Playing the Moldovans at Tennis
By Tony Hawks
(Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9780312280109, 256pp.)
Publication Date: June 2001
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It doesn't take much - "£100 is usually sufficient" - to persuade Tony Hawks to take off on notoriously bizarre and hilarious adventures in response to a bet. And so it is, a pointless argument with a friend concludes in a bet - that Tony can't beat all eleven members of the Moldovan soccer team at tennis. And with the loser of the bet agreeing to strip naked on Balham High Road and sing the Moldovan national anthem, this one was just too good to resist.
The ensuing unpredictable and often hilarious adventure sees him being taken in by Moldovan gypsies and narrowly avoid kidnap in Transnistria. It sees him smuggle his way on to the Moldovan National Team coach in Coleraine and witness (almost) divine intervention in the Holy Land.
In this inspiring and exceptionally funny book, Tony Hawks has done it again, proving against all odds that there is no reason in the world why you can't do something a bit stupid and prove all of your doubters wrong. Or at least that was the idea....
Tony Hawks is a London-based writer and comedian who makes regular appearances on British TV and radio. Playing the Moldovans at Tennis is his second book, and if you have not already done so, he strongly urges you to buy his first book Round Ireland With a Fridge, a surreal adventure prompted by a £100 bet. Unlike most authors, Tony has singularly failed to settle down and live in the country with a wife and four children. This, however, is his ambition.
"Hawks's comedic talent comes across well in the written form...he has a breezy, witty style that makes the book extremely enjoyable...Hawks is not only a crazy comic but a keen observer of the human experience." - The San Francisco Chronicle
"This is an extremely entertaining book...A real treat for fans of the weird, the silly, and the out-of-left-field." - Booklist (starred review)
"[Hawks's] account of his travels to Moldova, Transnistria, Northern Ireland, and Israel to track down those worthy opponents may remind some readers of Bill Bryson, except that Hawks is genuinely funny and doesn't have to reach to get a laugh." - Kirkus Reviews