Vagrants in Paradise

A Travel-Humor Essay

Non-Fiction - Travel
216 Pages
Reviewed on 10/21/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Paul Howard is a writer and musician living in Nashville, TN. He was born and raised in the Trout Capital of the World, Geneva, NY. He has traversed much of United States through the past 7 years which has heavily inspired his writing. He's a part of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the Songwriters Guild of America (SGA).

He can often be found on the disc golf course, playing music, recording music, or writing frustrated articles on the Buffalo Bills for FootballNation. After an appearance on the Maury Povich show, it was determined that he IS the father of canine son Guiness. He's 27 years old.

You can check out pictures of the events and people starring in his book on his Instagram @vagrantdaze.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite

Vagrants in Paradise is a non-fiction memoir written by Paul Howard. After travelling to Hawaii with the hopes of acquiring some of life’s knowledge which could not be gained in a classroom, Paul and his friends, Nate, Dupree, Dalton and Manny quickly learn what happens in Kailua-Kona when your brakes gives out on a steep hill while driving uninsured with a suspended driving license. Officer Callaghan, whilst friendly at all times, is initially lenient with the boys, but is not so amused when they confess that they had lied about who had been driving the car before impact. Thus begins the misadventures of five friends who are working, through volunteer programs, on different farms in Hawaii. Personalities clash as hot-headed and aggressive meets assertive, laid-back and relaxed, leading to some tossing up on whether to stay on and tough it out, or simply buy a ticket back home to the mainland. Prior to leaving home, the five had envisioned fresh fruit, palm trees, the ocean and beautiful women as far as the eye can see. Instead, they are hit by the stifling heat of the equator, whilst working long hours on various farms with other sweaty workers, in order to meet the agreed quota for the day. During their time on the island, however, all five boys are lucky to learn some of the local traditions, with each lesson as memorable as it is invaluable to survival.

It did not take long for me to be absolutely engrossed in each and every adventure which Paul Howard had experienced and written about in this wonderfully eye-opening tale. Vagrants in Paradise not only shows how a strange place is perceived prior to a visitor’s arrival, but also shows the vast difference between that experienced by a tourist and somebody who lives there. Whilst there is a saying, ‘It’s a nice place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there,’ I now find myself hoping to some day experience Hawaii for myself, especially their unique food dishes after reading how much they made Paul and his friends drool. I thoroughly enjoyed Vagrants in Paradise and recommend it to all who have the travel bug or who love having their funny bone tickled with a great yarn.

Ryan Jordan

Vagrants in Paradise: A Travel-Humor Essay by Paul Howard is a travel journal of sorts told in a completely different fashion than what might normally be considered a memoir. It is at times moving and touching, and at times humorous and uplifting as it describes Paul's journey through three farms and a lot of crazy misadventures. Each chapter/essay has a thread of its own and all of them have something different to offer the reader. They also have interesting titles, such as: "Welcome to the Farm Now Give Us Your
Souls" and "Strippers at the Jet Ski Warehouse" that manage to entice the reader and draw them in without giving away the plot.

The author has an incredibly interesting way of setting up scenes and opening up this short essay/stories, such as with "Island Indulgences" where he says: "I awoke certain that a demon was being exorcised in our bathroom. Guttural hurls and groans echoed into the room..." The situations presented are fun, and the people are really brought to life inside the sheer ridiculousness of everything that is going on. I found myself thoroughly entertained throughout the entire work, though some of the stories are significantly better or more engaging than others. Vagrants in Paradise isn't your normal travel memoir and feels a lot more like a collection of short stories, but it is sure to delight fans of true stories told from the heart by a man who has experienced a lot in his life.

Jessyca Garcia

Vagrants in Paradise: A Travel-Humor Essay by Paul Howard made me want to experience Hawaii the way he did. While in Hawaii, Howard worked at several farms and experienced a side of Hawaii that few outsiders know about. This book is about Howard’s adventures with his friends in Hawaii.

Usually when you read travel brochures, they only show the good side of a place. It is not often that you find out how a place truly is before you visit it. In Vagrants in Paradise, Howard shows a side of Hawaii that I never knew existed. Starting with all the different types of bugs. I never knew that a centipede’s bite could do so much damage. I also did not know what a lava tube was and now I am really curious about them. Howard’s vivid descriptions of the different places painted a pretty picture in my head. The one thing that could have made this book better was if Howard included pictures of the places he went and what he saw (excluding the nude beach). I would have loved to see a picture of a wild boar or of one of the many interesting people that crossed his path.

Overall, I liked this book. There is some mild drug use, sexual overtones, and a few swear words. If you do not mind any of that, then this book is worth reading. Despite some of the negative things I read about Hawaii, I would still love to visit. Thanks to Howard, I will at least know what to look out for.

Evil Twin

Hey Paul it's your evil twin living in the attic. I stole a book of yours while you were gone. I'm super into it. Good job, bro. Maybe I can come down and hang sometime.

Cee-Jay Aurinko

This sounds like a wonderful comedic book to read Rosie. I would love to experience Hawaii along with these characters. When authors make their readers drool, you know. :)