Title: Dan & Phil Go Outside
Author: Dan Howell and Phil Lester
Published by: Random House
Publication date: 3rd November 2016
Pages: 224, hardback
YouTube sensations Dan Howell (danisnotonfire) and Phil Lester (AmazingPhil) were just two awkward guys who shared their lives on the Internet . . . until now. Dan Howell and Phil Lester, avoiders of human contact and direct sunlight, actually went outside. Traveling around the world on tour, they have collected hundreds of exclusive, intimate, and funny photos, as well as revealing and candid side notes, to show the behind-the-scenes story of their adventure. Fans of Dan and Phil’s #1 New York Times bestseller, The Amazing Book Is Not on Fire, and their more than 10 million YouTube subscribers will love this full-color book featuring never-before-seen photos and stories from Dan and Phil.
This is the second book written by Dan and Phil, their first, The Amazing Book is Not on Fire, being the basis of their tour, and this new one, Dan and Phil Go Outside, documenting it. I bought a copy of TABINOF when it came out last year, and I loved it; I received my copy of Dan and Phil Go Outside a day early, as I attended the ‘Dan and Phil Go Outside On Stage Event’ (or ‘DAPGOOSE’). This is obviously not a story book, but I am a huge fan of Dan and Phil, and I also owned three Jacqueline Wilson annuals when I was younger, so this was exactly the branch of non-fiction that grabs my attention.
In the liveshow, Dan mentioned he wanted this book to feel like an art book, and I feel this really came across, as the book had the perfect mix of candid and professional photos from their tour. Dan and Phil wanted this tour to be about celebrating and immortalising everything from their Youtube channels (and general online personalities), but also about connecting with their fans, and I feel they have really achieved this, especially with the two videos of the tour they have released, and now with this book.
If you have never heard of Dan and Phil, or aren’t particularly interested in them, then clearly I cannot recommend this book to you (although I do recommend you take a look at their channels, as they’re both fantastic Youtubers). But if you’re anything ranging from a casual fan, to a die-hard-draw-whiskers-on-your-face-and-wear-a-flower-crown ‘phan’, this book is definitely worth buying.
I feel as if less love went into this book than in TABINOF, however the huge amount of quality, exclusive content in this book is more than enough to make up for it, and their genuine passion for what they’re doing comes across with each page. Dan and Phil are completely brilliant at immersing their audience, whether the audience is online or in a theatre – no barrier, screen or stage, keeps them from connecting with their audience, and this is a huge reason why their fan base has grown to be so large, and so prominent on the internet.
The book takes you through each aspect of their tour, from the stages they performed on (there’s a particularly impressive looking page filled with pictures of chandeliers!), to the food they ate (I’ll give you a clue: it was a lot of doughnuts). And it’s not just pictures – there is a commentary from Dan and Phil the whole way through the book, as well as lots of funny/embarrassing stories (including a particularly great anecdote concerning Phil and a hotel life in Chicago). As both Youtubers have very different and distinguishable personalities, reading the book it felt almost as if they were narrating it right in front of me.
This was a truly engaging, entertaining book. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect after The Amazing Book is Not on Fire, and whilst I know Dan and Phil both admitted they took their new book a lot less seriously than their first one, I still felt as if a lot of care went into it. Dan and Phil put so much thought into making everything about their tour amazing for their fans, and Dan and Phil Go Outside really captured the essence of their creativity and love for what they do.