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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 February 2012
Back in the late 80's PJ wrote Parliament of Whores, one of the best and funniest books on politics I have ever had the pleasure of reading. He followed that up in 2010 with Don't Vote!, , largely a rewrite of Parliament, which was funny enough but not as good as its predecessor. Also in the late 80's, PJ wrote Holidays in Hell, one of the best and funniest books on world politics I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Then in 2011 he wrote Holidays in Heck as a ... well, not a sequel, not a rewrite, and not nearly as good as its predecessor. At this rate, if PJ rewrites his Bachelor Home Companion as "The Married Man's Home Companion" in 2012, I may just shed a tear, and not one of joy.

The young(ish) PJ was full of sound and fury, which in many cases did in fact signify nothing, but in other cases most definitely did not. The more mature PJ can still turn a great phrase, but only one at a time, not a whole string of pointed hilarity leading up to a devastating remark. While Holidays in Hell was the furthest thing from a travel memoir, Heck is pretty much that, just for grumpy old men (of which I am, or will shortly become, one).

This later PJ is still funny (in places), informative, and enjoyable enough. But dammit, I don't read PJ because he is "enjoyable enough".

Look, its alright, its not great, and as far as it goes, good enough. If you like PJ, it's worth a read. If you haven't read PJ O'Rourke before, don't start here: go get Republican Party Reptile, or Parliament of Whores, or Holidays in Hell, and read on from there. With a little luck you'll make it to this soon enough.
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on 23 March 2013
If you're already a fan of PJ's then there's a lot in here that you will enjoy.

He's getting a little mellower with age and there really aren't many targets he hasn't blasted better before - but an evening or two in his company contains enough humour, satire and plain old righteous indignation to make it all worthwhile.

If you're new to PJ, do yourself a favour and get hold of Holidays in Hell, Parliament of Whores or Eat The Rich first.
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In the same way that PJ's last book 'Don't Vote' was a lazy rewrite of 'Parliament Of Whores' by someone who obviously couldn't be bothered to make the effort any more, 'Holidays In Heck' is a more domestically based revisit to his 'Holdidays In Hell' travelogue: The incidents have changed from mortar attacks to the travails of travelling with young children, but the jokes are exactly the same, with every one liner folowing the same old pattern (Basically 'I took drugs In The sixties/Now I'm a wealthy upper middle class Republican/Time for a large scotch') I'm surprised he doesn't just stay at home and employ a ghost writer to knock off the books, so repetitive and predictable has his writing become. There are a few isolated bits of insightful writing here, but your mainly plowing through the same tired old shtick. I shouldn't bother if I were you.
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on 30 October 2012
PJ O'Rourke has a problem. When he was young he was too concerned with being cool, and was therefore a poor writer. Now that he is old, he is simply dialling it in, cashing in on his reputation, and also writing poorly.
The true and only readable PJ O'Rourke works are from his middle years - the years when he'd stopped being stupid, had learned how to write, but still cared about his craft.
Sadly, this book is just a hastily written, half-hearted work clearly done just for the money and is best avoided.
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PJ O'Rourke has come up with some classic travel/war/political/motoring books. This is not one of them.

It's still interesting but lacks the bite and wit of efforts such as Republican Party Reptile which is not only gut bustingly funny, it's also a great satire on politics.

O'Rourke here is on a mission with is family, travelling to a few places that don't include wars. His age and children have seen that part of his life off and therefore he's trying to write a book from a different angle. In part it works and his section on China is very good.

Overall though this isn't a book that will grab you and have you either laughin,or spitting with anger in the way his others do.
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on 30 March 2013
Humor, real humor, plus talented writing always reveals interesting things. Rare these days, PJ always delivers. I did feel just a little like a voyeur during the parts about illness. As for parenthood, join the club PJ!
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on 17 December 2014
Hoildays in Hell was a heck of a book. Holidays In Heck is hellish. A book written by a man who used to be extremely sharp and funny and is now cashing in on his reputation in a series of contrived and lame 'adventures ' which, quite frankly, he should be ashamed to put into print. Enough already.
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on 11 September 2012
I have been a fan of PJ for over 30 years and he never fails to amuse. His latest book is less acerbic than some of his earlier work, possibly because he is writing about his family rather than the Democrats and liberals he skewers so adeptly.

I treasure some of his past comments about the Kennedys, Carter, Clinton and Kerry. A brief thumbnail years ago about Bianca Jagger had me creased with laughter. Now older and perhaps less inclined to wound, PJ retains his innate comic talents and that perspective on the world that makes him so unique. Buy this book, read it and be amused and informed on many levels.
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on 2 April 2016
arrived speedily, good product, thankyou
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on 9 October 2014
Great quality at a good price.fast delivery - couldn't be better
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