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TV and radio comedian Tony Hawks regularly pops up on shows like Have I Got News for You, QI, Just A Minute and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. He is the bestselling author of five books including Round Ireland with a Fridge and Playing the Moldovans at Tennis which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. His books have sold over 1 million copies around the world. He now lives in Devon with his partner, Fran.
You can take the man out of the city, but is the countryside ready for him? Comedian and born and bred townie, Tony Hawks is not afraid of a challenge - or indeed a good bet. He's hitchhiked round Ireland with a fridge and taken on the Moldovan football team at tennis, one by one. Now the time has come for his greatest gamble yet - turning his back on comfortable city life to move to the wilds of the West Country. With his partner Fran in tow and their first child on the way, he embraces the rituals of village life with often absurd and hilarious results, introducing us to an ensemble of eclectic characters along the way. One minute he's taking part in a calamitous tractor run, the next he's chairing a village meeting, but of course he still finds time for one last solo adventure before fatherhood arrives - cycling coast to coast with a mini pig called Titch. In the epic battle of man vs countryside, who will win out?
'All I knew about Moldova were the names of eleven men printed on the inside back pages of my newspaper. None of them sounded to me like they were any good at tennis ...' An eccentric wager finds Tony Hawks, a man who loves an unusual challenge, bound for the little-known Eastern European state of Moldova. His mission: to track down members of the country's football team and persuade them to play him at tennis. The bizarre quest ultimately has little to do with tennis or football, but instead turns into an extraordinary journey involving the Moldovan underworld, gypsies, chronic power shortages, near kidnap, and a surprisingly tender relationship with his host family. Follow the fortunes of Tony in this hilarious and often moving adventure as it takes him from Moldova, onwards to Northern Ireland, leading to an exciting denouement in Nazareth - and the naked truth of the bet's final outcome ...
For more than twenty years, Tony Hawks has been mistaken for Tony Hawk, the American skateboarder. Even though it is abundantly clear on his website that he is an English comedian and author, people still write to him asking the best way to do a kickflip or land a melon. One mischievous day he started writing back in a pompous tone, goading his correspondents for their spelling mistakes and poor grammar, while offering bogus or downright silly advice on how to improve their skateboarding. Featuring entries on parents' pain, disappointment, underachievers, Quorn and the Vatican, this is his A to Z guide to the world of skateboarding, as seen through the eyes of someone who knows absolutely nothing about it.
Waking in the middle of the night whilst on holiday, Tony Hawks declares an epiphany to his barely conscious partner Fran. Fed up of living in a city where the only contact with his neighbours in three years was a dispute over a boundary fence, his mind has been made up and it's time for a change... of postcode. At the age of 53, Tony is finally ready to renounce his London lifestyle and head for the countryside, and to his enormous surprise, Fran agrees. Once Upon a Time in the West... Country tells the story of how a series of events lead Tony and Fran to uproot their city lives for a rural alternative in deepest Devon. Full of Tony's trademark mixture of humour, hope, adventure and absurdity, this book will chart their journey as they adapt from the relative ease of city life to the vagaries of a village community. But between organic gardening courses, attending village meetings and the impending birth of his first child, Tony still has time for one last adventure, cycling coast to coast with a mini pig called Titch. Full of eclectic characters - including the best neighbour in the world - Once Upon a Time in the West... Country is the heartwarming and hilarious tale of Tony Hawks' new life in the country.
