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on 1 March 2015
I love this book very interesting and funny, I have used some quotes for my dark tourism lesson.
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on 14 November 2014
Funny and enlightening, shows the strange behaviors of the human race!!
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on 29 August 2013
Cant wait for the next book, read both on holiday and loved every page - write more please DOM JOLY!!!
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on 8 July 2013
This was one of these books that is perfect for a holiday read and Dom Joly has a great way of bringing the places he visits to life.
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on 4 February 2012
This review is for the AUDIO BOOK version of The Dark Tourist - unfortunately Amazon have lumped the audio reviews in with the book reviews and there is no place to review them separately.

This is one of the funniest audio books I have listened to in ages. It is also one of the most addictive I've purchased to date, I listened to all 7 hours in just two afternoons - something I have never done with an audio book before.

Dom Joly in one of his many occupations works as a travel writer and as a consequence he gets to travel to many interesting and fascinating places around the world. However, not content with the standard tourist attractions, Mr Joly decides that it might be interesting to visit some rather obscure destinations - would you have ever considered skiing in Iran?

He dedicates one chapter to each destination and narrates his journey, or at least the memorable parts - of which there are many - with his own special brand of very dry humour. He manages to bring places that most of us will never get the chance to go to (nor probably wish to) in vivid detail.

He also manages to pull off an astounding range of authentic sounding accents when he plays the part of one of the locals. I defy anyone not to laugh at his account of his interview with an American security agent after landing at the airport. I was laughing constantly as he played the part of the disbelieving guard during the 'interview'

His vivid description of his escape whilst being chased around the JFK museum was enough to make my eyes water. He is probably on the list of 'America's most wanted' after his heinous felony of taking an unauthorised photograph out of a window.

If you enjoy audio books and you would like to find out a little more about the darker side of tourism this is definitely one to think about buying. Each chapter lasts approximately 1 hour and once you start a new chapter you will want to listen right to the end.

Highly recommended.
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on 7 October 2013
I think the book's title is totally misleading. I mean how could you possibly classify a trip to Dallas or even to Iran for 3 or 4 days as dark! The author's wishful thinking maybe. If you want to read about real dark tourism, where the author goes through hell but lives to tell the tale with such verve that you can smell the dumps he's been to and sweat with him, try Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux or The Soccer War by Ryszard Kapuscinski for starters. This book is a million miles from either of those.

OK, with the title out of the way, I still enjoyed this book, or some of it at least. The piece on North Korea is insightful with a few good laughs (gets the balance right) and the Ukrainian trip is really well told too with a brilliantly told incident in a hotel lift in Kyiv. The opening Iranian yarn is terrible - packed with bloody awful stereo-typing and telling you nothing at all of any note about the place. The Dallas jaunt has a few notable moments, especially with security and I must admit, I'd like to go there for the same reasons as he did - the JFK assassination site. The piece on Cambodia lacks punch and sincerity, considering the scale of the massacres there. It all seems too easy and relaxed. Finally, he treats us to a little peep into Lebanon, his birth place and childhood home. Again though, fairly bland and un-educational, though he clearly enjoyed seeing the once-familiar after all these years.

To summarise, the title led me to expect something very different but the book is still worth a quick, light read once you realize it's just a friendly, risk-free jaunt to a few spots where you probably won't find too much English Beer or fish and chips (but that's about the extent of its darkness!)
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on 24 September 2010
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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on 4 January 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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on 5 December 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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on 3 September 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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