Dave Gorman vs. the Rest of the World – Reviewed

Dave Gorman vs. the Rest of the World: Whatever the Game — Dave Takes on All Comers!Dave Gorman vs. the Rest of the World: Whatever the Game — Dave Takes on All Comers! by Dave Gorman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is as much about travel around Britain as it is about challenging people to games. As such, it is full of bits of entertaining trivia, e.g. Westward Ho! is the only place in Britain to have an exclamation mark in its official name. Learning the backstory of the town Lewes was nice, which sounds picturesque, perhaps best known for its outlandish effigies on bonfire night. He also deftly drops his cycling feat, of a prior cycling tour of Britain. It is an interesting experiment, announce on the internet that you’d like to play some games, what could go wrong?

Bits that really made me laugh out loud were, when he was playing poker and was called a cunt for winning a round adeptly. He descried the play in two forms, one technical and the other simple. At the end, he put himself being called a cunt in layman’s terms. There was an incident in Sheffield, where a man in his fifties indecently exposed himself at the train station to him. My home town also gets a name check and it’s intriguing to know what outsiders think of it. He is also bothered by a bunch of chavlets and alas hilariously succumbs to a trap laid by them.

It has also given me a long list of games I want to try myself, like Khet, Agricola and Cribbage being the main ones, (though Bluke, Smite, Kubb and Toad in the Hole sound interesting too).

I am somewhat skirting around the issue of the dramatic climax in the final chapters, which certainly put a new light on the whole book. If you don’t want that ruined, probably best not to read on. Inevitably, one of the people he meets up with is an absolute nutcase religious fanatic with an axe to grind. Naturally, he thinks the best way to convert Gorman is through the medium of a poorly designed board game and punching his opponent in the face. This was a rather shocking turn of events and I’m really surprised he didn’t report him to the police for assault. The warning signs were there in his demeanour and behaviour, though you can’t blame Gorman for not being able to avoid the situation entirely. To his credit, he goes on to meet people after the event, rightly concluding that they’re not all crazy like Steve.

Oi twat wiv a bag!

you cunt | lizzie called me a cunt

Oh well – maybe the [creationist] game isn’t very intelligently designed

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