Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About Thi

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Grove/Atlantic, Inc., Dec 1, 2007 - Humor - 272 pages
60 Reviews
Now available from Grove Press, P. J. O'Rourke's classic, best-selling guided tour of the world's most desolate, dangerous, and desperate places. "Tired of making bad jokes" and believing that "the world outside seemed a much worse joke than anything I could conjure," P. J. O'Rourke traversed the globe on a fun-finding mission, investigating the way of life in the most desperate places on the planet, including Warsaw, Managua, and Belfast. The result is Holidays in Hell--a full-tilt, no-holds-barred romp through politics, culture, and ideology. P.J.'s adventures include storming student protesters' barricades with riot police in South Korea, interviewing Communist insurrectionists in the Philippines, and going undercover dressed in Arab garb in the Gaza Strip. He also takes a look at America's homegrown horrors as he braves the media frenzy surrounding the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Washington D.C., uncovers the mortifying banality behind the white-bread kitsch of Jerry Falwell's Heritage USA, and survives the stultifying boredom of Harvard's 350th anniversary celebration. Packed with P.J.'s classic riffs on everything from Polish nightlife under communism to Third World driving tips, Holidays in Hell is one of the best-loved books by one of today's most celebrated humorists.
 

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Review: Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This"

User Review  - Amy Christenson - Goodreads

I'm a fan of any writer that can work "attack hamster" into a sentence. Read full review

Review: Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny About This"

User Review  - Sergio GRANDE films - Goodreads

Disappointing. This is not a book that's stood the test of time; it was probably funnier while it was topical. What's the point of reading about a South Africa on the brink of democracy, or about a ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

The Innocents Abroad Updated
5
A Ramble Through Lebanon
12
Seoul Brothers
44
Panama Banal
58
Third World Driving Hints and Tips
69
Heritage USA
91
The PostMarcos PhilippinesLife in the Archipelago After One Year of Justice Democracy and Things Like That
99
Christmas in El Salvador
127
In Whitest Africa
159
Epcot Center
180
Among the EuroWeenies
186
Thirtysix Hours in ManaguaAn Indepth Report
204
The 1987 ReaganGorbachev Summit
217
Mexican Border Idyll
224
The HolylandGods Monkey House
240
What Does the Future Hold In Store for Our Friends in Faraway Lands?
253

At Sea with the Americas Cup
141
Intellectual Wilderness HoA Visit to Harvards 350th Anniversary Celebration
150

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Popular passages

Page vi - Take up the White Man's burden— The savage wars of peace— Fill full the mouth of Famine And bid the sickness cease; And when your goal is nearest The end for others sought, Watch Sloth and heathen Folly Bring all your hope to nought. —Rudyard Kipling,
Page 7 - You'll be pinned down by mortar fire in the middle of a genocide atrocity in the Sudan, and right through it all come six law partners and their wives, in Banana Republic bush jackets, taking an inflatable raft trip down the White Nile and having an "experience.
Page 6 - The larger the German body, the smaller the German bathing suit and the louder the German voice issuing German demands and German orders to everybody who doesn't speak German. For this, and

About the author (2007)

Satirist and novelist Patrick James "P. J." O'Rourke was born in 1947 in Toledo, Ohio. He graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and attended Johns Hopkins University where he received his M.A. in English. He worked for the magazine National Lampoon, eventually becoming editor-in-chief. He wrote articles such as "Foreigners Around the World". He received a writing credit for National Lampoon's Lemmings which helped launch the careers of John Belushi and Chevy Chase. In 1981, he left the magazine to write screenplays (including Rodney Dangerfield's Easy Money). O'Rourke contributes regularly to such magazines as Playboy, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The American Spectator, The New Republic, and Rolling Stone (for which he is Foreign Affairs Desk Chief). Patrick O'Rourke has published 15 books including three New York Times bestsellers. His bestselling novels include Parliament of Whores, Give War a Chance, and All the Troubles in the World.

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