" will be a hit in its own right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A safe bet ?, 20 Aug 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: One Hit Wonderland (Paperback)
Tony Hawks, loveable author of the superb "Round Ireland with a Fridge" is back again, after beating the Moldovans at Tennis.
This time, you have to worry about his sanity, as he's made a bet with someone at a dinner party that he'll get another top 20 record back in the charts, after his debut with "Morris Minor and the Majors". However, the person at the dinner party really doesn't seem bothered about the whole thing, and you have to wonder whether Tony just saw another opportunity to throw together a lightweight bestseller.
To give him credit, he certainly goes the distance, experimenting with World Music remixes, East-European duets and flying to Amsterdam dressed as a Pixie. It's not until the surreal combination of Tim Rice and Norman Wisdom enters the frame that he has a chance of success.
Tony's humour, sense of adventure and madcap optimism makes this a very fun read. I got the feeling that the whole thing was a little strained though - did anyone but Tony really care about the bet this time ? Perhaps this pervades his adventures a bit, too, as he seems to have real difficulty getting people in to the spirit this time.
Of course, it doesn't stop this being extremely funny in parts, but it's all getting a little formulaic. If you're a fan of his other books, give it a go !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable nonsense, 28 April 2008
By 
SilentSinger (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: One Hit Wonderland (Paperback)
The premise of this book is that Tony Hawks, lead singer of 80s one hit wonders 'Morris Minor and the Majors' accepts a wager that he'll never have another top ten hit in his lifetime. Fuelled by this, Mr Hawks goes in search of this elusive follow up in such diverse places as the USA, Africa, Holland and Albania, the latter with Sir Norman Wisdom's help...

It's an enjoyable read, Hawk's wit shines through and it raises a wry smile rather than a guffaw. It's very much one for a bedtime read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and funny, but certainly not his best, 27 Aug 2002
By 
N. Dodd (Beaconsfield, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: One Hit Wonderland (Paperback)
After Round Ireland with a Fridge and Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, I was looking forward to reading the new book, and so took it as my preferred reading on holiday.
The tale of Tony trying to prove that he's not just a One Hit Wonder is laugh-out-loud funny in more than a few places. However, I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed with the abrupt ending of the book. You feel that it just stops in the middle of the story - that certain threads of the tale weren't tied up. It is almost as if the book was rushed to the publisher, when waiting another couple of months to tie up the loose ends would have made for a better conclusion. Guessing how stories might have concluded can be fun, but not in this case - I wanted to know!
For me, Tony has never bettered Round Ireland with a Fridge, although Playing the Moldovans at Tennis was an entertaining tale too. For me, this book comes a weaker third place.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 28 Jun 2007
By 
This review is from: One Hit Wonderland (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book and rate it alongside the rest of Tony Hawks' books, although I think 'Playing the Moldovans at Tennis' is my favourite. I'm really surprised it has such negative and unpleasant comments from other reviewers. I loved it!
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tony scores a hat-trick!, 5 Sep 2002
By 
Mr D P Burke (Doncaster, South Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: One Hit Wonderland (Paperback)
"Darling, you've done it again!"
Those were the words Noel Coward used to use if ever confronted by the tricky scenario of telling someone close that something they'd done was good when, quite plainly, he thought it wasn't.
Words vague enough to avoid upset but of course, deliver a verdict in Coward's own inimitable style.
And words which comic Tony Hawks also touches upon in his latest book.
But in this instance, I am glad to say that Hawks has indeed done it again.
And that's to come up with a laugh-out-loud, witty, entertaining and thoroughly absorbing tale, and perhaps, his best book yet.
To bring you up to date, Tony is the man who scored chart success with Stutter Rap with Morris Minor and the Majors before trekking round Ireland with a fridge and then beating the entire Moldovan football team at tennis.
And naturally, his latest book is in a similar deranged and surreal vein. This time, he's been given the task of notching up a Top 20 single - anywhere in the world within two years.
If he fails - embarrassment and misery all round. If he does it - Simon Cowell, Pop Idol's Mr Nasty gets to eat a huge hat-shaped cake.
Expect tales of Albania dentists, Sir Tim Rice playing a plastic toy saxophone, Norman Wisdom, hail-sodden Dutch telephone boxes and a Sudanese man desperate to get his hands on Tony's camera.
It's weird, wonderful and excellent stuff with a whole host of dry one-liners which will have you sniggering in public and drawing disapproving looks from others.
He might be a one hit wonder when it comes to music, but Tony Hawks has notched up a fabulous hat-trick with his latest effort.
* Darren Burke
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's a hit with me!, 11 Dec 2008
By 
David "AL" (North Wales, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: One Hit Wonderland (Paperback)
Before I read this book, I was only vaguely aware of Tony Hawks' existence via the BBC programme "Grumpy Old Men", but now he is one of my favourite comic-travel writers. I came across this book when we rented a cottage in Ireland. There it was, just standing on the shelf - and I'm glad I picked it up as it is definitely a terrific book. I was reading it deep into the night - proof of a real page-turner - dying to find out if he would be able to somehow overcome the odds and score a hit single.

