on 17 May 2012
THE DARWIN AWARDS By WENDY NORTHCUTT Takes A Vivid Look Into The Ingelligence Of The Human Animal. The Book Reveals That Many Of Us Don't Fall Short From The Glory Of Winning The Darwin Awards - Whether In Calm Situations, Stress Or A Crises, Because The Human Being Only Uses 10% Of His/Her Brain Power (According To Scientists).
THE DARWIN AWARDS?
Charles Darwin apparently had several theories on the existence of human life. The most famous of his theories is his Theory on Evolution. Another one of his apparent theories (paraphrased) is that Stupidity Is Geneticly Inherited - Stupid People Will Either Remove Themselves From The Human Race, Or From The Gene Pool By A Simple Or Complex Act/Duty/Resonsibility/Task - Their Own Single-Handed And/Or Under-Handed Mission - Will Cause Them To Perish At Their Own Perils.
And for such a Great Performance they Win an Award in their Absence - THE DARWIN AWARDS - is presented in book form.
THE DARWIN AWARDS By WENDY NORTHCUTT is a book on a collective of true stories from around the world that have been verified to have had 'Grave' consequences (pardon the pun) on individual humans. The identities are hidden of course (I assume to savour the family and friends from the pain and hardship of ridicule).
You might recognise yourself in this book with one significant difference - you are lucky to be alive.
THE DARWIN AWARDS By WENDY NORTHCUTT comes as a series of books (1-5 so far).
The chapters are entitled and made up of subjects that we should all be familiar with:
Eg: Animals, Gender Issues, Technology, Water - to name but a few.
There is something humourous there for everyone - whatever the age group, genre, or beliefs you have or come from.
THE DARWIN AWARDS By WENDY NORTHCUTT should come with a government 'health & safety' warning stamped and embossed - 'Don't Let Us Read About You In The Next Edition Of "The Darwin Awards"'.
on 18 July 2013
They say that fact is stranger than fiction and this appears to be the case in this amusing book which records the many weird and stupid ways people accidently kill themselves. It's a 'dip in, dip out' kind of book, but sure to be a conversation starter.
It's not a book to be left around for children to read though, as some of the deaths are gruesome or sexual in nature.
If you liked The Darwin Awards, you will find this book to be another winner.
Like The Darwin Awards, let me note that if you do not find witless death and mutilation humorous, avoid this book. Three of the mutilation examples have a sexual context and are pretty gross.
If you find fatal and grisly mishaps funny, you will enjoy the book greatly. In fact, this has to be the best articulated book ever written about stupid ways to die and lose fertility. Anyone will feel smarter and better about themselves after reading these stories!
This book is about people "removing themselves from the gene pool in sublimely idiotic fashion" in "true accidental blunders." The incidents involve ways that people "unthinkingly engineer their own downfalls, oblivious to warning signs that the rest of us automatically heed."
The book's premise is very well framed to put you in a humorous mood. The idea is that when people do stupid things that get them killed or keep them from having children, they thus perform a service by improving the gene pool for the remaining humans. Ms. Northcutt uses many witty essays and quotes to emphasize this point, and establishes the mood well.
She has rules for these awards. To win the Darwin Award, you must (1) die or be unable to procreate after the incident, (2) show "an astounding misapplication of common sense," (3) cause your own downfall, (4) have the ability to use sound judgment (are not too young or permanently mentally impaired) and (5) have the incident verified by someone else. If you don't meet all these tests, you can still get an honorable mention, or be described as an urban legend or a personal account. I thought these distinctions made good sense, because the story's focus and credibility weighs heavily on the interest it creates for the reader drawn to this subject.
In an improvement over The Darwin Awards, Ms. Northcutt has shared feedback from her readers challenging the veracity of various urban legends, personal accounts, and honorable mentions. As a result, this book is tighter than The Darwin Awards.
In another improvement, the stories much more carefully document the victim's involvement with illegal drugs and alcohol than in The Darwin Awards. In this way, the cautionary lesson about using these substances is brought home more correctly
The stories are grouped around themes: violating the seven deadly sins, women as the genetically removed party, water misadventures, problems with technology, men acting macho, misadventures with animals, explosions, and criminal capers. There is also a chapter on stories that do not qualify, and a dozen of the all-time favorites of on-line readers.
I rated the book down one star, though, because the average humor level here was not as good as in The Darwin Awards. Almost all of the examples came from 1998-2001, so there were not as many examples to choose from. I also think the verification process needs some further work. In many cases, it is in a publication or broadcast news report (which may have an incentive to "improve" the stories to make them better, and sell more issues). Finally, I think the verified examples are vastly more interesting than the fables. I would like to see a version in the future that is only made up of verified cases. I estimate that less than a quarter of these examples were verified.
I came away with two new themes from reading this book. Guns need to be treated with much more respect. The deaths and dismemberment from guns occur with considerable frequency here. The other theme is that people develop so much self-confidence in their abilities that they decide that the "rules" do not apply to them.
Be cautious, rather than daring, so you can live to enjoy the next book in this humorous, cautionary series!
on 22 January 2013
Well, my ex-boyfriend enjoyed it, but he's a cynical soul! I notice he didn't take it with him when we split though...
Looking through it, there are many amusing and absurd tales, but it gets a bit samey after a while.
on 19 April 2007
The Darwin Awards are given to people who manage to kill themselves in the most stupid way possible. As a rule reading these stories would not particularly offend me, but in this case I found a number of reasons to hate this book:
1. Many of the people were not actually that stupid, just unlucky.
2. Wendy Northcutt is essentially making money out of free stories off the internet, anyone could do that.
3. Northcutt starts each chapter with a pseudo intellectual debate that is embarrassingly bad.
4. There are references to stories that are not eligible for the Darwin Award, but Northcutt still thinks that it is acceptable to profit from them as long as she adds a disclaimer e.g. 10 year old boy dies trying to open a can of pop with a nail.
5. The appendices are a joke and one contains Northcutt's replies to some of the people from the Darwin site. Basically she flames them when they have not chance of retort. Embarrassing and plain weird.
I found this book a depressing and cynical attempt to make money. The idea of collating stupid deaths is not what angered me, but the fact that real accidents were written about then a sentence at the end explained why they were not really Darwin 'winners'. I find this highly disagreeable and added to the awful attempts by Woodcutt to justify her copying stuff of the internet and not being funny - this book should be pulped.
This is one of the funniest books I have read in years. This book was taken on holiday by someone else but I ended up having it most of the time, it kept me enterained whilst on the bus, and waiting for other things. The fact that they are all short stories means that its great for just reading on the odd occasion but you can also sit and read a big chunk as well.
Some of the dumm things that people have done really make you think, and I pray to God that these things never have to happen to me or someone I know, youll see what I mean when you read it!
BEST BOOK EVER!
on 2 December 2007
The Darwin Awards is a creative concept, but I'm not sure this book is written all that well or in that funny of a manner. I haven't read the other books in this series, so I can't compare it with them, but I didn't get that many laughs out of this one. And heck, maybe there's something wrong with you if you are getting laughs out of other people dying, whether they're dangling from a hanglider with a chainsaw in hand or what have you. I will say that some of the anecdotes are pretty funny, but the humor seemed a bit hit or miss. Author of Adjust Your Brain: A Practical Theory for Maximizing Mental Health.