'All I knew about Moldova were the names of eleven men printed on the inside back pages of my newspaper. None of them sounded to me like they were any good at tennis ...'
An eccentric wager finds Tony Hawks, a man who loves an unusual challenge, bound for the little-known Eastern European state of Moldova. His mission: to track down members of the country's football team and persuade them to play him at tennis. The bizarre quest ultimately has little to do with tennis or football, but instead turns into an extraordinary journey involving the Moldovan underworld, gypsies, chronic power shortages, near kidnap, and a surprisingly tender relationship with his host family.
Follow the fortunes of Tony in this hilarious and often moving adventure as it takes him from Moldova, onwards to Northern Ireland, leading to an exciting denouement in Nazareth - and the naked truth of the bet's final outcome ...
Even if you hate tennis and couldn't find Moldova on the map, you'll be charmed. Utterly recommended
Surprisingly touching as well as incredibly funny
I expected to find this book funny, which it is; I didn't expect to find it illuminating and rather moving, which it is too
This immensely readable account, enriched with moments of true hilarity is, quite honestly, a bit of a gem