In short, Tony had a hit back in 1988 as part of the three-piece band Morris Minor and the Majors, and makes a bet with someone that he can have another hit. It can be anywhere in the world and he can write or perform it.

My favourite part of the book is the chapters set in Nashville. I read this before I became the Country Music fan I am today, and I have to say this segment was not only highly amusing, but also very interesting as we got to see how tough it is for a songwriter outside the music industry to get his song recorded. He meets professional musicians and label executives, participates in a "guitar pull" and also visits the famed songwriters' haunt, The Bluebird Cafe. All the while trying to sell his novelty song "(You Broke My Heart Like a) Bird's Egg".

Tony manages to get Norman Wisdom to record a (different) song and, with Wisdom, plus a small band including Sir Tim Rice (!), promotes it in Albania, a place where the British 1960s comedian actually holds something approaching royal status.

The book takes place within a two-year time frame, with Tony changing the song several times, presumably to make it appropriate to his chosen artist's potential demographic.

One word of warning, however: Don't read the "about the author" section of his books until finishing this one as it reveals the outcome of his quest.

One Hit Wonderland is an entertaining place to be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Hit - Big Hit, 19 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: One Hit Wonderland Signed Copy
I've somehow managed to read Mr Hawkes' book in reverse order, hence this being my introduction to his works (after smiling mildly to 'Stutter Rap' years ago). Perhaps that has made me over react to this offering as I've seen other fans describe this as his weakest.
Nonetheless, I was in stitches at the innocent humour. The writing style and observational views on life are right up my street. And the meeting with a certain Mr Cowell rounded things off superbly.
Any music lover, or comedy fan should seek this one out.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Simon Cowell and a hat-shaped cake, 24 Nov 2014
This review is from: One Hit Wonderland (Paperback)
Tony Hawks is an English humourist who is perhaps best known for making bizarre bets. His first, in 1997, was that he could hitch hiking around Ireland in a month, bringing an admittedly-small fridge. This was followed by a bet that he could beat every member of the Moldovan team at tennis, not the Moldovan tennis team but the Moldovan soccer team.
This volume has Hawks - who reached No.5 in the Uk charts back in the eighties as part of Morris Minor and the Majors - trying to have a hit somewhere, anywhere within 2 years.
Having tried and failed from Nashville to the Netherlands via the Sudan he was on the verge of giving up until a pre-fame Simon Cowell told him he was too ugly to make it. Cowell didn't agree to eat his hat if Hawks succeeded but he did agree to eat a hat-shaped cake. That set Hawks off to Albania with two knights of the realm, one of whom had had his last hit before Hawks had been born.
Did Hawks have a hit?
Did Cowell eat a hat?
While I preferred Round Ireland with a Fridge, One Hit is a pleasant if unexceptional read.
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One Hit Wonderland
One Hit Wonderland by Tony Hawks (Paperback - 1 Aug 2002)
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