Synopses & Reviews
Andrew Mueller is Australian by birth, a Londoner by choice, a wanderer by nature, and a journalist by profession. Unable to decide between being a rock critic, travel writer, or foreign correspondent, he hit upon the novel, if time-consuming, solution of trying to be all three at once. In Rock and Hard Places, published originally in the U.K. in 1999, now re-envisioned and updated and available for the first time in the United States, he travels to Lebanon with the Prodigy, comes to America with Radiohead, and goes all over the place with U2. He ventures to Bosnia Herzegovina with an aid convoy in the middle of the war, sees Def Leppard play in a cave in Morocco, and attempts to ask the Taliban not only what they think theyre up to, but who they fancy for the World Cup. He flings himself head first down the Cresta Run, sits in Stalins armchair, chases ambulances through Moscow, chases some kind of lost tribe in India, wakes up at least once in a park in Reykjavik, and strongly advises avoiding the seafood salad in Sapporo Airport. Hes funny. Occasionally he makes a point.
"London-based Aussie Mueller is the kind of adventure journalist who inserts himself into nearly every story; as a rock critic, travel writer and foreign correspondent, Mueller gives equal weight to encounters with customs officials and foreign dining experiences as he does war-zone reporting in Bosnia or buddying up to the Taliban in Afghanistan. In this collection of 28 pieces penned for non-U.S. periodicals, dating from the early 1990s on, Mueller showcases his broad range-everything from The Prodigy in Beirut to Bruce Springsteen in Middle America, from revisiting Chernobyl to his own book tour of Britain. While Mueller's snarky style (think a clean-mouthed Matt Taibbi) tends to marginalize nearly everything his sources say, he pens new introductions to each piece that are at least candid about his shortcomings: he admits that he was 'trying rather too hard' to insult L.A. in a 1991 story about Courtney Love, and apologizes to residents of Fredericton, New Brunswick, 'for the fusillade of cheap shots taken at their town' in a 1995 piece about Green Day's Canadian tour. Mueller's best stories are the ones in which he stays on topic, including pieces on Woodstock II, The Hold Steady and the Drive-By Truckers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Praise for I Wouldnt Start from Here
The best foreign correspondent of his generation.” P.J. ORourke
I am regularly lost. I ask people all the time for directions. They send me to places I never could have imagined . . . I usually want to enter these places when everyone else is queuing up to leave, oftentimes there's just one person in front of me, oftentimes it's Andrew Mueller . . . at the desk in the airport, or in the customs hall at the same counter as me, filling out a similar form. His face has the same expression every time . . . its a very familiar expression: comic disbelief. He can't believe it's happened to him again . . . he thinks it's the poor directions, the road maps or the unkind stranger who pointed him here. And where is here? Nowhere...it's not that he likes to be lost, it's just that he likes the company of the lost. Be very careful reading this book.” Bono
A 21st-century original; a fresh, irreverent, wry and jovial jaunt of a guidebook around our violent and baffling modern world.” The Guardian
A gung-ho Candide with a taste for places it is wiser to avoid. . . the reports collected in I Wouldn't Start From Here are graphic, comic, bemused and properly contemptuous of faith and ideology.” Jonathan Meades, Books of the Year,” Evening Standard
An utterly sui generis report from the world's plague-spots.” Michael Bywater, Books of the Year,” New Statesman
A tour-de-force of hilarious, harrowing and ultimately enlightening reportage that will remind readers of the work of P.J. O'Rourke, Jon Ronson and David Foster Wallace.” The Washington Times
His sardonic, self-deprecating perspective makes for unstuffy company.” The Los Angeles Times
Peppered with trenchant observations that reflect a nimble, cut-to-the-chase practicality, Mueller's interviews with everyone from terrorist warlords to international peacemakers are refreshingly irreverent yet astute.” Booklist
Brilliantly observed, articulate, often funny and immensely readable.” The List
About the Author
Andrew Mueller was born in Australia and is a London-based foreign correspondent, travel writer, rock critic, and author who has covered mishap, misadventure, and mayhem in more than seventy countries.