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
7 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - keylawk - LibraryThing

The author wrote about his travels, and published as the "International Affairs Desk Chief" at Rolling Stone. This is a travel book. The author chose to visit and write about trouble-spots around the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RandyStafford - LibraryThing

My reactions on reading this book in 1991. Beyond the cynical, black, sometimes hyperbolic humor of this book, O'Rourke gives some telling insight into various hellholes on the planet. (Most are Third ... Read full review

Selected pages


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

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

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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)

P. J. O'Rourke was born in Toledo, Ohio on November 14, 1947. He received a B. A. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and a M.A. in English from Johns Hopkins University. He worked for the magazine National Lampoon, eventually becoming editor-in-chief. 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. He contributes regularly to several magazines including Playboy, Esquire, Vanity Fair, The American Spectator, The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly, The Weekly Standard, and Rolling Stone. He is the author of 20 books including Parliament of Whores, Give War a Chance, All the Troubles in the World, Don't Vote! - It Just Encourages the Bastards, and How It Got That Way (And It Wasn't My Fault) (And I'll Never Do It Again).

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