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on 16 September 2010
A funny collection of short pieces about the travels of Karl Pilkington. There are diaries and dreadful little poems, cartoons and 'true stories', photos and storyboards, all riddled with the unique Pilkington brand of madness. Whether it's New York or the Lake District, this reads very much like a child's 'What I did on my holidays', full of what he had for tea and bizarre observations about what he's seen and done. At first I could almost hear Stephen Merchant reading it, as he does in the 'Karl's Diary' segment of the wonderful Ricky Gervais Show! I wouldn't read it again, and I certainly wouldn't have paid the cover price because it's very short, but it was a nice bit of fun for my week off...
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on 7 December 2007
There are some comedians who are just not funny off stage. They hate people spotting them when out and about because they know they'll never live up to expectations. They can 'do' funny but they AREN'T funny - not in real life. Then there are those who can make anything funny, even the lamest joke - Tommy Cooper was one of the best examples. Karl Pilkington is another: he simply IS funny...and he's not even a comedian.

Ricky Gervais, a very shrewd man, spotted this from the off. He's probably even a little envious: while Ricky meticulously plans every aspect of his comedy, Karl just opens his mouth and funny things come out!

No, this book isn't 'well-written' - the grammar is all over the place and it's full of throwaway slang...but that's not a criticism, it's a strength! Ghost-writers of footballers' autobiographies spend ages deciding how much to change the ramblings that have come from the mouths of their often less-than-articulate subjects. The trick is to make it seem authentic yet understandable. However this evolved from Karl's brain to his mouth to the page has been just right: as several of the other reviewers point out, it feels just like he's talking.

So it's 'what I did on my holidays' by a rather odd, yet very likeable and very funny man - and, you have to acknowledge, pretty gifted illustrator. It'll have you in stitches.
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on 26 October 2007
I was worried, worried that for all the fame Karl Pilkington has enjoyed this past year or so, he'd have gained some actual - genuine - knowledge, and by default this book would have become less enjoyable, clouded by information and 'facts' that actual rang true.

I needn't have worried. Karl remains as impervious to knowledge as a moth does to the damaging effects of hot light bulbs. He seeks knowledge, but when it happens upon him something gets twisted in the transmitter and it comes out of his mouth adapted, totally different to the true meaning.

Not that his wonderful theories don't have some basis, that they somehow make sense despite the absurdity of the claim. How about his assertion that we're all told to eat five portions of fruit a day only because there's so much 'rubbish fruit' they're trying to get rid? They're even palming it off in shower gels such as 'hint of kiwi', says Karl by amusing way of 'proof'.

Where as Karl's previous book 'The World of Karl Pilkington' suffered somewhat because you couldn't hear his perfect dead-pan delivery, this book revels in the fact that it is one long ramble, about his holidaying life and what his girlfriend's parents have for tea each night.

You learn next to nothing about the places he visits, but then surely that was to be expected. He devotes a chapter to his Madeira holiday and I don't think he mentions what it was like once.

All in all this is a good read with lots of chuckle-out-loud moments. Karl is here to stay it seems, and still wonderfully unaware of what all the fuss is about.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 August 2011
This man is either the greatest comic invention bar none, or he really is as daft as messrs Gervais & Merchant make him out to be. Other reviews have said that the book reads like he talks and I couldn't agree more. It's a long time since I've sat and laughed to the point of crying at the contents of a book, and the only time I did put it down was to dry my eyes, reading it in one sitting from start to finish.

I hope there are more to follow, I'll just have to remember to order a box of hankies at the same time.
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on 10 September 2011
If you like Karl and have enjoyed An Idiot Abroad then this is a must have read. Karl, in his distinctly blunt way takes you through a variety of holiday destinations he has been to, I won't rattle off a book spoiling description chapter by chapter but my favourite's include his trip to Tunisia and his views on Rome. Excellent light holiday read, guaranteed to attract some strange looks as you chuckle your way through it by the swimming pool.

'Rome wasn't built in a day, it just looks that way'
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 December 2011
What makes this book so appealing is that it reads exactly as if Karl Pilkington is talking to you with his mundane rambles, so if you're a fan of `An Idiot Abroad' or `The Ricky Gervais Show' then you will recognise Pilkington's deadpan Manc humour shining right through the pages.

This is a travelogue without much talk of the travel itself to be honest- a hodgepodge account of Pilkington's random journeys from places as far apart as the Caribbean to Lanzarote to his school trip to the Lake District. With the long-suffering Suzanne by his side, Karl muses on various facts and insights into his trips with his usual hilarious one-liners, interspersed with self-penned cartoons and poems. What I like about Pilkington is that he really does come across as a down to earth bloke who is unintentionally funny which makes him all the more endearing.

