Googlewhack: a single result when you search for a combination of two words on the search engine Google.
Stand up comedian Dave Gorman has turned 31, and decides it’s time to grow up. He’s going to grow a beard, write a novel, and put his youthful folly behind him. But a random email from a stranger distracts him from the novel, and he soon finds himself on a trail to find 10 googlewhacks in a row, and meet the owners/authors of the sites where the googlewhacks were found. The rules of the game are: he cannot find anymore googlewhacks himself, but every googlewhack he meets must find him two more, and so on. And he has to find his chain of 10 before he turns 32.
Dave’s quest takes him from different parts of America, to China, to Australia, and Wales – amongst other places. He meets a man who collects pictures of women and dogs (more innocent than it sounds) a group of Mini enthusiasts, an American who takes him into Mexico to buy Coke (the legal kind) and pharmacueticals, a professor in Creationism, and many more interesting and varied people.
The book is genuinely hilarious in parts – I constantly found myself either bursting into laughter or at least having a quiet giggle to myself. Dave experienced various highs and lows along the way (some of his googlewhack chains came to a dead end), and the reader experiences them all with him. At times it seemed so unbelieveable that if it had been written as a novel, I might have found the plotline too far-fetched.
And speaking of a novel…the whole time that Dave is on his googlewhacking quest, he is also avoiding calls from his agent and the publisher with whom he struck his literary deal. But he knows that whatever the outcome he’s going to face the music at some point…
This is a light hearted, hugely enjoyable read, which I would definitely recommend. (And incidentally, it sounds as though it should be fairly easy to find a googlewhack – but looking at some of the googlewhacks which were found in this story, it’s clear that some imagination needs to be used!)
(Dave Gorman’s website can be found here.)