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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Bill Bryson fears to tread.
Highly recommended. Dom travels beyond the radius of Ryan Air's reach and gives us a literary photo album of his exploits travelling through the atmospheric North Korea (to the extent possible for a foreigner), Cambodia, Lebanon, Iran and USA. Though laugh out loud funny in parts, I would say the books main attraction was its interesting ability, through scary and funny...
Published on 3 Sep 2010 by Neil Butler

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but deeply flawed
It's been a while since I read any sort of "travel" book so when I saw the unconventional cover of "Dark Tourist" by Dom Joly on the library shelves I was intrigued. I am a fan of Trigger Happy TV, I like Dom Joly in general, I like unusual, quirky tales and I like reading war correspondence. "That's worth a look," I thought; right up my street.

Well, I did...
Published on 9 Mar 2012 by CitizenWolfie


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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Bill Bryson fears to tread., 3 Sep 2010
Highly recommended. Dom travels beyond the radius of Ryan Air's reach and gives us a literary photo album of his exploits travelling through the atmospheric North Korea (to the extent possible for a foreigner), Cambodia, Lebanon, Iran and USA. Though laugh out loud funny in parts, I would say the books main attraction was its interesting ability, through scary and funny travel anecdotes, to give the reader the feeling of what it is like to be there, without the actual travel. I like anything that overcomes the media stereotype for a particular travel location (though his trip to North Korea actually reinforced my media derived image).

Iran's always been on my "to do" list, now its near the top.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner, 4 Jan 2011
I couldn't put this book down. Very funny, and occasionally surprisingly moving, it takes you on a whirlwind tour of some of the world's darkest political regimes, war zones, disasters and assassination sites. This isn't a serious travel guide, or in-depth current affairs analysis, but is hugely entertaining and gives a real sense of each of the places he visits. Thoroughly recommended.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HILARIOUS HOLIDAYS, 6 Sep 2010
I picked this up, not knowing what to expect. I was a big Trigger Happy Tv fan but didn't know if this would be to my taste. I LOVED IT. The book is well written- very funny and informative without being preachy. Dom travels the world going to some curious destinations and getting into all sorts of scrapes. He skis in Iran and gets drunk on "Pizza" (Iranian moonshine). He goes on a road trip across the USA visiting the scenes of various assassinations. He takes a weekend break in Chernobyl and gets stuck in a lift. He goes to Cambodia and tries to buy Pol Pot;s shoes before ending up in a war crimes trial. In North Korea he thinks he;s been targeted by the secret service as his testicle swells up to a huge size. Finally in Lebanon he tries to get to the truth about being at school with Bin Laden and plays paintball with Hezbollah

BRILLIANT BOOK- BUY THIS....
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic!, 16 Sep 2010
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There's not many books i'd give 5 stars to.. but this piece of reading has it all! I a a big Dom Joly fan, I think his comedy is great and Trigger Happy TV still gets me in fits of giggles after watching it for the 100th time. I'm not a travel book fan, but seeing a promotion in the newpaper for this I thought I'd give it a go.

I had no great knowledge of any of the countries in question (apart from America) and so this book really was enlightening, especially for me. He explains the history of the places he visits beforehand, so even if you don't really know anything, you will come out of reading this book with some knowledge. The book is of course hilarious, but he mixes it with the right mixture of humour, honesty and history.