I would recommend this if you like books with a bit of humour about them that tend to go a bit off tangent in places or if you're a fan of Pilkington of course- this would make a good beach read; it's a fun way to spend a couple of hours!
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on 15 November 2007
Karl Pilkington comes off as good on paper as he does in voice. Something not everyone can do. This book contains extracts from his diaries---the diaries that a lot of people had been clamoring for for a while, and with good reason.

While some of his anecdotes are not new, that is, if you've been listening to his podcasts, they're still funny nevertheless.

You don't have to be a fan or have heard him on the radio to love this book. I'd put it in same category as David Sedaris and his NPR rants which somehow turned into his books, "Me Talk Pretty One Day" and "Naked." Would also recommend the book "Do Ants have Arseholes?" for another funny read.
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on 23 October 2007
Karl Pilkington has finally published extracts from his holiday diary, which many of his fans wanted to get their hands on ever since it was mentioned he started keeping a journal.
It's much better than his previous publication which was mostly extracts of the podcasts on paper , but this book is all new content like most fans wanted in the first place.

For those who enjoyed seeing karl's illustrations in his last release will be happy to hear he continues to do so in this book as well.

I've said before and I'll say it again , Mr. Pilkington has art style that would go well in illustrating children's books , which i think he should consider because his drawings a charming character to them.

Anyway back to the writing , another thing i like about this book is basically he writes how he would speak, which i find much easier to read. ( I don't read alot of books myself )
This book is also full of strange/funny anecdotes, facts and observations as Mr. Pilkington loves to go off on bizarre tangents quite often.

Most of his holidays and anecdotes have been discussed before inthe past on the poadcasts/XFM before , but it's great to see them again in a newly written form from the man himself in his own words.

Alot of pages in this book will really raise a smirk/smile.
Some pages have really made me grin like a madman, so I am glad I bought this book just for that even.

All together a fun read for Karl's existing fans.
And possibly a new a fresh and bizarre read for anyone new to the man.
Try it out for some light and funny reading and maybe you want to visit the places he has visited. ( Not likely after you read this ..... hehe )

We hope to see another book from this man and his unique opinions on the world and how to make it better !
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VINE VOICEon 11 October 2007
Karl Pilkington shot to fame as the producer behind The Ricky Gervais radio show on XFM back in 2000/2001. The show featured the pre-Office team of Gervais and Stephen Merchant playing music and talking drivel, so it was the ideal platform for Karl to get involved with.

Gervais soon realised that Karl's occasional involvement with the show was the funniest parts, and soon the show became a regular 3-man show. The XFM show ran for hundreds of shows, and evolved into a show just to hear Karl's fascinating opinions on things. This XFM show was the catalyst behind The Ricky Gervais Podcast series on first The Guardian Unlimited's website, and then through the Audible website.

This book is the second from Karl Pilkington, and has a few similarities with the first. It contains many stories and anecdotes from the XFM shows/Podcasts, but it also contains a lot of unheard material and many original hand-drawn pictures from Karl.

Personally, Karl is a genius. His views on things are child-like, single-minded, but hilarious. His ponderings range from "my eyes get heavy when I'm tired, so can blind people stay awake longer?" to "I hate jellyfish - I hear they're 98% water - why can't we just give them another 2% and have done with them?".

It's genius questions, that you can't really answer. You'd expect a child to ask them, but Karl has a endearing quality because he sounds simple, and doesn't really quite get things. He's happy in his own little world.

To get the full effect from this book, you will have to believe that Karl is speaking from the heart. He's not pretending - he's not saying things for comic effect. It's just his truthful, instant opinions on things, and that makes it funnier.

It would also help if you'd heard Karl before, either on XFM or on the podcasts, as it really does add another dimension if you can hear Karl's whiny Manchester accent in your head while you're reading his words. Without this, the book could seem poorly written.

In summary, if you're familiar with Karl, it's a funny, enjoyable read that's a perfect accompanyment to his podcast material. If you're not familiar with Karl, don't start with this. Download some of the spoken word material, and then buy this book once you've got more of his back-story. You'll get a lot more from it, and find it 100% funnier!
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on 21 May 2012
Taking the form of diary entries and the occasional poem. His writing is a weird hybrid of childlike whining, absurd non-sequiturs and embelished speculation. Spelling and grammatical errors are left intact, and Karl's Manchester dialect somehow comes across in the text as well. His childhood was simply astonishing, a seemingly bottomless wellspring of Ripleys-worthy anectdotes, and has imbued Karl with an apparent invincibility of opinion, which makes his whitterings all the more hilarious.
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