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The Book of General Ignorance Paperback – Jul 21 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Paperback, Jul 21 2009
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 299 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Export - International ed edition (July 21 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571251390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571251391
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“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.”
Hartford Courant

“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).”
Financial Times

“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.”
The Economist

“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.”
—Melbourne Age

“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.”
Daily Mail

“This UK bestseller redefines ‘common knowledge’ with factoids that will inform and entertain (or at least liven up your next cocktail party).”
OK! Magazine

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
We all have a knee-jerk reaction to blurt out answers to questions about what's the biggest, tallest, most dangerous, etc. But like many of the better quiz shows, the answers often require thinking a little more broadly. "When did the last Ice Age end?" The answer is that we are still in it. But you could easily start to answer with when the last ice age that ended was over.

This reminded me of the oral exam I had to earn honors in college. The three professors started off by asking me which peace treaty ended the Hundred Years War. I thought and thought and couldn't think of one. I told them that answer and felt like a fool. It turned out there was no treaty. So beware of the way questions are phrased.

Despite my warning, the authors caught me several times jumping to conclusions about what the question meant, even though I knew the answer to what was intended. That gave me a good laugh at myself.

The better questions were ones that raised issues of contrast: "What's the largest thing a blue whale can swallow?" It's not as large as you might imagine.

I had fun with the book. It was a good time filler for a long, many-stop plane trip. It would also be a fun read for a few minutes before falling to sleep . . . probably giving you something interesting to think about as you doze off.

My only concern was that one of the answers didn't fit my experience . . . the one about which way the water swirls into the drain in the northern and southern hemispheres. I was actually on a ship once that kept going north and south of the equator, and the direction of the swirls shifted with our location relative to the equator. I'm not convinced this answer is right that it's the shape of the basin and drain that counts for the direction of the swirls.
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We all have a knee-jerk reaction to blurt out answers to questions about what's the biggest, tallest, most dangerous, etc. But like many of the better quiz shows, the answers often require thinking a little more broadly. "When did the last Ice Age end?" The answer is that we are still in it. But you could easily start to answer with when the last ice age that ended was over.

This reminded me of the oral exam I had to earn honors in college. The three professors started off by asking me which peace treaty ended the Hundred Years War. I thought and thought and couldn't think of one. I told them that answer and felt like a fool. It turned out there was no treaty. So beware of the way questions are phrased.

Despite my warning, the authors caught me several times jumping to conclusions about what the question meant, even though I knew the answer to what was intended. That gave me a good laugh at myself.

The better questions were ones that raised issues of contrast: "What's the largest thing a blue whale can swallow?" It's not as large as you might imagine.

I had fun with the book. It was a good time filler for a long, many-stop plane trip. It would also be a fun read for a few minutes before falling to sleep . . . probably giving you something interesting to think about as you doze off.

My only concern was that one of the answers didn't fit my experience . . . the one about which way the water swirls into the drain in the northern and southern hemispheres. I was actually on a ship once that kept going north and south of the equator, and the direction of the swirls shifted with our location relative to the equator. I'm not convinced this answer is right that it's the shape of the basin and drain that counts for the direction of the swirls.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I think my title says it all. I loved this book and I like knowing that I'll always have it in my library. It got a lot of new interesting facts; some stuck some not. But that's what makes it worth its money I can always reread it when I'm bored.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Want a laugh buy this book! Fantastic...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sits prominently in my bathroom on the reading shelf! A great read for when you need little bouts of facts while taking care of business!

Love the show too!

=^.,.^=
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