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Posted November 26, 2005
I heard of this book through The Daily Show when Jon Stewart interviewed the author. John Hodgman was extremely funny on the show, so I decided to give his book a try. It's SO funny! It's basically fake trivia and 'false facts.' He's got everything in here from snowballs, to predicting the future, to 700 hobo names. Very funny. Highly recommended.
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Posted September 22, 2007
Random, Fascinating and Utterly Unreliable Information
'An almanac of random, fascinating and utterly unreliable information -- Hodgman has the gift of being outrageously but quietly convincing. He begins at the absolute outer edge of credibility and, as if he is holding your hand, walks you over the edge into a very funny mix of reality and nonsense. Take hobos, for instance -- or as Hodgman refers to it, the 'hobo movement in the United States.' He discusses at length hobo hieroglyphics, the only hobo Cabinet member in U.S. history and Walker Evans, who Hodgman describes as being a secret agent posing as a photographer in order to assassinate prominent hobo leaders.' NPR John Hodgman tells us that there has only been one murder in the history of the space shuttle. This took place in 1984. The astronaut, the planner, the engineer, the cocktail waitress and the librarian were all suspects. I cannot tell you who did commit the murder, but it is well known. He discusses hunting and cooking your own polar bear steaks. Julia Child knew this subject well. Also a chapter on Daves Ultra Hot Hot Hot Sauce-which are packaged in little coffins and promises your death. These little known and untrue facts are yours for the asking. These and so many other subjects that would take me all day to discuss are told in amazing detail by John Hodgman. Each chapter has its own charm, or well, its own place. This is not a book for children. There are obscene words and stories and facts that children would not understand. In fact, there were some parts of this book I did not understand, but, all in all, it had me in stitches from one chapter to the next. The author works for television 'The Daily Show' and appears on NPR's 'This American Life'. John Hodgman is a graduate of Yale, and is a former literary agent. It appears he was so humorous that he needed to take his humor to an audience who would appreciate him. This book is so amusing you may not be able to read it in one sitting less you disable yourself from being doubled-over with laughter. 'And while Hodgman may hope as we leaf through the pages, we will gain a better understanding of the world - 'perhaps not the world exactly as it is today, but as it may be someday' - one will undoubtedly come away baffled by how such madness can be spun so clear-headedly. Perhaps, though, the only way to truly describe 'The Areas of My Expertise' lies in Hodgman's final words: that is all.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 25, 2010
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