Reviews: Are you Dave Gorman & Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure

July 23rd, 2004

Yes, images pinched from Amazon. Go buy!I’m the sort of bloke who’s fairly happy to spend my holiday sitting on the beach with a good book for company. This year we were in a bit of a rush to get ready so I had to make a good choice of reading matter in the five minutes allotted to WHSmith. I don’t know how or why but “Are You Dave Gorman” seemed to jump out at me from the shelf. I’d not seen any of the stand up comedian’s routines before and was only vaguely aware of what he looked like thanks to various appearances on TV to promote his latest book “Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack adventure”. I was taking a bit of a gamble with this one. Since we were jetting off to Rhodes that evening I wasn’t going to have too much time to regret my decision and buy another book from the WHSmith in Birmingham airport. Well the gamble paid off.

Are you Dave Gorman proved to be a highly entertaining read. Written by Mr. Gorman and his journalist flatmate, Danny Wallace (if you’re a Southampton fan like me then it’s not who you’re thinking of), the book is a factual account of how a drunken pub-bet turned into a six month gallivant around the globe in search of people called Dave Gorman. It’s a strange and pointless quest that Dave is determined to complete. If Danny hadn’t bet Dave that he couldn’t meet 54 Dave Gorman’s (one for every card in the deck) then this book wouldn’t exist. And my life would be much emptier as a result. I don’t know if it’s something to do with being in the same age and gender bracket as the authors but it was a story to which I could thoroughly relate. It’s the sort of crazy thing you do as a carefree student. Difference here being that both are past that frivolous student time and spending ridiculous amounts of cash to go to Scotland, France, America and more without any particular hope of paying it back. Dave funded the whole thing with credit cards and ignored all the bills. Doubtlessly, he probably paid back his loans with the cash from the resultant book and TV series. Wallace plays a great hard-done-by sidekick and we sympathise with him as his girlfriend, Hanne, gets a little annoyed that he’s spending all his time searching for Dave Gorman’s! I defy anybody to not enjoy this book. It’s well-written, never loses pace and is definitely one you find difficult to put down. Reading this book was one of the highlights of my holiday. When I got back I just had to read�

Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack adventure: is a much more soberly written book. The energy and enthusiasm is still there but the lack of Wallace’s input into the ‘adventure’ leaves us without anybody to question Dave’s equally crazy task: to get ten googlewhacks in a row before his 32nd birthday. It’s quite a thing to explain but basically the task involves using the Google search-engine to type two dictionary-define words that lead to just one resultant web site. The book has lots of diagrams and in-depth explanation as to how this works which inevitably leads it into being a slightly less accessible book to the predecessor. Still, if you’re internet-savvy, you’ll find this to be an amusing yarn. Whilst he didn’t set out to write this book (indeed most of it involves him doing anything but write a book) he was under some degree of pressure to get out some product. He paints himself as being a more grown up Dave Gorman with a beard. Whilst in Texas he has a tattoo of himself with a beard painted onto his arm (one of the story’s highlights). His attempts at distancing himself from the carefree DG who wrote “Are you Dave Gorman” mean there’s a lot more self-analysis and emotion talked about within the pages. In the previous book Danny had taken care of this side of things. And he did it in a more amusing way. There’s not so much a sense on kinship and fun in Googlewhack but it is a great read nonetheless. Now to seek out Wallace’s novel “Join me”…

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