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Around the World in 80 Dates Paperback – 3 Jan 2005
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'Fast-moving and fun... a book for anyone who thinks love might be found out there in the world -- Sunday Times
'Jennifer describes each date with humour and honesty, you can't help but like her ... you can't put the book down' -- Heat
One of Britain's leading travel experts - known to readers from BBC1 travel programmes and countless print features & tv appearances - tells the fabulously entertaining story of her global dating tour. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Considering how much the author rambles on about what a "spontaneous traveller" she is and basically just how jolly great she is and how she can't understand how no lovely man has ever realised this, she is really really dull. Her writing is patchy and disjointed, her descriptions are poor or nonexistent and the plot that the whole book hangs on is pathetic. She even makes the other poor guys on her datefest sound dull and I am sure that not all of them could have been.
Bad bad book, this was even recommended in Heat as the book of the week - all I can say is she must have paid them and that Gene has clearly had a lucky escape. Do not touch with a bargepole - Jordan's book was better than this.......
The author, a career travel writer and globe-trotter, sets herself on a journey around the world to discover her soul mate. Eighty dates in numerous countries with men, women, and a few groups (though some are tongue-in-cheek non-dates).
This is not a book thick with ethnographic information. It paints a portrait not so much of the residents of the various places the author visits, but simply of the collection of quirky people willing to date a British author dating her way around the world. It is entertaining, insightful, and charming just to watch the author discover things about herself. The old saying is still true, you travel around the world far from home only to discover yourself.
I was only disappointed to see that the author didn't really date around the world, as around the northern hemisphere (with the exception of Australia, New Zealand, and a few other places in southeast Asia). She missed the whole continents of South America and Africa, as well as the entire Middle East and Indian subcontinent. But while more far-flung travels in the southern hemisphere might be more politic and equal opportunity, there is no accounting for taste. And the author took her quest seriously enough to seek a soul mate she could spend a lifetime with. So in fairness, I imagine she visited the countries with which she felt most familiar and comfortable. (Though it is amusing to imagine her finding her soul mate as a rural native of Nigeria-- perhaps a bit more challenging than a gentlemen from the Northwest coast of North America.)
A good light read. Unusual, entertaining, and very funny.
As a travel writer and broadcaster, Jennifer Cox was no stranger to meeting and greeting people the world over. Cox has an early failed marriage behind her and a handful of none-too-successful relationships to look back on and most importantly, she's determined to do something to get herself a soul mate. After all, with more than 6 billion people on the planet, it must be possible to find a good bloke.
She set off to Europe first, bouncing around Holland, up to Sweden, Denmark, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy and Germany, she was merrily clocking up the first couple of dozen dates, sometimes with two or three in a 24 hour period. Some of the dates were pretty dodgy like Frank, the sleazy Dutchman, the tulip-shredding weirdo, the yukky 'brother of a friend' who bailed out when he realised she wasn't really sleeping her way around the world. On the plus-side there was the very fit Swede who hired a floating sauna for the day and the Viking who took her to Viking camp (lots of log splitting and hearty activities). The more ridiculous included the mime artist from Las Ramblas in Barcelona who turned up in silver body paint and lycra and the Italian who had 'married' a dead woman he'd fallen in love with after visiting her grave. At times like this, the odd bloke with the squint from the accounts department does start to look like not such a bad option.
Cox learns some of the basic differences about men and women - that men seem to think any date that involves boats is romantic, even if you've already told them you are ridiculously prone to sea-sickness and that some of the male date wranglers are a bit too controlling (take for example the guy who sets her up with his friend the pilot to go in a bi-plane which ensures scarcely a word get exchanged throughout).
I bought the book in the expectation that it would be poorly written fluff but I admit that I was wrong. Cox is a good writer who draws you in, amuses you, makes you care (well some of the time) and delivers a very different approach to the whole 'dating in the new millennium' debate. At times I wanted her to be a bit more experimental - to step out of the "different city, same middle class white guy" groove and date a Kalahari bushman, an Inuit, a few more locals and a few less expats. We can't draw too many conclusions about how men vary around the world if our heroine is just dating the same sort of bloke and merely changing the location. I also can't help but feel sorry for some of the dates - after all, what was in it for them? Surely it wasn't the chance to take a British girl out on a date, show her a good/bad/mediocre time and then have her write nasty things about you in a book when she gets home? All in all, it's a very selfish premise for a journey - all about 'me me me' and rather exploitative of the other 80 human beings sharing the experiment and the friends and colleagues who set up the dates.
The cover classifies ATWIED as a 'travel' book but you really won't learn anything significant about travel or the locations visited - which is really a crying shame. To be honest, she could have done all 80 dates in the British Isles and saved a fortune on flights. But it's a nice enough little book - just don't expect to learn anything of any significance.
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