I'd recommend this to everyone. 5*s!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!, 2 April 2011
By 
SAP (Wales) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I laughed so much reading this book that my brain hurt behind my ears and I cried! Especially so when Joly was stuck in a Ukrainian hotel's lift! Priceless. He has such an irreverent comic style and, if his account is to be believed, he is fearless! North Korea was another very funny caper. Every page will make you laugh! I'm going to see what else he's written.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-chosen Christmas present, 14 Jan 2011
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My 26-year old was surprised by and delighted with this Christmas present. He spent many hours reading it over his Christmas holidays, a perfect way to pass the time in front of the fire while outside it was snowy and cold. He's gone back to his own home now, and I'm just waiting for him to visit and hopefully bring it with him for me to 'borrow'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Raced through it, 5 Dec 2010
Received this book on a Monday and must have finished it by the weekend which is very quick for me especially when I try to read slower to make them last longer. The places visited in this book are described in an excellent and funny way but my only little problem is that the book is too short and it would have been nice to include a few more places bringing the page count to a more worthwhile 350 pages. Places included are: Iran, USA, Cambodia, Ukraine, North Korea and Lebanon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable and readable, 24 Sep 2010
By 
Mark Dabbs "Mark Dabbs" (Walsall, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Bought this book after having attended one of Mr Joly's talks at Nottingham - then saw him again at Birmingham and he remembered - I think he thought I might be stalking him, sorry Dom, the Walsall scarf did not help. Read it in just over a day and a morning. Enjoyed the chapters on Iran and North Korea, but felt he could have gone to better places such as Yemen, Angola, Myanmar and the like for the other sections. Easy on the eye to read and having read many books on Korea and travelled to Iran and some of the places he had seen they did not expose anything else I did not already know. However, I may find myself getting another of his books one of these days as he did inject some humour and have some funny stories to tell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a Joly good book !, 20 Jun 2011
After seeing Dom Joly on his recent tour i decided to buy the book. The sytle of writing makes it an easy and amusing book, you can almost hear Dom narrating you through it. Its a great read !
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but deeply flawed, 9 Mar 2012
It's been a while since I read any sort of "travel" book so when I saw the unconventional cover of "Dark Tourist" by Dom Joly on the library shelves I was intrigued. I am a fan of Trigger Happy TV, I like Dom Joly in general, I like unusual, quirky tales and I like reading war correspondence. "That's worth a look," I thought; right up my street.

Well, I did like it. Sort of. It starts off strangely - Joly opens with a short introduction, presumably for the readers who have never heard of him but it almost reads like "Excuse me if this is a bit crap but I don't usually do this." He rattles off all the stuff he's done and it's all a bit self-indulgent, more so considering I already knew most of these things about him already. But thankfully his first stop; Skiing in Iran delivers pretty much everything promised in the blurb. It has danger, comedy, quirkiness and above all, it actually shows Iran in a way I'd never seen before - news coverage isn't exactly favourable regarding the country after all.

So far, so good. Next stop, USA on a tour of major assassination sites. A little disappointing given that America is a relatively "safe" place but it proves entertaining nonetheless. It doesn't offer much beyond things you've probably already read a thousand times about the country but Joly makes up for it by having a bit of fun at the expense of a few jobsworthy security guards and curators.

And so on to Cambodia for a visit to the Killing Fields. Easily the highlight of the book, it is the first time Dom Joly ever seems to be in any distress and he seems genuinely moved by the people he meets and the history of the bloody places he visits. You really get a sense of being there and I was also moved by the stories of the survivors. If only the previous chapter had been this good.

Next stop, Pripyat and Chernobyl. I was looking forward to this, hoping it would be similar to the Cambodia chapter and I'm fascinated by ghost towns. Alas, it only marks the downfall of the remainder of the book. Joly basically walks around Ukraine making fun of the locals before going on a guided tour of Pripyat. In the deserted town he pretty much becomes the typical British Tourist and is generally very disrespectful of the very real tragedy that happened there. He offers nothing useful beyond a couple of photographs of him pulling stupid faces which is a theme throughout the book it seems. Sadly the North Korea part of his tour is equally as bad. Worse in fact. I very nearly gave up after the "Brit Mode" kicks in roughly after the second page and he continues to describe how boring he finds everything. And finally Beirut. Joly's homecoming seems promising initially as he attempts to tracks down Osama Bin Laden as a former schoolmate. But this little side-quest fizzles out with Joly more-or-less shrugging his shoulders and saying "yeah, Osama probably did come here." Well done, Dom. Fine investigate journalism there.

Overall it's not a terrible book. It is funny in places, moving in some and when it is good, it's very good. But the bad parts far outweigh the good - Joly is mostly disrespectful wherever he goes and while his joshing around is funny at first is soon grates and the North Korea chapter is particularly dreadful. He offers nothing insightful but then I don't know why I was expecting such from a TV presenter. Loan it if you must but better travel writing can be found elsewhere.
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