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Round Ireland with a Fridge    by Tony Hawks order for
Round Ireland with a Fridge
by Tony Hawks
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2001 (2000)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

'I hereby bet Tony Hawks the sum of One Hundred Pounds that he cannot hitchhike round the circumference of Ireland with a fridge, within one calendar month.'

This unlikely proposition began a hilarious tale about the trials and tribulations involved in winning this bet. I won't write of specific instances in Hawks' travels because I don't want to spoil the reader's delight in the book. But what leads up to each new day and its happenings is as important to the meat of the book as the actual peregrinations of the author.

I believe laughter is a shared thing, which needs two breathing humans to indulge in together. However, there is one incident involving a wet suit, a fridge and a surfboard that had me laughing out loud all by myself. I was equally surprised at the giggles that followed. And that was just one of the many times that I pushed the laugh meter to its limits while reading this book.

The people that the author met both delighted and astounded him. Encounters with people who took his quest seriously (though with an undercurrent of whimsy) produced a sense of camaraderie that he found heartening. The idea of a man actually standing by a roadside, thumb in full view - with a fridge on a trolley - expecting to be given a lift is absurd. But that is what Tony Hawks did.

The author came away from his travels around the Emerald Isle with much more than a feeling of accomplishment. His parting words are 'I was leaving Ireland. The affair was over but the friendship had just begun.' The book could do with some proofreading, but it's not a problem; in fact it kind of adds to the charm.

Round Ireland with a Fridge is a truly delightful book; one to recommend; and to think about from time to time when everyday life seems a little heavy.

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