Around Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawk
Antony Gordon Hawksworth, better known as Tony Hawks, is a British comedian and author. He was born in Brighton, England on 12 May, 1960. He was educated at Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School and Brighton College. I met him when he was promoting Round Ireland with a Fridge at a fair in Earl’s Court in London. My employers at the time, Standard Life Bank (now part of Barclays Bank) took a stall to promote their financial products and guest authors came to promote their books too. I never really understood the connection: however, Mr Hawks is a very nice man and his book, Round Ireland with a Fridge is hilarious. It is completely ridiculous and made me laugh out loud.
The premise is that our hero (Tony himself) drunkenly accepts a £100 bet that he cannot circumnavigate Ireland while hitch hiking with a small fridge. This ends up costing him £130 pounds! Hawks explains that he was drunk enough to accept a bet that he could not travel the perimeter of Ireland in a month with a refrigerator, and admits he was foolish enough to follow through with the bet once he was sober again.
The author gets picked up and hosted by a lot of good local characters, and he manages to pepper his writing with some very nice reflections on the surrounding culture. It is heartening to learn about the people who help him out and really get behind his quest.
Hawks has a real gift for truly funny story telling. There are parts of the book that truly made me laugh out loud! Some say it makes you want to find a household appliance and head out on the open road. It reminded me of the time when my husband and I were given a very old, small, heavy fridge by a friend of my mother’s. We ended up having to borrow a wheelbarrow from a complete stranger to get it from the friend’s house to our apartment. What a fun time can come from doing things that are a bit silly! We did return the wheelbarrow!
In attempting to hitch hike round Ireland with a fridge, Tony Hawks attempted to win his bet. His foolhardiness led him to some of the best experiences of his life. He was accompanied by his trusty travelling companion – a small refrigerator. He made his way from Dublin to Donegal, from Sligo through Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Wexford, Wicklow and back again to Dublin. In their month of madness, Tony and his fridge met a real prince, a bogus king, and the fridge was even given a name! They surfed together, entered a bachelor festival, and one of them apparently had sex without the other knowing. Unexpectedly, the fridge itself became a momentary focus for the people of Ireland.
The book is now justly an international best seller, Round Ireland with a Fridge is a classic travel adventure in the tradition of Bill Bryson. One of Bryson’s books is reviewed here too Made In America, https://bookreviewstoday.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/made-in-america-by-bill-bryson/. Other biographies and auto-biographies on this site include: As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me, https://bookreviewstoday.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/as-far-as-my-f…-james-m-bauer/, Humble Pie, Tuesdays With Morrie, https://bookreviewstoday.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/tuesdays-with-…by-mitch-albom/, I highly recommend Tony Hawks’ book.
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