When English comedian Tony Hawks awakens after a night of friendly imbibing, he discovers a scrap of paper on his bedside table that reads, "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." Never one to turn his back on a drunken bet, Tony accepts the challenge, purchases a small refrigerator for a hundred and thirty pounds, and sets off on a hilarious journey. Thanks to the interest of a national radio program, details of Tony's adventure reach the ears of people across Ireland, who, for the most part, are eager to give him and his fridge a lift. Every village holds an adventure, from an audience with a king and an afternoon surfing to a bachelor festival and a tryst in a doghouse. Occasionally Tony ponders the greater meaning of his journey ("This is a free fridge, free to do what it wants, free to go where it wants and free to be what it wants, and if a fridge can achieve that, then what are the limits on us?"). However, the opportunity to have a few pints in the local pub with a horde of eccentric new friends is usually reason enough to make the trip.
A bestseller in the U.K., Round Ireland with a Fridge is a delightfully absurd tour of Ireland that fans of Bill Bryson or Dave Barry will enjoy. Hawks never takes himself or his fridge too seriously. By the end of the trip, both author and reader are a bit sorry that Ireland is so quickly circumnavigated.
Reviewed by clw, 7/01. Other reviews by clw.