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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No-one does it better, 1 Nov 2008
By 
Michael Faulkner "Proofreader|author, The Blu... (Strangford Lough, N. Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Anyway, Where Was I?: Geoff Hill's Alternative A-Z of the World (Paperback)
I so enjoyed this book.

First of all, it's hilarious. If you like to go to sleep with a smile on your face I suggest you keep it on your bedside table - you could open it at random and find something to chuckle at.

But (and it's a big but), these travel pieces, while funny, are not gratuitously funny, by which I mean a)that they are written with great elegance and economy of style, and b)that for Geoff Hill, humour seems to be simply the natural conduit for the important business of communicating his obvious (and infectious) passion for travel; for getting to the beating heart of the places he finds himself and the people he meets; and above all, for leaving us better informed. As in his previous books, political comment, historical reference and general observation may be dispensed with a spoonful of the author's quirky and irreverent sense of humour, but they aren't diluted by it. So: `..the amazing thing about China, as Mao found, is that there are so many people in it you can remove millions of them without anyone noticing.' Or a typically Hill observation on the habits of Italian motorists: `Simultaneously engaged in a stormy marriage with the throttle pedal and a passionate affair with the brake, Italian drivers view pedestrians with the same sort of hungry scorn that lions view three-legged wildebeest. Hardly worth the effort, but may as well kill them anyway.'

For me, particularly in non-fiction, and particularly when you are asked to share the author's experiences - to come along for the ride - it helps if you get the feeling you would like them if you met them; and Geoff Hill comes across as a most congenial travelling companion.

My recommendation: a strong Buy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential traveller's companion, 20 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Anyway, Where Was I?: Geoff Hill's Alternative A-Z of the World (Paperback)
Hill's sublime combination of lyrical prose and ebullient mirth places this read at the top of modern travel writing, outshining Bryson. It's a classic. His ability to carry the reader to far places in a transport of delight enhances life itself. Often better than Chatwyn, funnier than Flann O'Brien and mischievous as Craig Brown, The Alternative A-Z unerringly amuses. The smile becomes a permanent fixture on the face. But it is much more, containing not only the product of the born traveller's observant eye but also his own unique writing ability to reveal what feeds his passion. Hill's descriptive gift is supported by a wide knowledge and clearly a lot of painstaking research. If you plan to travel, buy or borrow: Anyway, Where Was I? You'll get much more out of your trip. If you don't plan to travel, read it anyway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeff Hill - anyway where was I, 25 Oct 2011
This review is from: Anyway, Where Was I?: Geoff Hill's Alternative A-Z of the World (Paperback)
As with other Jeff Hill books this one is littered with both accurate observations, wonderfully dry humour and the opinions of a lacomic Ulsterman who has seen enough of this mad world to have a valid point on most of it, (oh and the odd irreverant point that the local tourist boards may not agree with too.)
Another side splitting yet informative book with a dash of Ulster whit and motorcycle positivity, I even forgave him his Harley leanings as his pub reccomendations make up for that
A cracking read, makes Bill Bryson seem almost boring!
Biker or traveller, i defy you not to love this book
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