The Book of General Ignorance

The Book of General Ignorance : Everything You Think You Know is Wrong

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Think Magellan was the first man to circumnavigate the globe, baseball was invented in America, Henry VIII had six wives, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain? Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again. Misconceptions, misunderstandings, and flawed facts finally get the heave-ho in this humorous, downright humiliating book of reeducation based on the phenomenal British bestseller. Challenging what most of us assume to be verifiable truths in areas like history, literature, science, nature, and more, "The Book of General Ignorance" is a witty gotcha compendium of how little we actually know about anything. It ll have you scratching your head wondering why we even bother to go to school. Revealing the truth behind all the things we think we know but don t, this book leaves you dumbfounded about all the misinformation you ve managed to collect during your life, and sets you up to win big should you ever be a contestant on Jeopardy! or "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." Besides righting the record on common (but wrong) myths like Captain Cook discovering Australia or Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone, "The Book of General Ignorance" also gives us the skinny on silly slipups to trot out at dinner parties (Cinderella wore fur, not glass, slippers and chicken tikka masala was invented in Scotland, not India). Thomas Edison said that we know less than one millionth of one percent about anything: this book makes us wonder if we know even that much. You ll be surprised at how much you don t know! Check out THE BOOK OF GENERAL IGNORANCE for more fun entries and complete answers to the following: How long can a chicken live without its head? About two years. What do chameleons do? They don t change color to match the background. Never have; never will. Complete myth. Utter fabrication. Total Lie. They change color as a result of different emotional states. Who invented champagne? Not the French. How many legs does a centipede have? Not a hundred. How many toes has a two-toed sloth? It s either six or eight. How many penises does a European earwig have? a)Fourteen b)None at all "c)Two (one for special occasions) "d)Mind your own business Which animals are the best-endowed of all? Barnacles. These unassuming modest beasts have the longest penis relative to their size of any creature. They can be seven times longer than their body. What is a rhino s horn made from? A rhinoceros horn is not, as some people think, made out of hair. Who was the first American president? Peyton Randolph. What were George Washington s false teeth made from? Mostly hippopotamus. What was James Bond s favorite drink? Not the vodka martini."show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 266 pages
  • 144.78 x 213.36 x 22.86mm | 381.02g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Potter Style
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0307394913
  • 9780307394910
  • 45,646

Review quote

""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." "--MelbourneAge" "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"show more

About John Lloyd

JOHN LLOYD is the producer of the hit British comedy shows "Not the Nine O Clock News," "Blackadder," and "Spitting Image." JOHN MITCHINSON writes for the British television show "QI," and drinks in the same pub as John Lloyd."show more