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Book Excerpt: 
. . . on toward the door with light feet, lugging my bundles and beaded with perspiration, but unmindful of all discomforts in the thought of the bright days and good things in store for me.

"Honk! honk!"

My heart gave a bound!

Where did that sound come from?

Out of a cool cluster of innocent-looking lilac bushes, I saw a dark object cautiously moving. It seemed to have no head. I knew, however, that it had a head. I had seen it; it had seized me once on the previous summer, and I had been in terror of it during all the rest of the season.

I looked down into the irregular grass, and saw the head and a very long neck running along on the ground, propelled by the dark body, like a snake running away from a ball. It was coming toward me, and faster and faster as it approached.

I dropped all my bundles.

In a few flying leaps I returned to the road again, and armed myself with a stick from a pile of cord-wo. . . Read More

Community Reviews

My good friend Amy is an honors student in journalism. She’s about to start her Senior Year as editor-in-chief of her college newspaper.

Anyway, something she mentioned in a recent blog post was that she’d left for college, certain that her dream was to blast through her four years, then become a...more

I'm not sure why I didn't like this book more. It was vividly and humorously written, educational and even important. I think it was just the page after page of diverse suffering and injustice, presented by an author whose considered opinion appears to be that there is no hope for the Third World...more

Back in the mid to late '80s when PJ O'Rourke wrote the pieces that make up Holidays in Hell, the world was a much different place: there was war in the Middle East, the threat of nuclear conflict, sectarian violence...alright, so things haven't changed all that much. Which is one reason why, aft...more

The 80's had some ideal hotspots for a rogue journalist like PJ O'Rourke. Somehow he managed to convince the editors of magazines he worked for that they required stories from these largely untravelled (at the time - not necessarily before or after), largely dangerous places where he was able to...more

Given that the writer had such a short period of time in the places he visited, he seemed to grasp the core of things pretty well. Pity that this accuracy is wasted on him as all he uses it for is to pass mean judgement on all, whether good or bad (apart from when it came to the occupied lands. A...more

've had this book around for a while and have read it in bits and pieces, as it is written in a format that easily allows for that. It's been my bath book, my waiting in lines book, my doctor's office book. I've enjoyed it emmensely. I was a subscriber to Rolling Stone magazine for quite some tim...more

My introduction to P.J. O'Rourke.I will always love this book. It made me laugh like no other book had managed and it planted the first seeds of anti-Socialism in my mind. It also made me realise that being un-PC is the way to go. It's okay to laugh at other countries and cultures if they're abso...more

Contains one of the best paragraphs in all the English language... starting with ...."I snapped...."

The guy's a jackass, but he can write.

Despicable politics but a great sense of humour.

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