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QI: The Book of General Ignorance (The Noticeably Stouter Edition) Paperback – 25 Dec 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 213 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (25 Dec. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571246923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571246922
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

QI: The Book of General Ignorance - The Noticeably Stouter Edition by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson is an essential companion to QI, BBC 2 and BBC 4's highest rated show.

From the Back Cover

This comprehensive catalogue of all the misconceptions, mistakes and misunderstandings in 'common knowledge' will make you wonder why anyone bothers going to school.

More than 25% longer, with extra cartoons, hilarious extracts from the TV show and 50 new things you didn't know, including:

No one has ever slid down a banister

There are 613 commandments in the Bible

Vipers, cobras and rattlesnakes are not poisonous

Newborn babies are indifferent to their mothers

The Swiss Family weren't called Robinson

The unluckiest date is Monday the 27th

You have no muscles in your fingers

Coffee isn't made from beans

Completely revised, corrected and plumped up, it now includes an index and an appendix listing all the celebrities who have appeared on 'QI' to date.

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Inside This Book

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Noticeably Stouter Book of General Ignorance is fun to read and packed full of interesting facts. It's perfect for dipping into every now and again - most of the articles are only one or two pages long, and manage to cram in a surprising amount of information. They often veer off on unexpected tangents - one beginning with a discussion of the phrase `survival of the fittest' concludes with a rush of interesting facts about paperclips (in Nazi-occupied Norway they were used as symbols of the resistance, and only five out of every 100,000 sold are actually used to hold papers together). It's almost impossible to read a page without wanting to run to the nearest person, clutching the book and gibbering, "Did you know...? Did you know...?" (though this has the unfortunate side-effect of making you sound like an irritating know-it-all for the duration.)
This is more of a second edition to the original Book of General Ignorance than an entirely new book, so if you already own the latter it may not be a worthwhile purchase. If you don't, however, Noticeably Stouter has dozens of new articles, amusing quotes from the TV series interspersed throughout, and (for diehard fans), a list of all the QI guests so far. Another definite improvement is the inclusion of an index (subjects range from `aardvarks, colour-blindness of' to `zenzizenzizenzic, as failed neologism'). As well as aiding serendipitous browsing, this can be extremely useful when you confidently announce to a roomful of people that strawberries and raspberries are not, in fact, berries, then promptly forget why; or when you urgently need to calculate your pet's real age in dog years.
I've had to wrestle my copy away from visitors, who pick it up, start idly thumbing through it, and refuse to put it down for the rest of the evening.
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Format: Paperback
If like me, you look forward to every episode of QI on TV and even watch copious reruns of it on Dave, then you will doubtless enjoy this book immensely.
It is packed with all the memorable nuggets of general ignorance expanded with all the reference information for good measure.
Some of the facts are debatable, of that I am pretty sure, but it is definitely the type of book you won't want to put down until you've read the lot.
One side point worth knowing: if you (again, like me) purchased the original book of general ignorance, you will find this one is the same as the original with about 20 or so extra subjects. If you haven't bought the original, buy this instead.
Comment 72 of 75 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Smug pub quizzers beware - after reading this you'll find yourself quaking at the onset of the trivia round. Most of what you think you know is, in fact, wrong. Sorry. In an utterly charming way, your confidence in the modest store of facts you've built up over the years is shown to be totally misplaced. If you can handle this, then QI: The Book of General Ignorance (The Noticeably Stouter Edition) is a truly fascinating read. It's at least as amusing as it interesting in its debunking of popular misconceptions. Finding out why your notions are wrong is a pleasure when you're reading something that's been this painstakingly researched. That's not to say it's really worthy - some of the writing is laugh-out-loud funny. You get quotes from the show, too, and perky little illustrations. The links between the entries are often as subtle as the explanations themselves, or they're just quite droll, as `How many legs does a centipede have?' paves the way for `How many eyes does a no-eyed, big-eyed wolf spider have?'

If you're the kind of person who has a mental list of things you really ought to brush up on, expect it to have expanded in all kinds of unexpected ways by the time you're through. Your Ancient Greek, certainly, could do with a dusting down. Expect to confirm that you are, indeed, massively ignorant, but to find, miraculously, that a good read of this book is an excellent way to start putting that right.
Comment 27 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a trusty viewer of QI on tv, it is a brilliant quiz show. I thought this book would be fun to have, to learn even more fun facts. BUT to my disappointment, the facts in this book is exactly the same as the questions in the tv-show. It is fine, but I was expecting something new. It all depends on what you expect from the book. There is NOTHING new in the book, it is the same questions as in the show with the same answers. I would only recommend this book for someone who has not seen very much of the show.
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Format: Paperback
The latest edition of the semi-canonical Book of General Ignorance fits its brief of being 'quite interesting' with aplomb. Some facts are genuinely eyebrow raising: from the number of planetary moons around the Earth to James Bond's thirst quencher of choice, many of our most epidemic cultural myths are decisively debunked. The writing is succinct and smartly witty, and each entry does a good job of packing in a wide breadth of information into half a page.

There are a few misfires that prevent this from being an exceptionally interesting reference tool. The book sometimes falls short in its attempts to be authoritative, with entries like 'What's three times as dangerous as war?' resting more on loaded questioning than genuinely startling raw fact. That much of the weaker material appears to be tagged with a 'New Entry' icon suggests that this stouter version may not be a compulsory purchase for those who already own the original edition.

These gripes aside, The Book of General Ignorance is a well-crafted (and frequently amusing) tome, and is a worthy addition to any ranconteur's bookshelf.
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