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QI: Advanced Banter Hardcover – 2 Oct 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; repr edition (2 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571233724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571233724
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.7 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

QUOTE INTERESTING: 6,000 Quotations that You Might Actually Find Amusing and Useful

From the Author

Quote Interesting?

By John Lloyd & John Mitchinson

Advancer Banter may seem like a departure from previous QI books, but in fact it's based on exactly the same principles that underlie both the books and the TV show - that anything is interesting if looked at closely enough, for long enough or from the right angle.

Most books of quotations aren't very interesting. They repeat what is already in other books of the same type and they include quotations because they are `important' or `famous'. Also, like most books these days, they tend to be written in a tearing hurry. This book took ten years to compile.

At QI, we love quotations. If you listen carefully, you'll see that we use them on the TV show all the time. Good quotes are the best bits of the best minds, the permanent record of the funniest, truest and most memorable things anyone has ever said. Over the past decade, we've amassed a huge database of them. Advanced Banter is an edited, annotated collection of our favourites - about 4,000 quotes from 1,000 authors and covering 400 subjects.

QI is more than just a programme: it's an attempt to search out (and share) interestingness in all its forms. Our long-term plan - and it's one reason why we are working our way through the alphabet - is one day to produce the Encyclopedia Eccentrica, an authoritative reference tome with no dull bits. So, Advanced Banter is QI's first reference book. To us, finding out something interesting about lettuce or Greenland is exactly the same as uncovering a brilliant quotation about artichokes or greed. You have to bulldoze through a lot of desert to turn up one diamond.

As for how you use the book, all we'll say is that you can't have a conversation on your own. Banter is not a solitary activity. Quotations are ready-to-wear, high-class banter and come in handy all the time: best man's speeches, client presentations, school essays, family dinners, nights in the pub, bar mitzvahs, funerals, first dates...

Spice up your small talk instantly.

Here are some we both love:

Never put anything on paper, my boy, and never trust a man with a small black moustache.
PG WODEHOUSE

I don't think I'll get married again. I'll just find a woman I don't like and give her a house.
LEWIS GRIZZARD

To get something done, a committee should consist of no more than three people, two of whom are absent.
ROBERT COPELAND

The most difficult book I have ever read was a manual on the use of iron mangles by A.J. Thompson.
SPIKE MILLIGAN

Erotica is using a feather, pornography is using the whole chicken.
ISABEL ALLENDE

The question actors most often get asked is how they can bear saying the same things over and over again, night after night, but God knows the answer to that is, don't we all anyway? Might as well get paid for it...
RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN

I only have two acting styles: with and without a horse.
ROBERT MITCHUM

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one.
LEO J BURKE

A man can sleep around, but if a woman makes 19 or 20 mistakes she's a tramp.
JOAN RIVERS

The trouble with eating Italian food is that 5 or 6 days later you're hungry again.
GEORGE MILLER

What would this country be, without this great land of ours?
RONALD REAGAN

You can pretend to be serious; you can't pretend to be witty.
SACHA GUITRY

All anybody needs to know about prizes is that Mozart never won one.
HENRY MITCHELL

Never raise your hand to your children - it leaves your mid-section unprotected.
ROBERT ORBEN

Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering.
R BUCKMINSTER FULLER

We tell ourselves that God is dead, when what we mean is God is Dad, and we wish him dead.
AN WILSON

One may see the small value God has for riches by the people He gives them to.
ALEXANDER POPE

A man's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink.
WC FIELDS

We are born. We eat sweet potatoes. Then we die
EASTER ISLAND PROVERB

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Don't be put off by the use of the word "banter" and the exclusively contemporary quotations on the front cover: for once, "advanced banter" is not a clumsy reference to laddish innuendo but, as you might expect of the people at QI, the original and correct use of the term. This is a collection of clever, witty pleasantry which appeals to every generation. Ranging from Hegel to Hicks and from Iqbal to Izzard, it is a useful and moreover entertaining collection of quotations, arranged into broad and not-so-broad subjects such as "Money", "Persuasion" "Celery" and, the house favourite, "Legs". The wide range of sources ensures it avoids covering the same old quotations you could have read in a 1963 Reader's Digest edition. Yes, it has all the important classics in it but it is fresh and funny and contains so much more than the usual Shakespeare and Voltaire. If you're looking for quotations, this is the book you need.
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Format: Hardcover
I absolutely love this book. I have hundreds of quotation books, but they almost all lack the editorial style of Messrs Lloyd and Mitchinson. The big difference is that quotation books are normally only really reference books, this one flows so that you find yourself absorbed and taken along by it.

