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Author/food writer/blogger/critic/”Calvin & Hobbes” aficionado (and former music industry insider) Nevin Martell delivers what I think is his finest book to date – a loving and laughable look at life on vacation with his family during his formative years.  I suppose reading it may make you think of National Lampoon’s Vacation mixed with a colorful travelogue that you may see on the Travel Channel – that’s what this memoir conjures up.  Delivered in Martell’s witty, urbane manner, you can almost (at points, nauseatingly) imagine yourself as part of the ups-and-downs.  Even the downright harrowing prologue is told in a laughable manner.  Full marks to Mr. Martell for knowing how to tell a story with the right amount of spices.

The closeness/bond he shares with his parents and sister are especially sweet; from the oddball plane ride in New Zealand to getting seasick while fishing for skipjack tuna in the South Pacific, this book is more than enough to entertain – it also warms you and may even give you the wanderlust.

All in all, a great read and, I hope, a hit.


“Freak Show Without a Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations” will be released June 24th, 2014.

About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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