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 they're up to, but who they fancy for the World Cup. He flings himself head first down the Cresta Run, sits in Stalin's 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. He's funny. Occasionally he makes a point.
Praise for "I Wouldn't Start from Here" "The best foreign correspondent of his generation." --P.J. O'Rourke "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 . . . it's 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 astu