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4.6 out of 5 stars194
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 17 January 2010
I obtained the Ricky Gervais Show podcasts recently - which is basically a forum where Karl Pilkington talks nonsense and is bullied by Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant. I don't think I've ever laughed so much. Some editions of "Monkey News" (one of the regular features) were the most surreal, original and brilliant comedy I've ever heard. You can get the first series from iTunes for a few quid - best money you'll ever spend. That podcast was a spinoff from the trio's XFM radio show - which was equally good.

So I was intrigued to read the 'book of the series'. The book is presented as a diary, with Karl doing several trips to learn about the world. He goes to the Science Museum, London Zoo, the Tower of London, and a few other places. He presents his observations on these experiences.

However I didn't find it that entertaining, actually I found it quite tedious towards the end. There are a few problems:
- Without Ricky and Steve to goad and drive Karl and to pick him up on his lunacy, it just sounds waffly. Without the dynamic from the podcast, it just sounds like listening to a pointless monologue.
- The book feels too 'researched'. The rubbish from Karl is much better when improvised.
- A lot of the comedy in the podcasts came from Karl's delivery; the way he said the most absurd things in such a dry, earnest manner. This doesn't come across in the book.
- The book relies too much on witty one-liners. They're okay - but Karl's genius really comes from his imagination. For instance, a highlight of the book was his theory of how brains came from space.

In conclusion, instead of buying this book get the podcasts. If you already have the podcasts, this book will probably disappoint. It makes me sad to say that, since I really do believe Karl Pilkington is Britain's (if not the world's) funniest man.
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on 16 July 2014
i am a huge fan of karl and have seen all his tv programmes and podcasts and was looking for untapped material. i knew he had written books but had no idea how cheap they were! i chose this because it had just about the highest ratings, and i was unsure if the idiot abroad/ moaning of life books overlapped stuff he says in the show (probably not tbf). the book itself is a bit like "the simpsons" in the sense that it can be a bit flat for a page or 2 but but then every now and then laughing incredibly hard. this book is at its funniest when he talks about his past, school, family and people who grew up on his estate; he needs a book dedicated purely to these things as these are the factors of why karl is like he is. the funny thing with this book is you read but in his voice in your head!
value for money = 5 star
quality= 4 star
i think the reason i may be being harsh on the book is im not much of a reader, but for portability it has still been worth it.
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on 3 November 2011
I've only ever watched the HBO animated series of the podcasts that Pilkington stars in along with Gervais and Tennent and this is the first of his literary offerings I've read and I'm glad I did. This book continues to mine the extremely rich vein that is Karl Pilkingtons brain. This man has the ability to look at things from a unique perspective and the laughs he provides in doing do come thick and fast. His deadpan style in the podcasts comes across loud and clear in the book and it's almost as if you can hear Pilkington talking to you as you read.

I'm amazed at how he looks at life and how he comes up with the most bizarre solutions to the little and not so little problems we encounter as we go through life.

I'll certainly be reading more from this author. Great stuff!
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on 11 January 2014
I'm a massive fan of the podcasts that Karl did with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant but found this book disappointing. What made the podcasts so great was Karl's dry delivery and comic timing, which doesn't come across as well in the written word. The book suffers from not having any input from Gervais and Merchant - it was the dynamic between the three of them, goading Karl in his wacky theories and strange take on life, that made the podcasts such a joy to listen to. It just feels a bit too researched, as though he's trying too hard, and lacks the spontaneity of the podcasts.

If, like me, you love the podcasts, you'll be disappointed by this book.
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on 11 October 2008
Karlology is a great book. I think his books are just getting better and better. There is much more effort put into this one then 'happyslapped by a jellyfish'. It is not just a diary, karl actually goes out and documents his reasearch on the brain. He goes of on tangents in a little less but this book still remains top notch.

A must buy for any fans of the KP
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on 4 April 2013
I chose this rating because from reading the first chapter of this book, I expected it to be about his life, such as his first job and his school days, similar to an autobiography.

It is not that, well after the first chapter anyway. After that it is basically what he thinks of places such as museums and zoos.

Slapped by a jellyfish was so much better as it was more inline with an autobiography as it talked about his past holidays.

I like Karl Pilkiington, but this book is not my cup of tea. 3 stars is the best i can do i am afraid.
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on 1 July 2010
I was skeptical about buying this book at first. Since I have heard the majority of the Ricky Gervais shows I thought there might be nothing to offer that I didn't already know in this book. How wrong I was.

Karlology is fantastic, from the moment I picked it up I could not put it down. References to the show are made during the book but described in so much detail. I thoroughly enjoyed the book from start to finish, and I recommend it to anyone.

I agree with Ricky Gervais in saying this man, is the funniest man alive!
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on 9 April 2012
Just as I hoped, a light hearted read that kept me entertained for a few hours. Its also maybe a little longer than the others which is fine by me as I can't get enough of Karl.

If you have no knowledge of Karl then it's probably not the best place to start - you might want to try the book that accomponied the "An Idiot Abroad" series for that - but if you've seen the TV shows, heard the podcasts, or indeed, read any of his other books, you won't be disappointed,
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on 28 October 2013
Karl never fails to make me laugh out loud, another fantastic read, he is known by some as an idiot, I call him a genius!!!!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 February 2014
This book is fantastic and so is Karl Pilkington! I purchased this mainly to read for a long-haul flight and I tell you, time goes so fast when you're having fun!

Karl is a very funny person and he can cheer anyone up!

This book has some interesting thoughts which will get you thinking.

I read this whole book in 1 day!!! I barely ever read any books nowadays, so I hope this tells you how addicting it is!
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