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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depressingly entertaining!, 15 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Brain Men: The Insider's Guide to Quizzing (Paperback)
If you're as sad as me and live for quiz nights at the pub, if you've memorised the home grounds of every third division football team, every Eurovision winner since 1956, and the capitals of every U.S. state, you'll enjoy this book. Don't worry: the author's a bit sad too, and he knows it. It's warm and funny, recounting his triumphs (and trying to justify the defeats) in pub quizzes and TV quiz shows. Lots of anecdotes mixed with an entertaining history of the quiz, and some of those really tricky questions that you're sure you know the answer to... On the other hand, if you have a life, you'll probably hate this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniest book for years written for anoraks !, 3 April 2001
This review is from: Brain Men: The Insider's Guide to Quizzing (Paperback)
How funny is this book and for trivia buffs, how accurate is it to our lives? From the history of pub trivia, playing Give Us A Break and knowing "blokes who live off their winnings", through the evolution of Trivial Pursuit, to the pub quiz league, all quiz low-life is here. If you've ever put £1 in a trivia machine, ever sat in a smokey pub quiz or worse, set a quiz of your own, this book is laugh out loud funny and one you won't put down !
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Berkmann rides again, 31 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Brain Men: The Insider's Guide to Quizzing (Paperback)
Brain men lacks the guffaw-out-loud quality that Rain men had but this does not stop it from being a brilliant read. The observation in Brain men is much keener (witness the classic discussion on who holds the pen) which makes it just as enjoyable as Rain Men and the questions are clever enough to make you walk around the office continually berating yourself for forgetting that Montgomery is the state capital of Alabama !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly accurate description of the Pub Quiz World, 4 Jan 2000
By A Customer
I happened to pick this book up while browsing through my local bookshop, and a furtive read of the first chapter hooked me.
This book is a very accurate portrayal of the typical pub quiz scene, but more importantly it is very well written and extremely funny in places. His observations on the various different types found is spot-on, particularly his comments on teams that become too good on pages 109 & 110 (hardback). As a member of one of these teams I can confirm that he is dead right about such creatures.
I am ignorant of literary manners but I found this a fabulous read, and will certainly read his other work, Rain men.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bible for the Pub quiz anorak!, 25 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This is a highly entertaining and amusing book - with a fair number of challenging quiz questions thrown in. Marcus Berkmann, possibly best known as a radio and newspaper television critic, tells the full story of his team's progress in a prestigious London pub quiz knockout competition. Learn which actor's name is an anagram of Big Melons! In fact almost the only thing you won't discover is who originated the now obligatory pub quiz catchphrase "scores on the doors" - it wasn't Bruce Forsyth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect light reading, 4 Jun 2007
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This review is from: Brain Men: The Insider's Guide to Quizzing (Paperback)
Highly readable and entertaining from start to finish, I recommend this to anyone. The format, text liberally sprinkled with entertaining trivia, and questions at the end of each chapter for you to ponder over as you read the next chapter, is just perfect for an undemanding read. I laughed out loud several times as I read this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book analysing the British pub-quiz obsession, 26 Oct 2010
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Mr. S. Millatt "smillatt" (Port Stanley, Falkland Islands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Brain Men: The Insider's Guide to Quizzing (Paperback)
Marcus Berkmann's hilarious and insightful thoughts and observations on the British pub-quiz obsession is guaranteed to give the average trivia nut hours of pleasurable reading.

It really is fantastic - giving us step-by-step explanations about quizzes; quiz teams, and quiz questions in Berkmann's unique and idiosyncratic manner. He also throws in random facts and trivia and humorous musings and observations.

As a massive fan of his previous works such as Rainmen and Zimmermen, this has made my cold winter nights on deployment down in the Falklands far more bearable. It also reminds me uncannily of my pub team back in the UK, as we regularly struggle to get near the top prizes at the Hop Pole Inn, in Aylesbury.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exacting observation, 25 Sep 2000
By 
brianshaw1@hotmail.com (Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Brain Men: The Insider's Guide to Quizzing (Paperback)
This book is a must for anyone who has ever been involved in either setting a pub quiz, or just taking part in one. Marcus Berkmann captures the atmosphere with an uncanny exactness. A brilliant piece of writing, and very witty with it. (Oh, and some very good questions for future use).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How did I live without this book?, 10 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I thought pub quizzes were for boring old farts or nerdy rejects....how wrong I was. Marcus Berkmann has made pub quizzes sexy - they are the new rock n' roll. Is Terrence (character in the book) available for a date, he sounds like a dreamboat - page 142.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humorous and informed take on the surprisingly interesting subject of quizzing, 5 Jan 2010
This review is from: Brain Men: The Insider's Guide to Quizzing (Paperback)
Did you know that quiz is a made up word, conceived in Dublin in 1780 to win a wager? This is the sort of miscellany that I discovered whilst reading Brain Men.

Each chapter is interspersed with a quiz and the questions made me feel especially dim, although I did answer a couple successfully without Wikipedia. Note: It was written in 1999 and in a world without Smartphones and high speed mobile internet connectivity; how different the chapter on cheating would read now? No reference book stuffed down the trousers with the use of a pub payphone.

Found in a charity shop, and written around the theme of quizzes, it was a wild punt, yet it's a funny and compelling and I breezed through it in a couple of sittings. Berkmann is a gifted humorist and storyteller. He is able to weave the history and background of quiz culture, the media and as a cultural institution in the form of quiz shows with his own journey as quiz enthusiast with ease through joyous turn of phrases and characterizations.

The climax to the book is a London-wide pub quiz competition in which Berkmann and his team members from the Prince of Wales pub compete, it's surprisingly gripping.

Berkmann also runs a company dedicated to writing quiz questions and organizing quizzes, the dedication of the man to his subject is to be admired.
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Brain Men: The Insider's Guide to Quizzing
Brain Men: The Insider's Guide to Quizzing by Marcus Berkmann (Paperback - 1 Jun 2000)
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