Round Ireland with a Fridge (a chronicle of his efforts to make good on a liquor-sodden wager to hitchhike Ireland "/>

PLAYING THE MOLDOVANS AT TENNIS

Tony Hawks, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $23.95 (248p) ISBN 978-0-312-28010-9

The follow-up to British comedian Hawks's Round Ireland with a Fridge (a chronicle of his efforts to make good on a liquor-sodden wager to hitchhike Ireland with a refrigerator in tow) employs a similarly ridiculous premise. While watching a football game between Moldova and England, Hawks, an ex-junior-tennis-champion, and his friend argue the importance of technique in sportsmanship. The conversation culminates in a ridiculous bet; Hawks must beat the Moldovan football team at tennis, or else strip naked in a London street and sing the Moldovan anthem. What follows is an oddball travelogue spanning Moldova, Northern Ireland and Israel as Hawks tracks down and plays each team member. Hawks, who admits to knowing nothing about Moldova, offers few insights about the country; his socioeconomic and cultural observations lean toward the superficial. However, Hawks offers plenty of easy laughs (mostly at his own expense) as he brazenly and good-naturedly takes on local bureaucrats, would-be capitalists and seemingly insurmountable language barriers in pursuit of an admittedly pointless goal. "Things can be done," Hawks notes as he gears up for the journey. "The people in life who get them done are the ones who know that, and the ones who don't are the rest." Noting his reliance on the kindness of others, Hawks engages in a social experiment, demonstrating the willingness of strangers to help another achieve even the most whimsical of goals. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2001
Release date: 06/01/2001
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