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If you think you're a trivia expert, British TV men Lloyd (producer of the hit comedy shows Spitting Image and Black Adder) and Mitchinson (writer for Quite Interesting) may disabuse you of the notion that you're a true scholar of random facts-and quickly. Their surprisingly lengthy tome is jam-packed with real answers to a number of less-than-burning questions-camels store fat, not water, in their humps; only five out of every 100,000 paper clips are used to clip papers; the first American president was in fact Peyton Randolph-that you nevertheless may be embarrassed to have completely wrong. Although some of the entries rely on technicality more than actual excavation of obscure fact (Honolulu is technically the world's largest city, despite the fact that 72% of its 2,127 square miles is underwater), these page-length entries prove entertaining and informative, perfect for trivia buffs and know-it-alls; it also makes a fine coffee table conversation piece and a handy resource for prepping clever cocktail party banter.
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“Trivia buffs and know-it-alls alike will exult to find so much repeatable wisdom gathered in one place.”
—New York Times
“The Book of General Ignorance won’t make you feel dumb. It’s really a call to be more curious.”
—The Associated Press
“Ignorance may be bliss, but so is learning surprising information.”
“You, too, can banish social awdwardness by having its endless count of facts and factoids at the ready. Or you could just read it and keep what you learned to yourself. Betcha can’t.”
—New York Daily News
“To impress friends with your cleverness, beg, borrow or buy John Lloyd and John Mitchinson’s The Book of General Ignorance, an extraordinary collection of 230 common misperceptions compiled for the BBC panel game QI (Quite Interesting).”
“This book would make even Edison feel small and silly, for it offers answers to questions you never thought to ask or had no need of asking as you already knew, or thought you knew, the answer.”
“Trivia books, like any kind of mental or physical addiction, are both irresistible and unsatisfying. By the standards of the genre, this one has something approaching the force of revelation. Answering silly questions suddenly seems less important than taking the trouble to ask a few.”
“Eye-watering, eyebrow-raising, terrific . . . moving slightly faster than your brain does, so that you haven’t quite absorbed the full import of one blissful item of trivial information before two or three more come along. Such fine and creative research genuinely deserves to be captured in print.”
“This UK bestseller redefines ‘common knowledge’ with factoids that will inform and entertain (or at least liven up your next cocktail party).”