How to Barter for Paradise: My Journey through 14 Countries, Trading Up from an Apple to a House in Hawaii
A house in Hawaii. I imagine that would be on most people’s wish lists at one point or another. But how would you obtain it? Michael Wigge wants one, and he has a most audacious plan to achieve his desire: bartering toward his ultimate goal, starting with an apple, and trading, cajoling, and finagling across the world in order to realize his dream.
How to Barter for Paradise is the travelogue covering Michael’s journey across six continents in order to negotiate his way to paradise. It is weird and fascinating and seems utterly absurd, because it is. Michael finds himself dealing with live animals, trying to sneak out of an African country by way of mountain climbing, and creating a superhero alter ego, simply to accomplish his next big trade.
While the narrative itself isn’t very funny — Wigge relies on the ridiculousness of each situation to provide the humor, instead of his perspective on said silliness — the book retains a curious mix of heart and humanity. For all of Wigge’s missteps and cultural faux pas, both the reader and the people around Wigge want him to succeed, and that spirit of cooperation is the real highlight of the book.
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