Kerry's Reviews > An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington

An Idiot Abroad by Karl Pilkington
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's review
Jul 03, 2011

it was ok
Read from July 03 to December 22, 2011

I listened to the Ricky Gervais podcast (the free one) and through Karl was the best thing about it. Most of it centers around calling him an idiot, which I don't think probably accurate. He mostly seems to have a weird view of the world. It made me realize that Ricky perhaps comes up with good material (or maybe is good at finding funny people) but as a comedian (or actor), I just don't get it. Mostly he seems to shriek with laughter and yell 'isn't that funny'. Well, maybe, but you are not really contributing to the funniness.

Here Ricky and Stephen Merchant send Karl around the world, ostensibly to expand his horizons, but lots of it just comes across as spiteful and mean. This all probably worked better as a tv show (didn't see it), as a diary it was at first interesting but became a bit repetitious. The second half is pretty much the same old stuff as the first but just in different places. And underneath, it just felt uncomfortable, the feeling of meanness behind lots of the journeys. And the title, Karl just seems sad and resigned when it is decided it will be 'An Idiot Abroad' instead of 'Karl Sees the Seven Wonders' (or different variations of that).

All, in all, I don't think this book gave me much more of Karl than I got from the podcast. However, it did firm up my conviction that Ricky Gervais is a pretty unpleasant person.

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