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A To Z Of Everything, 4th Edition: A Compendium of General Knowledge Hardcover – 30 Aug 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1424 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown; 4th Revised edition edition (30 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316027863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316027861
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 6.1 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A massive factfile of information calculated to be of value to anyone and everyone interested in quizzes... this shrine of serendipity (Magnus Magnusson)

Book Description

New edition of the bestselling compendium of general knowledge

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By laurence on 18 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is packed with knowledge and facts, some which is essential information and some which is random weird facts - thats fine by me. It's has all the information you need if you were writing an essay on a particular subject and covers pretty much every topic you an think of.

So why two stars?

Well basically it can be very, very difficult to find something specific, particularly people. If you're looking for, as an example, information on Elvis Pressley, do you look at the marriages section, the country of birth section, the death section etc, etc. These subsections just make it hard to find a certain person, as they're usually only mentioned in one of these lists instead of all of them.

The history section is concise, and it's good that it has a TV and film listings section. However you can't put in a TV show like Footballers Wives and leave more prominent drama shows like Spooks and Hustle, as an example. It's like it's trying to add a bit of everything, but not always whats most important. A book can't contain every piece of information there is, and the authors misunderstood that.

Maybe I was expecting more of an encyclopedia, but this book didn't do it for me. It's full of information, stuffed with it, but I didn't find it easy to use and some more important things (historical figures etc.) should have been included rather than wasting a page on paper sizes.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Paul Baldry on 29 Jan. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This really is the best book for all the fact-hoovers out there. It brings together information and facts that are to some pointless, but to others captivating. An excellent read or reference tool it will take pride of place next to ‘The New Penguin Factfinder’ to have almost any general knowledge question covered.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Doug Sinclair on 23 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Trevor Montague's credentials are impressive to say the least but even for him this book must have been a monumental achievement. The sheer size and scope of the thing is awe-inspiring and I'd defy even the most ardent quizzer to read it from cover to cover. I reluctantly purchased the 5th edition as I could no longer afford the very high price of Whitaker's and from the moment I opened the fly cover to find the world's flags depicted I just knew I was going to love it. I read all the abbreviations, art & architecture, astronomy, Britain, calendar, cinema, computers, current affairs and education in one sitting - all 250 pages! and then I fell asleep. I then spent my second night glossing up on famous people. This section is vast and as with the previous night's read I continually found surprising items and pure nuggets of gold. From middle names, unlikely forenames, causes of death, countries of birth, dying words, marriages, nicknames the section is exhaustive and I particularly liked the crime and punishment and philosophy biographies. Fashion and Food & Drink are covered extensively but not nearly as much as geography. I must admit I did not bother with all the world's capitals but it was good to see that all the countries were in bold type so easily chosen from the comprehensive list. The tables at the end of this section are very useful. I read the history section on another night and I really felt a greater understanding of how events meld together although whether I am able to retain all the information is another matter. Perhaps Mr Montague might write a book on memory techniques? The language section has alphabets and foreign words, derivations of phrases, cockney rhyming slang, Americanisms and forename meanings - apparently my name means 'from the dark water' hmm.Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By bookaholic on 6 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
An excellent way of finding out information without having to log onto the internet. Every household should have one for reference.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P. R. Rix on 30 May 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Compiled by an ex-Mastermind contender it seems to contain just about everything you'd want to know, and a lot of stuff you didn't even know you didn't know. quite readable for this type of Encyclopedia too, few pictures would have been nice perhaps, but not relevant to this type of book maybe. One of my favourites for my book at bedtime.
phil rix
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Portlius on 28 Jan. 2002
Format: Hardcover
For quiz players, crossword addicts and people who want the definitive reference book, this is it. Perhaps a bit weak on the sports section for real buffs, and the page numbers are minute, but no other book crams so much into it, or with such accuracy and ease of use. When they take me off to that Desert Island stuff the 8 discs, this is the book I'd take
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Will Joseph on 27 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who longs to be the mystery person in the dark corner of the pub who wins the weekly quiz or is intent on winning Mastermind should really have this by the side of their bed, for nothing else could make the famous black chair seem less daunting.
The author has a very colorful quiz history himself having been a rather shady winner of 15-1. This great story is out there on the web and he now creates super teams to scare the pub quiz land of London to death. If you want to be in one of those teams, you have to get this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DOPPLEGANGER TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 May 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The 'A to Z of Everything' is next best alternative to using your computer to help solve General Knowledge Crossword Puzzles and the like. Using your PC somehow doesn't seem to be playing the game, although most compilers make frequent reference to the internet when preparing a crossword. For me the greater satisfaction is obtained from completing a puzzle with reference only to my personal knowledge bank and one or two reference books and not from slavish reliance on my computer.

This monumental work is absolutely crammed full of facts on just about every subject that is likely to figure in a general knowledge puzzle, is very well indexed, and there is a high probability of the answer you are seeking being found in it's pages. Trevor Montague, his team, and the publishers are to be congratulated in compiling, producing and making available this essential puzzle, and quiz setting aid. It enables the likes of myself, 'a silver-haired' senior puzzle addict the satisfaction, in spite of fast failing fact retention ability, of beating the compilers!
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