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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific--and he tells you exactly how he did it.
"Big Secrets" (and its sequel, "Bigger Secrets") are wonderful. The thing I like best about them is Poundstone's own honesty--he doesn't keep any secrets of his own. He tells you exactly _how_ he found out what he found out.

A Shriner may pledge that if he divulges the secrets of his order, he may incur "the penalty of having my...
Published on 8 Mar 1997

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Big Disappointment!!
The Big, Bigger, and Biggest Secrets are why anyone would buy the sequels after reading the original unless they were foolish enough to buy all three at once as I was. Very deceptive and Poundstone hedges a great deal. Much is not worth knowing and what is comes across as questionable. Spend your money on something else. Amazon has too many GREAT books to waste money...
Published on 2 July 1998


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Big Disappointment!!, 2 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Big Secrets: The Uncensored Truth about All Sorts of Stuff ... (Paperback)
The Big, Bigger, and Biggest Secrets are why anyone would buy the sequels after reading the original unless they were foolish enough to buy all three at once as I was. Very deceptive and Poundstone hedges a great deal. Much is not worth knowing and what is comes across as questionable. Spend your money on something else. Amazon has too many GREAT books to waste money on these.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific--and he tells you exactly how he did it., 8 Mar 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Big Secrets: The Uncensored Truth about All Sorts of Stuff ... (Paperback)
"Big Secrets" (and its sequel, "Bigger Secrets") are wonderful. The thing I like best about them is Poundstone's own honesty--he doesn't keep any secrets of his own. He tells you exactly _how_ he found out what he found out.

A Shriner may pledge that if he divulges the secrets of his order, he may incur "the penalty of having my eyeballs pierced to the center with a three-edged blade." But Poundstone discovered a Masonic supply house ("The Geo. Lauterer Corporation") that works by mail order and doesn't check ID, ordered a selection of titles, and tells us all of the inside skinny on IAOM and Tubal-Cain.

"Big Secrets" tells as much as Poundstone could find out about the secret formula for Coca-Cola and Kentucky Fried Chicken. It tells how the Rorschach test works and how to cheat on it. It tells several methods by which magicians saw a woman in two (you see, one of them is patented, so if you write the patent office and ask for patent #1,458,575...)

"Bigger Secrets" is equally good, maybe better. I think my favorite is his description of what the Rosicrucians are really like, but his explanation of how David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty Vanish and his analysis of backward and "subliminal" messages in records and movies are also excellent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Psst! Wanna hear a secret?, 15 Feb 2004
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Big Secrets: The Uncensored Truth about All Sorts of Stuff ... (Paperback)
Did you know that the seductive essence of KFC's secret blend of herbs and spices is nothing more than pepper and MSG? Yikes, no wonder I can chow down the 12-piece box in one sitting!
Author William Poundstone provides a wide variety of esoteric knowledge in BIG SECRETS - everything from an analysis of Coca Cola, an explanation of bar codes and the Rorschach (inkblot) Test, an interminable listing of "secret" radio frequencies, the truth about subliminal shots in movies and ostensibly secret messages in popular song tracks, and an answer to the question "Is Walt Disney's corpse frozen?".
The range of topics in this book is wide, and for that I'd award five stars. However, though I'm reasonably intrigued by the arcane technology of printing currency, the magician's technique of sawing a woman in half, and whether or not there's two-year old fish in Worcestershire Sauce or a secret bank in Beverly Hills, I couldn't care less about the secret ingredients in high-end perfumes, the details of Freemason initiation rites, the method behind the Amazing Kreskin's feats of telepathy, or how playing cards are "marked". And that's the book's biggest problem. While there's likely to be something of interest for everyone in its pages, not everything will be of interest to the individual reader. Therefore, since I read for entertainment, BIG SECRETS is, for me, only a three-star entertainment vehicle. Also, since the book was originally published in 1983, twenty-one years ago - it's woefully outdated. I mean, nothing is mentioned about a secret email address for Bill Gates or what Martha Stewart does when she goes slumming.
According to Poundstone, 7-Up is the only major U.S. soft drink with no "secret" ingredients. Maybe that's why the beverage is so boring.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Helped me beat the Inkblot test, 22 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Big Secrets: The Uncensored Truth about All Sorts of Stuff ... (Paperback)
I read this *years* ago, and ended up sort of memorizing what to look for in the Rorschardt (spelling?) Inkblot test.
I was Court-ordered to have a Psychological evaluation (aren't Ex-spouses *great*?) in Dec of 1998, and I think knowing what to say (and what *not* to say) in that portion of the test helped give me custody of my kids, rather than my insane ex-spouse.
BTW: do NOT say you see a 'giant man stomping on you with big boots!'
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This Book Buy This Book Buy This Book Buy This Book, 4 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Big Secrets: The Uncensored Truth about All Sorts of Stuff ... (Paperback)
Ok maybe you got the joke,in the book Buy This Book there are subliminal messages well not really but they tell you all about stuff like Buy This Book that stuff.
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