Many moons ago, a foolhardy attempt to win a drunken bet resulted in Tony Hawks embarking on one of the most unforgettable experiences of his life. Joined by his trusty travelling companion-cum-domestic appliance - i.e. his fridge - he found himself in the midst of a remarkable, inspirational and, at times, downright silly adventure. His journey was chronicled in a book that would go on to be an international bestseller - Round Ireland with a Fridge. In The Fridge-Hiker's Guide to Life, Tony looks back on what he learnt on his quixotic quest. Namely: if all you have between birth and death is a journey, and if the journey is all we have, then wouldn't it be best to make it fun? Such is the Philosophy of the Fridge. Reflecting on the many encounters he had along the way - occasionally fraught, frequently hilarious and sometimes poignant - and the colourful cast of characters he met, Tony realises that following mantras as simple as 'Do something silly' or 'Find the courage to follow your intuition' can make a huge difference in making life that little bit more enjoyable. Witty, charming and uplifting, The Fridge-Hiker's Guide will make you look at both life and your kitchen appliances in a whole new way...
'If you had to pick two things you wanted - if you had to - what would you pick?' I hesitated. This was a bigger question than usually got asked at these post-match debriefs. 'I suppose the honest answer would be,' I said, still accessing the last pieces of required data from a jumbled mind, 'meeting my soul mate, and finding an idyllic house abroad somewhere.' Inspired by breathtaking views and romantic dreams of finding love in the mountains, Tony Hawks impulsively buys a house in the French Pyrenees. Here, he plans to finally fulfil his childhood fantasy of mastering the piano, untroubled by the problems of the world. In reality, the chaotic story of Tony's hopelessly ill-conceived house purchase reads like the definitive guide to how not to buy a house in France. It finds him flirting with the removal business in a disastrous attempt to transport his piano to France in a dodgy white van; foolishly electing to build a swimming pool himself; and expanding his relationship repertoire when he starts co-habiting, not with an exquisite French beauty, but with a middle-aged builder from West London. As Tony and his friends haplessly attempt to fit into village life, they learn more about themselves and each other than they ever imagined.
Whilst in Ireland for an International Song Competition, Tony Hawks was amazed to see a hitch-hiker, trying to thumb a lift, but with a fridge. This seemed amazingly optimistic - his Irish friends, however thought nothing of it at all. 'I had clearly arrived in a country', writes Tony, 'where the qualifications for 'eccentric' involved a great deal more than that to which I had become used'. Two years pass but the fridge incident haunts our author. Until one night, heavy with drink, he finds himself arguing about Ireland with a friend. It is, he insists, a 'magical place', so magical in fact, that a man could even get a lift with a fridge. The next morning there is a note by the bed. 'I hereby bet Tony Hawks the sum of One Hundred Pounds that he cannot hitch-hike around the circumference of Ireland with a fridge within one calendar month'. The document was signed. The bet was made. This audiobook is the story of Tony's adventures through that incredible month. The people he meets, the difficulties, the triumphs. The fridge.
It's 1988 and radios across the land blast out the Top Ten hit 'Stutter Rap' by Morris Minor and the Majors. The man behind the fake moustache is Tony Hawks. Fast forward to the 21st century and those heady days of pop stardom are a distant memory. That is, until it is suggested that Tony is just another One Hit Wonder. Really? We'll have to see about that ... For two years Tony struggles to have a hit somewhere, anywhere, in the world, changing acts and styles with a bewildering lack of integrity. From Nashville to Amsterdam, from Eastern Europe to Africa, he travels the globe in search of that elusive hit. But it's only after a chance encounter with Norman Wisdom that things get really strange. Is it really possible that together they could storm the Albanian charts? In One Hit Wonderland anything can happen ...
'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' A foolhardy attempt to win a drunken bet led to Tony Hawks having one of the most unforgettable experiences of his life. Joined by his trusty travelling-companion-cum-domestic-appliance, he found himself in the midst of a remarkable, inspirational and, at times, downright silly adventure. In their month of madness, Tony and his fridge surfed together; entered a batchelor festival; and one of them had sex without the other knowing. The fridge got christened, and they even met the poorest king on Earth. An absurd story of an extraordinary adventure, Round Ireland with a Fridge follows the fearless pair as they battle towards Dublin and a breathtaking finale that is moving, uplifting, and a fitting conclusion to the whole ridiculous affair.