Dave Gorman vs The Rest Of The World – by Dave Gorman

11 02 2021

When I was putting together my Christmas list (I can hardly say “writing” my Christmas list when I was pulling links together!) I thought how there was only one Dave Gorman book I hadn’t read, and so it was about time I did!

It’s a very simple concept, one day Dave Gorman put a tweet out into the universe asking if anyone wanted to play a game (real life games, not video games). He got replies, and went to play games with those people! There’s a bit in the middle of the book where someone wants to work with him on this “project”, (he definitely has previous with “Googlewhack Adventure”, “Are you Dave Gorman”, and “America Unchained”) but he says no, it’s no project, just something he’s doing for fun in his time off…. He doesn’t explain how he got from there to publishing it in a book!

The games range from Ultimate Frisbee to an Egyptian laser chess game to Cluedo to a random Cornish skittles game. The book is just him talking about the experience, the places he went, the people he met, the games he played. And just with his eye for detail (enjoying the simplicity of Cribbage having 2 pegs for scoring so you never lose your place), and his gentle chatter, it’s a lovely book to read. He met some lovely people, and some complete weirdos (including people who play Monopoly with REAL money), both of which made for fun reading!

For most of the book he keeps a scoreboard of him vs the rest of the world, though it does seem to go missing for some of the middle of the book (And I’m not sure there was a final total)! And for the less common games he puts an explanation in a handy box so we know what’s going on. As a fan of structure, this was pretty pleasing.

As ever, some of my favourite quotes and observations from the book (the last one is the most beautiful):

  • “There’s something oddly energising about sparking a memory from nowhere like that. I don’t think it’s the memory itself that does it. I think it’s the excitement at discovering your brain is so much bigger than you realised.”
  • “At Stockport bus depot I stood and waited. There were maybe fifteen fellow travellers at the same bus stand, all eyeing each other up carefully. No queue had been formed but we’d all made a mental note of the order in which we’d arrived.”
  • “There’s an unhealthy part of my personality that tends to obsess and collect; that will take things to extremes. I can be a dog with a bone at times. But I didn’t want to let it happen again. Not with this. It wasn’t a treasure hunt. There wasn’t a prize for playing the most games in the shortest amount of time.”
  • “I feel naked if I’m not wearing a watch and yet, when I want to know the time, I sometimes find myself checking my phone first.”
  • “There are no referees in Ultimate. Ever. At any level. Messing around in the park? No ref. Playing a rival club? No ref. World Championship final? No ref. Players call their own fouls and have to settle their own disputes. If you’re going to play Ultimate, you just have to accept that paying the game fairly is more important than winning.”
  • “I would’nt describe Liskeard as a pretty place. It’s more prosaic than that. If you think of all the little villages around and about as gorgeous old vintage sports cars – high maintenance, impractical, but lovely for looking at – then Liskeard is the rusty but trusty family saloon. And while those vintage automobiles are all very well, when you want to do the shopping you know which car keys you pick up. (If you want to stick with this motoring analogy, it follows that Plymouth is, um … a transit van.”
  • “I have grown snobbish about the world world of ‘organised fun’. I suspect I’m not alone. Holiday camps? Karaoke? Guided coach trips? […] I instinctively recoil from such things but I don’t know why, because all empirical evidence suggests I’ll enjoy them.”
  • “When we throw our cynicism aside there’s so much more to enjoy.”





Found Poetry – by Dave Gorman

9 03 2019

I’m a huge Dave Gorman fan, the man is stupidly clever and also hilarious, and a complete geek – a superb combination! The YouTube video I send people most in this world, is below:

As part of his old radio shows, and then more recently as part of his “Modern Life is Goodish” (of which you can watch the most recent four seasons here), he shares Found Poems. He describes them as comments he’s found when searching “the bottom half of the internet”. Each one is themed around a news story, and he collates sentences from comments sections from different news websites, and the results are pure gold. Each one he reads out to the backing music of Handel’s Saranbade.

This collection was put together in 2012 so there are a few around the Royal Wedding, but the absolute best has to be the horse meat scandal – his performance of it is below, and if you enjoy it, just search “Dave Gorman Found Poem” on YouTube and you’ll find further examples!





Too Much Information – by Dave Gorman

8 05 2015

Or to give it its full title:

“Too Much Information …or can everyone just shut up for a moment, some of us are trying to think.” – by Dave Gorman

This book doesn’t follow a journey like America Unchained, Are You Dave Gorman, or Googlewhack Adventure, but instead takes all sorts of bits and pieces as bitesize chapters. There’s a lot of overlap with some of his stand up work, I’ve seen him live a couple of times and watched his show ‘Modern Life is Goodish‘ on Dave (the TV channel, not him!) and so some of it was familiar, and yet it was still just as funny to go through again!

This definitely covers some of the same material of the said TV show as the main gripe that he deals with in this book, is the fact that wherever we go these days we are bombarded with information everywhere. He shares anecdotes and geeky bits of information from all aspects of life. There’s a relatively hefty focus on social media and technology, which is to be expected, and advertising creeps in a lot as well.

One little detail which really lifts the book is that each time he references a story, a video, a website, or anything like that, he puts a little custom url in the footnotes so that you can type something nice and short into your web browser and find what he’s talking about!