Other reviewers suggest it's nothing to do with the TV show QI. I don't agree. John Lloyd and John Mitchinson dreamed up and produce the QI TV show, and you can tell the humour and approach is from the same place. The great thing about the TV show is nothing is off limits. If it is interesting and it is funny, it is in. From Greek philosophy to the profane and odd, anything goes. The same applies to this excellent book, and that, along with the Johns' comedy and editorial talent is why this is different from the others.
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Format: Hardcover
Normally one to stick with "stores" or novels such as Sedaris and his "Me Talk Pretty" or the funny books "Barring Some Unforeseen Accident" or "Stephen Fry in America," I found this great and hysterical book of quotations quite by accident. Favorites include:

People say they sleep like a baby until they have one.

All anybody needs to know about prizes is that Mozart never won one.

And, with apologies to America, this from Ronald Reagan (you might have thought George Bush) "What would this country be without this great land of ours?"

And for those of you who remember some great quotes but can't remember who or where they came from , this is invaluable. Lest you think this is strictly "bathroom" reading, let me assure you, it is not. Neither is it something you're going to want to sit down with for hours, but it is a great reference book, great fun, and you'll be amazed at who said what.
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Format: Hardcover
Ever read the entirety of a reference book, cover to cover? Me neither. And you won't be counting Advanced Banter: The QI Book of Quotations as a first, I'm fairly sure. This rather sizeable collection definitely works best as something to dip into. The quotations are split thematically, and although you sense that they gathered the material first and then separated it out, this doesn't detract from its quality. Comedians, scientists, artists, statesmen, novelists and philosophers are counted among the talking heads in a collection that runs the gamut from the profound to the throwaway, the clever-clever to the surprisingly heartfelt. (It's this jumping about in terms of tone, by the way, that makes this book best taken down from your shelf and dipped into little and often.) All the usual topics are here - love, duty, wisdom - but much of the material is surprisingly fresh and wisely avoids many of the hackneyed aphorisms that we could probably all already quote. Less Oscar Wilde, more Russian proverbs, as it happens. Not that I subscribe to the really quite ridiculous premise of this book - that you might drop one of its pearls into your conversations. Not in the world I inhabit, certainly. However unrealistic, if you like what can be done with a well-chosen word, it's well worth swallowing this for the opportunity to treasure such lines as `You can recognise a cruel man: he cries in the cinema' (Graham Greene). I like that one.
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Format: Hardcover
Compendiums of quotations, tacked together from a panoply of sources, can be difficult to review on their own terms, but Advanced Banter is unusual in that it radiates effort, commitment and care. This hardback edition looks and feels delightful, and the quotations are smartly arranged by theme. Lloyd and Mitchinson incorporate familiar epithets from Classical sources to the modern day, but also litter the book with idiosyncratic and esoteric gems. A highly recommended collection.
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Format: Hardcover
What can you say, these guys are on to something much bigger than a TV gameshow. The stuff of life is oozing from the covers. It's the only book of quotations I could ever imagine buying.
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Format: Hardcover
One of the things I most enjoyed about Advanced Banter was the informative little potted biographies that accompany some of the authors of quotes who have now slipped from the public eye.

There are unexpected inclusions - two quotes from Miss Piggy, one on squirrels and one on food - and others who you thought would perhaps be more widely quoted who almost slipped through. There is just one quote from Pope John Paul II for example. There are three quotes from comedian Mick Miller, only one from polymath Jonathan Miller and none from his witty contemporaries David Frost and Peter Cook.

A book to dip into then, not one in which you might find the origins of a quote (Shakespeare has just one entry) but one in which to find something refreshing and new. I like the quote from Terry Pratchett that I'd somehow missed before now as a Pterry fan: "Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom."
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