Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Psst! Wanna hear a secret?, 15 Feb 2004
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 Also, since the book was originally published in 1983, twenty-one years ago - it's woefully outdated.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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