Tag: Round Ireland with a Fridge

Tony Hawks – A Piano in the Pyrenees | Review

Title: A Piano in the Pyrenees

Author: Tony Hawks

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 312

Rating: 4/5

This non-fiction book tells the story of what happened when a middle-aged British comedian called Tony Hawks decided to buy a house in France, almost on a whim. He also decided to take his piano over there so that he could finally learn to play the thing.

It was a fun little book, and overall I found it to be a pleasure to work my way through it. My only real complaint would be that the pacing was a little off, in that it felt as though the whole book covered a period of just a couple of months or so.

Other than that though, there were some great little insights into French culture here, as well as a few smatterings of French dialogue that were enjoyable for me as someone who’s slowly but surely trying to learn the language. There were also some great little examples of culture shock or of misunderstandings, particularly when Hawks was trying to navigate the complicated French legal landscape to purchase properties and to build swimming pools, despite being utterly useless at assembling basic flat packs.

I’ve read a couple of Hawks’ other books at this point, and tonality and sense of humour wise, it’s pretty similar to those. That means that if you enjoyed Round Ireland with a Fridge, for example, then you’re probably going to enjoy this one too. Sure, his sense of humour might not be quite right for everyone, but Hawks has always made me laugh and he did so here, too.

There were occasional borderline sexist comments in it here and there, but then I suppose that gave it a certain sense of realness. He was a single bloke surrounded by Frenchwomen, after all. But overall, yeah.

Learn more about A Piano in the Pyrenees.

 


Tony Hawks – One Hit Wonderland | Review

Title: One Hit Wonderland

Author: Tony Hawks

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 310

Rating: 4/5

I picked this one up after seeing it in a charity shop and reading and enjoying Round Ireland with a Fridge. Hawks has a quirky sense of humour, but it’s one of the rare instances where someone’s sense of humour comes across really well in the written page and where it doesn’t annoy me.

Here, we basically follow what happens when Hawks decides to head abroad to try to record a follow up to a one hit wonder that he had before I was even born. He meets a colourful supporting cast of characters along the way of course, and overall we end up with a fun little book that you can whizz through in a couple of days.

I actually read this while everyone was locked down because of Coronavirus, and it was the perfect read for that because it helped to take my mind away to a time where the world wasn’t quite in the state that it’s in today. It’s weird, I haven’t seen anyone I know for a week or so, and so just the very idea of going outside and spending time with people feels like something I did half a year away.

All in all then, I was pretty happy with this book and I still plan to eventually read everything that Hawks has published. The list is disappointingly short, and he must be about due something by now, but perhaps he’s no longer taking silly bets and going off on crazy madcap adventures. I don’t know, I haven’t looked him up.

Would I recommend this one? Definitely, and it’s actually one of those where I think you’ll find something no matter what kind of stuff you normally read. It’s just loads of fun.

Learn more about One Hit Wonderland.