1,423 QI Facts to Bowl You Over by John Lloyd, James Harkin and Anne Miller
|1,423 QI Facts to Bowl You Over by John Lloyd, James Harkin and Anne Miller|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Ey-up (which is Viking speech, adopted by Yorkshiremen) – once more, a perfect little round-up of the world's curiosities.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: October 2017|
|Publisher: Faber & Faber|
|External links: Author's website|
You may think me lazy, but there is an inherent satisfaction for book reviewers in hitting upon a book such as this – you know you will have very little bearing on its sales, and what's more you hardly even need describe it – just dip in here and there for a few quotes, and sit back and relax knowing your job is done. Only 1% of people who buy marmalade are under the age of 28. Treadmills were once the harshest form of punishment after the death penalty. Naked mole-rats can survive for 18 minutes without oxygen by turning themselves into plants. And the whole of page 52. There, job done – and the creators of this book certainly have done their job to perfection.
If you haven't seen the format before in its several variants, this 2017 – and orange, for you time-short browsers – volume is just as fabulous as before. It contains not only the world's more outspoken trivia statements, it does so in such a themed, linked way the mind boggles with how many sticky-edged notes were juggled in its planning. Just one example – Macrophiles are people who fantasise about sex with giant women… turn the page… The Statue of Liberty has a 35 foot waistline. Such deft succinctness is the quality that makes these pages always shine, and that always make these books such fun.
For once I have been given my review copy and the on-line variant is actually up and running. This is where you run to for live links to the sources for all such statements – and believe me, when you get to the likes of that about the naked mole-rats, and more, you're going to be forever using it. It's not perfect – one was already all adverts and absolutely no proof, and page 29 in the cyber-form has (at time of writing) two links to the same story, in error.
That aside, the book is almost perfect – although I would attest the Polish flag is not the same as an upside down Indonesian one – it looks a completely different red to me. Maybe, like a certain chief crayon maker, someone is colour-blind. What is for sure is that this series has grabbed the trivia market by the short and curlies, and has deservedly run away with it, and what's more, this book is the one in the series with the most entrants. It deserves every success it gets.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
I'd go out on a limb here as far as further reading goes, and mention that a lot of the aquatic details here (and a lot of it does seem to rely on sea animals, for some reason) were mentioned in the BBC Blue Planet 2 book I'd read only a week before – an (albeit trivial) example of synchronicity in two marvellous volumes.
You can read more book reviews or buy 1,423 QI Facts to Bowl You Over by John Lloyd, James Harkin and Anne Miller at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy 1,423 QI Facts to Bowl You Over by John Lloyd, James Harkin and Anne Miller at Amazon.com.
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