"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
"I can think of no more entertaining companion on a perilous journey than the ever hopeful, wildly optimistic yet clear-thinking Andrew Mueller."
- Rory MacLean, The Guardian
"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
"Unafraid to portray the world's warring people not just as victims and sufferers of legitimate grievances, but also as bloody-minded bastards and ill-informed fools."
- The Kathmandu Post
"A mix of dark humour and incisive political discourse."
- CNN Go
"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."
"Travel writing in the danger zone that maintains its hipness and humanity."
- George Dunford, Books of the Year, Readings Monthly
"An addition to the genre founded by P.J. O'Rourke's 'Holidays In Hell', but it is one that pushes the boundaries."
- The Australian
"Mueller is the embodiment of what can happen with a fire in the belly and a desire to write out loud."
- Australian Book Review
"Mueller's travel writing is as incisive and entertaining as anything he's ever written about music."
- Financial Times
- The New Statesman
"Alternately chilling, funny and surprising, there's some great reportage here as Mueller struggles to reach an understanding of the world, quizzing the highest minister and the lowliest peasant."
- The Glasgow Herald
"His acerbic wit is matched by true empathy. . . we need this kind of gonzo journalism more than ever."
"Mueller spins what could have been the grimmest geopolitics into the finest black comedy. Like a print version of 'The Daily Show'."
"Lively reporting from a gently humorous narrator."
- Chris Ayres, The Times
"Touching, often blackly comic reportage."
"Brilliantly observed, articulate, often funny and immensely readable."
- The List
"Snappy, self-deprecating and sometimes outright hilarious."
- The Age
"Indelibly humorous and heartfelt."
- Sydney Sunday Telegraph
"An instructive ricochet between cities and continents and war zones."
- Time Out
"He brings to his material the mixture of rage and earthy irony that is the mark of a great satirist
. . . rewarding, thought-provoking and ludicrously funny."
"Mueller's book is an excellent example of why today's brave, lucid hacks are forced to admit fear and confusion."
- South China Morning Post
"His reporting is sharp, his experiences terrifying and funny."
- Melbourne Herald-Sun
"If you enjoy your international affairs and politics with a good dose of cynicism and black humour, then this book is one to read."
- Brisbane Courier-Mail
"Often laugh-out-loud funny, the writing is utterly engaging."
- Launceston Sunday Examiner
"Mueller's irreverent reportage from abroad is fundamentally a clever cover for the author's ruminations on race, religion, revolution, rock'n'roll and other important issues since September 11, 2001."
- The West Australian
"As hilarious and sardonic a host as this ridiculous world of ours demands."
"Mueller busies himself with finding the odd, the surreal and the laughable as much as the shocking and upsetting."
- New Zealand Herald
"A real eye for surreal moments of black humour. . . Mueller's work here digs much deeper than the standard newspaper travel essay."
- Sydney Sun-Herald
"His best story, about his brief, bizarre jailing in Cameroon, reads like a 21st century 'Goon Show' script."
- Good Reading
"A rollicking ride through some of the world's scariest scenarios."
- Kalgoorlie Miner
"A strikingly funny book about some seriously unfunny places."
- Perth Sunday Times
"Not bad for a guy from Wagga Wagga."
- The Wagga Wagga Advertiser
"Andrew Mueller's piece about my band's tour with The Hold Steady is my favourite thing ever written about us. The fact that he is a war correspondent (though he claims otherwise) and music journalist and
approaches both with a similar slant makes him one of the most interesting
writers out there to me."
- Patterson Hood, Drive-By Truckers
"The most important critical anthology on popular music from a single author in a long time, its humour and insight equal with collections by Nick Tosches or Robert Palmer."
- KEXP Seattle
"The most enjoyable travel book of 2010."
- Sydney Morning Herald
"Take one part P.J. O'Rourke, a healthy dose of Lester Bangs and a dash of Hunter S. Thompson, and you've got Andrew Mueller."
"This is a wonderful, exuberant and eccentric collection of articles."
- The Sydney Morning Herald
"Sharply observed and wittily constructed."
- Honolulu Star-Advertiser
"Andrew Mueller plays the hapless hack brilliantly, with lashings of irreverence and self-deprecating humour."
- The Age
"New edition of the rock classic."
- NY Press
"Mueller's humour makes for some enlightening reading."
- Biloxi-Gulfport Sun-Herald
"Sharp, witty and sarcastic."
- Chicago Tribune
"Equally hilarious and insightful music journalism and foreign correspondence."
- The Vine
"Gonzo journalism at its finest."
"Really rather good, in a barnstorming, country-punk sort of way. . . a highly capable ensemble."
- The Quietus
"Guaranteed to raise a chuckle, if not a tear."
"A more than capable debut - allusive country-tough songs."
"The Blazing Zoos are undoubtedly fun, but they also have depth. . .
everything from Mueller's extensive use of brackets to the band's loving
recreation of classic country riffs bespeaks sincerity."
- Americana UK
Andrew Mueller is a London-based foreign correspondent, travel writer, rock critic, columnist, broadcaster, general all-purpose hack, author of “I Wouldn’t Start From Here” and "Rock & Hard Places" and intermittently frontman of noisy country band The Blazing Zoos. This website is his blog, and evolving archive of articles.
15th March 2013
See the chains which bind the men
Please assume routine apologies for time since last posting (assuming in itself, of course, that the passing reader has even noticed, or indeed cares). Anyway. Today's headline is cribbed from this enduringly marvellous record by way of drawing attention to this deservedly effusive review of MORE
2nd January 2013
I don't know what we're doing here
The above existential reflection is excerpted from this timely song, on the grounds that i) it is, as previously discussed, timely, ii) it's a great tune, obviously, and iii) that one of the highlights of 2012 was enticing the very great Todd Snider into the studios of MORE
3rd October 2012
I wish I was in Tijuana, eating barbecued iguana
Actually, I don't. But I have quoted that lyric i) because I've always had a soft spot for the strange and lovely song in question, ii) because it mentions radio, which explains in part why it's been months and bloody months since I last posted anything here, ie... MORE
22nd April 2012
Find a craze that fits and stay there for a while
Yes, only three months since the last posting in this space, and continuing the seamless link of lyrics from radio-related songs so as to reflect the fact that rather a lot of my recent existence has been consumed by this new enterprise. I've mostly been co-anchoring... MORE
14th January 2012
Inches on the reel-to-reel
Or not. Radio has changed a bit since this guy sang about it - and, indeed, since I started doing it for these people, more years ago than I care to (or, until I go out to buy some more coffee, can) count. Anyway, one of... MORE