Some of my favourite chapters would be:

  • If It Isn’t One of Your Greatest Hits Don’t Put It on a Greatest Hits Album
  • I Know They Make Make-Up But I Wonder How They Make Up the Things They Say Their Make-Up Can Do?
  • Why Do The Tweets You See in Smartphone Adverts Look Nothing Like the Tweets You See in Real Life?
  • If I Was a Shopkeeper and Someone Asked Me for a Badger Glove Puppet I Wouldn’t Come Back Offering Them a Book
  • Does Jesus Have an IMDb Page?
  • If the Third and Fourth Words of Your Advert Are Lies, What Are We Supposed to Think of the Rest of It?
  • Nobody Can Explain How They Know What a Trumpet Is. They Just Know
  • What Is the ‘Next Customer Please’ Sign Really a Sign of, Other Than Our Desire to Never Speak to One Another?
  • Kids Will Be Kids Will Be Spammers
  • Why Do the Phones In HTC’s Adverts All Show The Same Time?

I know that seems like a lot, but the book has 40 chapters, some only one page, some much longer – as I say, it’s relatively bitesize. A couple of them fit together, but if you really wanted it would probably work as a dip in and out book as well as a cover to cover read.

Hilarious, entertaining and insightful most definitely.

too much information





America Unchained – by Dave Gorman

8 01 2014

I have utterly loved joining in on the journey in this book.

The basic premise is that he buys an old second hand car, and tries to drive coast to coast across the USA without giving any money to chain stores. This means finding independent motels, restaurants, and petrol stations! I don’t think they even exist in the UK, and it turns out that in America they’re pretty few and far between as well!

The thing I love about Dave Gorman’s books is that they never end up being about what they’re meant to be about. His books always end up being about the people he meets on the way through his various adventures/challenges/whatever you want to call them (at least one or two fall under the heading “bets made whilst drunk”!). Plus the whole way through I had utterly no idea if he’d even manage to complete it (and I won’t spoil it for you) – I was definitely kept guessing.

One of the most fascinating sections for me, oddly, was when he visited a town with a high population of Mormons. He looked into it a bit and thoroughly explained (far beyond any level of knowledge I had previously) what they were about, what they believed, where Mormonism originates from – anything you’d ever want to know. I’ll be honest, he doesn’t portray them positively, but then from what I’ve now learnt, I do understand why! I won’t say any more as I don’t want to offend, but it’s definitely interesting, and I’m more educated than I was.

A highly recommended book. I started it in Uganda because the book I was reading at the time was too heavy to take with me, and then picked it up again last month when I finished the large book. Since then I barely put it down. It had me picking it up whenever I could, which I think is always a strong recommendation 🙂

america unchained





The Thursday Murder Club – by Richard Osman

3 07 2021

I was so proud of myself for waiting for the paperback of this to come out, I’ve wanted to read it for ages! My parents gave it to me for my birthday, with my mum asking as I unwrapped it, if she could borrow it when I’m done! (Of course I said yes!)

Cooper’s Chase is an upmarket retirement village built up around an old convent in Kent, and four residents (Joyce, Elizabeth, Ibrahim and Ron) meet on a Thursday in the Jigsaw Room and go through old unsolved murder cases to see what they can discover.

But then there’s a murder in the village, and they decide to do what they can to investigate. They’re a bit rebellious, not always keeping the police informed when they discover something, and then wanting to trade information with them!

It’s a lovely bunch of people, all with really defined characters, there’s a decent backstory to each of the police officers involved too. It’s so so weird that a murder mystery could be warm and fuzzy, but it is!

Also, because Richard Osman wrote it, there are obviously some random thoughts he’s thrown in, including an excellent analysis of Escape to the Country which Dave Gorman would be proud of, and insistence on the correct way to work through a double layered box of biscuits, the idea of retirement village developers looking for 60+ year olds in Waitrose cafes, and this highly relatable line: “He had read a headline about Diet Coke once, which was so worrying he had chosen not to read the article.”

My only slight slight niggle? I don’t understand why there’s a dog on the cover – any insight is welcome!





Friday five favourite: Jay Foreman Songs

6 11 2015

Last week I shared with you my five favourite comedians, but this gentleman I left until this week so that I could share with you five of my favourite songs of his. Jay Foreman is a comedy musician. I discovered him when he was the warm up act for Dave Gorman who was featured last week, and he really was superb! Enjoy 🙂

The Sooty Show

Royal Wedding

Moon Chavs

What else has Dick Van Dyke been in?

Stealing Food





Friday five favourite: Comedians

30 10 2015

I love a bit of comedy, who doesn’t?! I’ll nearly always pick something light to watch over something heavy. I’d say my list of favourite comedians is quite mixed – some very mainstream, some much more obscure that you may well not have heard of (unless I’ve talked your ear off about them already!) Maybe you’ll find something new that you like here today! In most cases I’ve just picked one clip per comedian, but if you like it, go on Youtube to find more! Most of these clips are fairly random samples. Here we go, and as always, these are in no particular order:

Dave Gorman – I couldn’t decide which clip I liked more so you get 2 as a bonus!

Milton Jones

Michael McIntyre

Dara O’Briain

Adam Hills

I also really enjoy Jay Foreman who is a comedy musician, so I’ve decided that instead of including him in here, I’ll do my Friday Five Favourite Jay Foreman songs soon 🙂





Monkey tail beards

14 06 2011

I learnt something new today, courtesy of the latest Stuff Christians Like blogpost:

“Recently, a friend of mine told me that the David Crowder Band was breaking up. I like them, both musically and beardedly. In that order. I never put a person’s facial hair above their music. That’s one of the rules I live my life by. Unless they’ve got a monkey tail, which apparently is a thing now.

What’s that you say? Well, you grow one sideburn very long. Then you grow it into a beard that goes down one side of your face, over your chin and finally curves under your nose like the tail of a monkey. Then you move to Brooklyn.”

I googled and found you an example
monkey tail beard

I think this falls under the thing-that-would-be-fun-to-do-as-you-shave-off-a-beard-but-not-to-keep category! I wonder if Dave Gorman had this in his list of drawings when he nearly shaved his beard in his Googlewhack Adventure…?





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