In "Hippo Eats Dwarf" Alex Boese takes on a variety of hoaxes, frauds, distortions, and misconceptions that are to a large degree enabled by the Internet. I liked the book, but found it wandered off track on occasion. Most annoying, I found it physically difficult to read. In addition to standard black on white type, there is an abundance of brown and green which are distracting at best but when brown type appears on green background, which is quite common, it's fairly tedious to read.
That is likely not a decision Boese made, but the content is, and it's mostly good though some of the text is less hoax-debunking and more straight humor. My favorite example is the personal ad from the "Dublin News" reading "Optimistic Mayo man, 35, seeks a blonde 20-year-old double-jointed supermodel, who owns her own brewery, and has an open-minded sister." I was highly amused, although most people are sly enough not to need the questionable nature of the ad pointed out. I was also entertained by the prank product found online called the "Real Sheep" that it involves silicone and is listed as a romance product. That is all that need be said.
The real value of the book (besides entertainment, obviously) is in showing how easy it is to deceive people using fake Internet sites, elaborate schemes (and some fairly obvious ones, such as the famous Nigerian banking scam,) and digital photograph alteration. On that basis alone I found the book worth the purchase price. Frequently Boese punctuates points with outlandish true tales, my favorite of which involves the Klingon translation of "Hamlet." Really. Despite Klingons being wholly fictional, it may not surprise you that their language (started at the University of California, Berkeley, naturally) has now been given an official stamp of approval by the Oregon mental health authority, which in 2003 made it a patient right to have a Klingon interpreter present on demand. Some of us aren't surprised, but we all should be.
Ignoring the horrible typesetting issues involved, this is a generally informative and entertaining book, and I recommend it to open-minded readers looking for something a bit off the beaten path.