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

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

P.J. O'Rourke / Oct 14, 2019

Holidays in Hell In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World s Worst Places and Asks What s Funny about Thi O Rourke travels to hellholes around the globe from war torn Lebanon to Korea to Poland to El Salvador looking for trouble the truth and good times A spin with P J O Rourke is like a ride in the bac

  • Title: Holidays in Hell: In Which Our Intrepid Reporter Travels to the World's Worst Places and Asks, "What's Funny about Thi
  • Author: P.J. O'Rourke
  • ISBN: 9780802137012
  • Page: 374
  • Format: Paperback
  • O Rourke travels to hellholes around the globe from war torn Lebanon to Korea to Poland to El Salvador looking for trouble, the truth, and good times A spin with P.J O Rourke is like a ride in the back of an old pickup over unpaved roads You get where you re going fast, with exhilarating views but not without a few bruises The New York Times Book Review.

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    About "P.J. O'Rourke"

      • P.J. O'Rourke

        Patrick Jake P J O Rourke is an American political satirist, journalist, writer, and author O Rourke is the H L Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute and is a regular correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, The American Spectator, and The Weekly Standard, and frequent panelist on National Public Radio s game show Wait Wait Don t Tell Me Since 2011 O Rourke has been a columnist at The Daily Beast In the United Kingdom, he is known as the face of a long running series of television advertisements for British Airways in the 1990s.He is the author of 20 books, of which his latest, The Baby Boom How It Got That Way And It Wasn t My Fault And I ll Never Do It Again , was released January 2014 This was preceded on September 21, 2010, by Don t Vote It Just Encourages the Bastards, and on September 1, 2009, Driving Like Crazy with a reprint edition published on May 11, 2010 According to a 60 Minutes profile, he is also the most quoted living man in The Penguin Dictionary of Modern Humorous Quotations.


    876 Comments

    1. Trouble doesn’t come from Slopes, Kikes, Niggers, Spies or White Capitalist Pigs; it comes from the heart.O'Rourke is a dude you wanna travel through third world with while cozily laying on your first world sofa with a blueberry pie in your hand. You will be completely free of any possible white guilt, you will not be filled with ideals and humanitarian solutions, but simply get an humorous tour from war-torn Lebanon to communist Poland, and everything between.Holidays in Hell is written in la [...]


    2. 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 violenceright, so things haven't changed all that much. Which is one reason why, after twenty years, this collection of reportage pieces from Lebanon, Nicaragua, Palestine, Northern Ireland and other conflict hot spots remains worth reading. Another is O'Rourke's gonzo-style, no-sacred-cows [...]


    3. 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 ignore sensible advice, and live to write about it.He visits many - El-Salvador, Ireland, Israel, South Korea, Lebanon, Nicaragua, Panama, The Philippines, Poland, Russia and South-Africa are the main sp [...]


    4. 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 and so we might as well laugh at it. (Tangentially, I suggest that easily offended readers skip the prologue, which contains a large number of barely-joking generalizations that even in the context of a [...]



    5. 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 foreign correspondent, traveling the world and filing stories from exotic trouble-spots. My mind flashed back on P.J. O’Rourke’s “Holidays in Hell,” a book that bridges a gap between where A [...]


    6. 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. As far as I'm concerned, he tried too hard to make both sides seem responsible, when we all clearly know the truth). He also draws similes and makes references to events, people, and things that may have [...]


    7. 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 absolutely mad. Thanks P.J.




    8. '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 time and always enjoyed reading O'Rourke's articles, so I had no doubt that I would appriciate a collection of them. (I was correct in that assumption.) I've also lately realized how little I know about his [...]


    9. This is the only travel book i've ever liked. What I love about PJ is the fact that he has absolutely no illusions about the way the world works. Most left wingers tend to believe that all of the worlds problems can be solved and that the rich are to blame for it all. If you're looking for a genuine, insightful and funny book about how messed up the world is, then this is the book for you. PJ is completely remorseless about his views and doesn't try and offer any well meaning advice about how to [...]


    10. Disappointing. This is not a book that has 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 war-torn Beirut when the author does not offer a lasting impression of the countries but rather an account of his own experience at that precise moment in history? Change the circumstances and the accounts become inconsequential. As both did.The biggest disappointment though, came from the little xe [...]


    11. If O'Rourke's quirky brand of humor resonates with you, this is as good as it gets. I've read most of his works, and this is my favorite.O'Rourke was a foreign correspondent for 'Rolling Stone', and was sent to every god-forsaken hellhole in the world. It is from his experiences in these venues that the chapters are drawn.The chapter on Lebanon begins "Beirut, at a glance, lacks charm." If that doesn't strike you as pure writing genius, then you probably won't enjoy this book (or other of O'Rou [...]


