A man can travel well and he can travel badly*. The hero of Randy Ross’s God Bless Cambodia is on the ‘badly’ end of the scale. At 48 Randy Burns is tired of ‘the miserable game’ (dating). He has been laid off from his job. His friends are getting paired up and unavailable to him. And then in a bookshop he comes across a travel guide that promises marvels and delights if he were to take a four month tour of the world on the cheap. It is lying.
A succession of red-eye flights takes Randy through South America, Europe, Africa and the far east, searching for romance, but more often discovering that he had arrived out of season.
Randy, the author, mines a rich seam of comedy in the misery of a certain kind of American man out of his comfort zone. Paul Theroux and Bill Bryson it is not. But then maybe Bill Bryson has never tried to hire a ‘money-honey’ girlfriend in Thailand. Tim talked with Randy on skype while somebody was fixing Randy’s roof. With a hammer.
*Women always travel well.