Round Ireland with a Fridge - Tony Hawks

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Round Ireland with a Fridge - Tony Hawks

Whilst in Ireland for an International Song Competition, Tony Hawks was amazed to see a hitch-hiker, trying to thumb a lift, but with a fridge. This s...

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Review of "Round Ireland with a Fridge - Tony Hawks"

published 09/03/2010 | thedevilinme
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"'Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved'"

Hawke’s:” I would like to report the theft of a fridge!”
Garda:” A fridge you say?”
Hawkes:”Well yes…”
Garda:” Are you the owner of this fridge?”
Hawke’s: I’m hitching around Ireland with it”
Garda:” Are you a comedian or something”
Hawke’s: “Yes”.

So, how many people had heard of stand-up comic Tony Hawks in the mid-nineties? Well not many if he needs the inane attention seeking act of dragging a fridge around Ireland with his thumb up in the air to bag a book deal. What do you mean you still haven’t heard of him? He has played tennis with the Moldovan national football team since. Where have you been! Apparently it wasn’t a stunt to boost his profile in a forest of lanky middle class stand-up comics but he just comes up with these ideas after drunken bets with a guy called Kieran (presumably his agent), here £100 on offer to hitch with a fridge around the Emerald Isle in the year of 1997. As you can see I beg to differ that the bet was actually involved. But he did do it (fair play to him) and wrote this light hearted and comical book about his experiences, shifting a few hundred thousand copies in the process, although I’m always suspicious of a new book that boasts its cognitive sales figures on the front cover (back then). But all that contrived aspect is irrelevant if the book if funny and isn’t half bad, which it is.

Tony sets off from his affluent West London dinner party with romantic dreams of trying not to patronize Ireland through his ‘scribblings’ and whether he can actually hitch around the Fair Isle with a fridge. Who would actually pick up a guy with a bulky kitchen appliance! Well plenty, as it turns out, but only when he becomes ‘Fridge Man’ from the radio. Without his fridge he is just another Edinburgh fringe comic that never won the Perrier.

With rucksack and Ryan Air ticket in hand, Tony pitches up in Dublin in search of the all-important fridge. For some reason he couldn’t buy one in the U.K and take the Ferry, but gets an Irishman to buy one in Dublin, the start and finish of the odyssey. As the fridge cost £130 and the bet is for just £100 this journey is clearly about something else-or the ‘Craic’ as the Irish call it.

His first journey is to Caven, cheating already by jumping on a bus, a bus that’s going to Caven, but seems to go anywhere but (already Irish serotype deployed in the small print). Arriving in Caven it’s his first bed for the night, everyone in Ireland oblivious to Hawke’s and his mission. But after a few successful hitches word gets out of the man with the fridge, Tony becoming a regular feature of the Jerry Ryan Morning Show, the famous Irish DJ asking everyone and anyone to give the man with the fridge a lift if they see him by the road. But once you become a minor celebrity in Ireland the challenge becomes an extension of your showbiz career. When the production team of RT gives him a lift to do a TV interview the mission begins to lose its ethos about getting to know rural Ireland and its rustic heart.

But most of the time it is indeed total strangers who hitch him around Ireland-lorry drivers, workmen, farmer’s cabbies…and even a nun, who finds time to bless the fridge.
The art of hitching is also explored, Tony quickly learning the etiquette, but annoying other hitchers by pulling rank on them with his growing celebrity. But he doesn’t always get it right.

Tony by the road as a car slows down…:”How far are you going?”
Driver:” Just here. I’m parking mate”.

It’s that gentle and observant comic writing that makes the book worth while here, the act of taking a fridge around Ireland almost immaterial, even though Hawke’s sees it as some sort of cathartic moment in his and the Irish peoples life. I think he honestly felt in the book that taking a fridge around this beautiful country would be good for his career, him and the peace process, where as most Irish just thought of him as an ‘eejit’ with a fridge up for the craic. What ever the reasons for the trip it makes for a fun read to warm your cockles as summer turns to autumn and the leaves fall like a blizzard of despair.

Summary: eejit!

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Comments on this review

  • IzzyS published 10/09/2017
    Good review.
  • danielclark691 published 21/07/2016
    well covered
  • alliewallie published 08/06/2015
    Great review
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Product Information : Round Ireland with a Fridge - Tony Hawks

Manufacturer's product description

Whilst in Ireland for an International Song Competition, Tony Hawks was amazed to see a hitch-hiker, trying to thumb a lift, but with a fridge. This seemed amazingly optimistic - his Irish friends, however thought nothing of it at all. 'I had clearly arrived in a country', writes Tony, 'where the qualifications for 'eccentric' involved a great deal more than that to which I had become used'. Two years pass but the fridge incident haunts our author. Until one night, heavy with drink, he finds himself arguing about Ireland with a friend. It is, he insists, a 'magical place', so magical in fact, that a man could even get a lift with a fridge. The next morning there is a note by the bed. 'I hereby bet Tony Hawks the sum of One Hundred Pounds that he cannot hitch-hike around the circumference of Ireland with a fridge within one calendar month'. The document was signed. The bet was made. This audiobook is the story of Tony's adventures through that incredible month, the people he meets, the difficulties, the triumphs, and the fridge. See all Product Description

Product Details

Type: Non-Fiction

Genre: Travel

Subgenre: Country Travel Guide

Title: Round Ireland with a Fridge

Author: Tony Hawks

Continent: Europe

Country: Ireland

ISBN: 0091863279; 0091867770; 0099407175; 0312242360; 0312274920; 0753152088; 0753162008

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Listed on Ciao since: 17/07/2000