    12. Innocents Abroad Updated .In the best tradition of Mark Twain's perceptive observations and caustic humor, O'Rourke has a poke for everyone. In addition to the places mentioned in the book description, stories featuring the America's Cup in Perth Australia and Disneyland are added to "Hell-ish"locales.Since this is a collection of articles written in the mid-1980's, the epilogue was especially interesting in which O'Rourke describes places and events 25 years into the future happy with my choice [...]


    13. It was ok. A bit dated (set in 1980's, some interesting points/factsAlso author was really quite racist.I wouldn't recommend this. I picked it up in a charity shop and should have saved my £1.50 to be honest.I didn't bother finishing it (I got to the last 3 chapters, so gave it a good go)How has this racist man got so many good reviews?I was repeatedly shocked by his racist, ill informed and arrogant (American (white)-centric)comments.


    14. Good shit, though perhaps some of it's a little dated now, having been written in the late 80s. The entry on Fremantle, WA as a part of 'Hell' is particularly interesting for us southern colonial folk I think. Good to see Australia has a town as awful as any in Israel, Northern Island, or Lebanon, though I had a great time in Fremantle myself, and would have chosen Adelaide or Brisbane as far more hellish, but hey, who's the famous right-wing gonzo boy here? Not me, that's for sure.


    15. I don't consider myself a conservative, but I found out about P.J. O'Rourke during my college years (1980-1984, go Rockhurst!!!). O'Rourke shares tales of his world travels. Check out the one on South Korea, or the one on Poland. What a scream. I still read it sometimes, just for hearty laughs and a shot of great writing. I even got to meet him at a book signing. Great guy.


    16. Wow, I'm the first to add this book? I should get some kind something for that!! This book is classic PJ O'Rourke. Vacationing in Beriut and Lebanon might not be for everyone, but you too can experience it through his writings!!


    17. Hilarious dispatches from some of the world's worst places. This guy is so funny I laugh out loud at his stuff when i'm reading it. No wonder he is (apparently, according to wkipedia) the world's most quoted author! Funny stuff!



    18. Hilarious. Some of the best writing I've read recently. Would've given it five stars if the last chapter (his vision of 2013) wasn't so slipshod.


    19. Before reading his late 1980s account of his adventures in some of the world’s (then) worst places – Lebanon, Poland, El Salvador, Israel, South Africa and, erm, Harvard – I’d always been vaguely aware that O’ Rourke’s book was generally regarded as a sort of comedic travel writing classic.Almost thirty years later it still is. Sort of. In places. In other places it’s a crass, borderline racist jumbling of anecdotes and one-liners that’s best read, understood and somewhat forgive [...]


    20. Funny and insightful, but too often in a crass way. Wouldn't want to imbibe too much of O'Rourke. But I am planning on trying the sequel, Holidays in Heck, to see if he's matured a bit in the intervening decades.


    21. Maybe I took this book and the issues it presented too seriously for I did not "lol" as much as I had anticipated ("A book that makes you laugh out loud"). It is creatively written and O'Rourke is a great story teller.


    22. Risking life and limb in such Hellish zones as 1980s Lebanon, El Salvador, and Harvard University, O’Rourke looks “for a good time” amidst the chaos according to the rear cover description… just above the Nixon quote…trippy… While reading this, I assumed he was a journalist that had attempted the objective route during the sundry riots, protests, and Vietnams dotting the sixties and finally said “F**k it! This is all bullsh*t that perpetually repeats itself!” and moved on to a, i [...]


    23. Entertaining and acerbicly written, as one might expect. It's also interesting from an historical perspective these days. More depressing is while many of the conflicts and situations described have changed considerably (particularly Beirut and South Africa) similar turmoil has erupted elsewhere. Like the old adage, "the more things change, the more they stay the same". One exception is the section about Warsaw, which anyone visiting modern Poland should read. I visited Prague when it was still [...]


    24. this is a very good book i was always disapointed that P J O'rourke did not focus on dangerous hot spots in america go to gangland save it to favorites and call me in the morning because i am in love with you earth. People of earth what the fuck ya all upset with each other for in groups where it gets messy for those of us that are not upset at all. p j o'rourke one of my fathers required reading projects. Hey my close personal Friends want to know all the books my large highly lethal family has [...]


    25. "A Trouble Tourist- going to see insurrections, stupidities, political crises, civil disturbances because it's fun"By sally tarbox on 5 May 2017Format: Kindle EditionLaugh-out-loud adventures from the 1980s, as journalist PJ O'Rourke travels the globe. A Ramble through Lebanon ("in Lebanon you'd be crazy not to have a gun. Though, I assure you, all the crazy people have guns too."). A student protest in S Korea, patrolling the US / Mexico border for illegal immigrants, a satirical look at Panama [...]


    26. I enjoyed my second time through this book more than the first because it rings so true to some of my adventures in "trouble tourism.". There are just so many laugh out loud gems that I can't even begin to list all of them. For example, the phrase "covering a story from Mahogany Ridge," which means working on it in a bar. Of course, my hands down favorite is the ending of the Europe (April to May 1986) essay explaining why the USA has never been invaded. Find it in a library and read that page. [...]


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