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Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

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REVIEW | The Ridiculous Race by Steve Hely & Vali Chandrasekaran (Henry Holt)

The Ridiculous Race is an aptly titled hilarious travel narrative of two friends racing around the world in opposite directions for an expensive bottle of scotch. The twist is no airplanes are allowed. Both authors are comedy writers on different major shows. Hely for American Dad and Chandrasekaran for My Name is Earl. Judging from the writing I would have thought they'd be writing for the opposite shows just based on how off-the-wall Chandrasekaran antic's are and how grounded Hely seems. Chandrasekaran is most definitely not against pulling something underhanded and starts off shamefully with a scene involving a pair of hand-cuffs. The Ridiculous Race grew out of one Steve and Vali's friendly get-togethers in which they always try to out do one another. One almost thinks that they actually wanted to write a book together before they decided what it would be. Nevertheless, the outcome is a hilarious journey around the world by two guys without a clue. The narrative switches between Hely and Chandrasekaran from their sometime immature points of view, which makes this a very breezy read. Chandrasekaran certainly causes a lot of comedic scenes along the way as it seems like he would love to cause an international incident, while Hely is a little too planned out at times although about halfway around the world he loses the drive in the race and decides to just have a good time. Not to say Hely is less funny than Chandrasekaran as Hely certainly has a way with words. When he described a sauce he tried as turtle mucus I couldn't stop laughing for a couple pages. Yeah it is that type of humor at times. If you've been in the mood for some traveling and can't get away this will give a good flavor of travel abroad as each author visits many wonderful places and describes them differently than most other writers ever would. I give The Ridiculous Race 7.5 out of 10 hats for the pure entertainment value. Also, if you are into humor it will certainly leave you chuckling here or there. Chandrasekaran certainly has a slapstick style of humor all his own. Book link: US UK Canada

2 comments:

Grand Weirdinian said...

And yet another book that looks incredibly interesting that I would've never found out about if not for the Mad Hatter. I'm definitely going to check this one out.

The Mad Hatter said...

Thank you. I try to mix it up a bit. My reading is a bit erratic and sometime I get tired of what everyone else is reading. However, sometimes what everyone else is reading sounds so good I have to give it a try. You should see a few more non-ficiton reviews over the summer as well as I tend to read travel related books this time a year.