- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Abacus (6 Mar. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0349120870
- ISBN-13: 978-0349120874
- Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.8 x 19.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,173,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Matter Of Facts: The Insider's Guide To Quizzing Paperback – 6 Mar 2008
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Surely the most entertaining and informative book about quizzes, quiz-masters and quiz men ever written (DAILY MAIL)
'A hugely enjoyable book, and you do not have to love quizzes to love it. It tells us why we behave in the way we do; it makes us laugh at ourselves and casts a light on our folly (LITERARY REVIEW)
'Full-time quiz legend Marcus Berkmann can unlock that stash of useless facts lurking in your brain' (GUARDIAN)
* A hilarious look at the extraordinary phenomenon of the male desire to competeSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
If you haven't read "Brain Men", though, you're in for a treat. You don't need to be a regular quizzer to enjoy it, in fact, you don't need to be a quizzer at all. What you get inside is a witty and entertaining look at the phenomena that is the pub quiz, together with the author's own experiences of a `serious' quiz tournament and two hair raising appearances on 15 to 1. It's a highly enjoyable read, and if a member of your family spends too much time participating in pub quizzes, then it would make a perfect stocking-filler for him or her ( lets be honest, most probably for him ).
As a book, it so very nearly hits the mark. Seasoned pub quizzers can relate to much of what he writes and of course it is engaging in its style. But what Berkmann needs to rein in is his tendency towards pomposity or over-statement. For example, he claims the privilege of being the only person to have been invited back onto 15 to 1 without having won the first show. Not true. A number of people on the regular series had that honour (including my brother), and they weren't called back for a celebrity special either. Berkmann makes much of the Prince of Wales quiz, which is undoubtedly a cut above the average pub quiz but is at its core still a pub quiz.
Finally as another reviewer has said, Berkmann claims to be a quiz insider, and yet his experience is limited to pub quizzes, a London knockout tournament and 15 to 1. Will he be travelling to Oslo for the 2008 European Quiz Championships? Did he enter the World or British Championships? Does he put himself up against the very best on a regular basis? A quizzer he may be, but to call himself an insider is pushing it.
Having said all that, the book is eminently readable. But bear in mind he used to write for the Daily Mail and so, as with the Prince of Wales Quiz Book (which I would recommend) you should take some of his assertions with a pinch of salt, and double-check his answers.
This purports to be how quizzing and quizzes have moved on since 1999 but it really boils down to what shows he has been involved with in the last few years, and there is no sign of any serious research into a proper revision.
There is no mention of a raft of 21st century changes to quiz culture such as (in no particular order): internet quizzes, the World Championships, professional or serial contestants, the Millionaire cheating saga, "syndicates" on certain shows, big money ITV shows such as "Vault", "Duel", "Poker Face", international matches, Eggheads....
I really wish he had put the same effort, skill and research into this as he did in the original book... worth buying if you do not have the original "Brain Men" but definitely not worth it for an extra few pages
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I chose this book because I have read Marcus Berkmann's cricket books and thought that they were brilliant. Read morePublished on 12 Aug. 2013 by Andrew Lingard