Spending a night out in the former battlefields of Beirut wouldn't strike many people as their idea of a good time. But then, neither would going to see a Def Leppard concert in a Moroccan cave. Yet Andrew Mueller has willingly done both and somehow managed to see the humorous side. Rock And Hard Places
, his first book, recounts his experiences in such far-flung places as Kabul and the Woodstock II festival. Throughout, he seems constantly amazed by people's ability to survive any hardship, whether they're caused by mines or mud.
Rock And Hard Places is half travel literature, half rock literature. In the spirit--and style--of American humorist P.J. O'Rourke, Andrew Mueller seeks out the world's trouble spots (and Nashville) in order to provide a frank report to the non-political reader. His common-sense outlook and innocence influence his observations, so that he is constantly asking "Why?" when faced with the absurdities of the wider world. He is at his best (and funniest) when he is able to direct this curiosity towards the locals.
When he's not charming militant fundamentalists, Andrew Mueller spends his time as a freelance music journalist. This book also collects a number of his interviews with some of the biggest bands of the moment, including Radiohead, U2 and The Prodigy. He is a talented interviewer, with a casualness and a sense of ease that enables you to see these bands as the collections of individuals that they are. --Robert Burrow
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Praise for "I Wouldn't Start from Here" "The best foreign correspondent of his generation." --P.J. O'Rourke "I am regularly lost. I ask people all the time for directions. They send me to places I never could have imagined . . . I usually want to enter these places when everyone else is queuing up to leave, oftentimes there's just one person in front of me, oftentimes it's Andrew Mueller . . . at the desk in the airport, or in the customs hall at the same counter as me, filling out a similar form. His face has the same expression every time . . . it's a very familiar expression: comic disbelief. He can't believe it's happened to him again . . . he thinks it's the poor directions, the road maps or the unkind stranger who pointed him here. And where is here? Nowhere...it's not that he likes to be lost, it's just that he likes the company of the lost. Be very careful reading this book." --Bono "A 21st-century original; a fresh, irreverent, wry and jovial jaunt of a guidebook around our violent and baffling modern world." "--The Guardian" "A gung-ho Candide with a taste for places it is wiser to avoid. . . the reports collected in "I Wouldn't Start From Here" are graphic, comic, bemused and properly contemptuous of faith and ideology." --Jonathan Meades, "Books of the Year," "Evening Standard" "An utterly "sui generis" report from the world's plague-spots." --Michael Bywater, "Books of the Year," "New Statesman" "A tour-de-force of hilarious, harrowing and ultimately enlightening reportage that will remind readers of the work of P.J. O'Rourke, Jon Ronson and David Foster Wallace." "--The Washington Times" "His sardonic, self-deprecating perspective makes for unstuffy company." "--The Los Angeles Times" "Peppered with trenchant observations that reflect a nimble, cut-to-the-chase practicality, Mueller's interviews with everyone from terrorist warlords to international peacemakers are refreshingly irreverent yet astu
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