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kerrypolka

Kerry

Hello! I live in London, and I like reading about history, travel and literature. I also like good non-fiction about things I don't know about yet, and adventures.

Currently reading

Eurydice Street: A Place in Athens
Sofka Zinovieff
Escape Routes: Control and Subversion in the 21st Century
Vassilis Tsianos, Dimitris Papadopoulos, Niamh Stephenson
Introducing Fascism: A Graphic Guide
Litza Jansz, Stuart Hood
Women, Travel Writing, and Truth
Clare Broome Saunders
Progress: 37 %
Harry Potter à l'école des sorciers
J.K. Rowling, Emily Walcker, Jean-François Ménard
Progress: 10 %

"Rule No. 5: No Sex on the Bus", by Brian Thacker

Rule No.5: No Sex on the Bus: Confessions of a Tour Leader - Brian Thacker

This was fine. Written by a tour guide of Europe booze cruises (well, bus tours) for 18- to 30-year-olds, this is a travelogue with a backstage (busfront?) look at the tours from the guide's perspective.

 

Thacker is pretty funny and I did enjoy the patronising yet affectionate tone in which he described his charges getting drunk, sleeping with each other, sleeping with locals, throwing up on locals, throwing up off the back of the bus, etc. He's like the gentle shepherd dog to a flock of naive, intoxicated sheep, staggering around from European city to city.

 

There is a bit too much about sex tourism - unlike college kids drinking $1 shots and bonking in the upper level of the bus, the institution of sex trade isn't particularly funny. Thacker also apparently liked to slip misinformation into his tour spiels and in the book shared his smug glee that no one on the tour caught on. I'm all for mocking stupid decisions but I can't fault young people for not already knowing the facts that he's supposed to be telling them. He also sneered at a girl who hadn't brought enough spending money for expensive Monaco, assuming she was too thoughtless to think ahead instead of possibly just unable to afford to bring more.

 

It was enjoyable reading about well-meaning young people making enthusiastically bad decisions, and Thacker has a good sense of imagery and comic timing. The book was fairly short, which was the correct length.

 

What this really made me want was a romantic comedy about a female tour guide and the driver on her tour, as they both drunkenly snogged their way through Europe only to realise what they really wanted...was each other.