Customer Review

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5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect book for history buffs, trivia lovers and those who spend any time on the loo!, 23 Oct. 2007
This review is from: The Interesting Bits: The History You Might Have Missed (Hardcover)
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I worked in a bookshop for several years during an interesting period... the emergence of "bathroom books". During the Christmas of 2002 Schott's first Miscellany was published. The demand for this book bordered on the insane. I know of one person who ended up with three copies as gifts. The following January opened with a flurry of customers all of whom raved about it. And then almost without exception, men and women, old and young alike would lean conspiratorially over the counter and whisper "I keep mine in the bathroom... and read it... on the loo!"

Such events soon became a common daily occurrence. The bookstore became a confessional for the Great British public to state in hushed tones that they spent their "morning constitutional" ensconced on the toilet gripped by the trivia and factoids contained within...

So now we have a worthy successor in Justin Pollard's "The Interesting Bits - The History You Might Have Missed". If ever there was a perfect example of lavatory literature then this is it. Divided into 20 short chapters covering subjects from Bed Hopping (historical anecdotes of lust and lechery), Bang! (bloody violence) and Unsound Minds (the deranged, insane and downright strange) the book deals with fascinating tales from global history.

The fact that Pollard holds a position as a Researcher for the wonderful Stephen Fry lead QI, is immediately apparent. And if you enjoy that show's brand of humorous trivia you'll love this, and can expect the same fascinating snippets of obscure information here. Sometimes funny, sometimes tragic but always entertaining the majority of entries are a page long, very well written and most importantly, highly memorable. Just this morning I learnt the origins of the terms "Gordon Bennet" and "Sideburns", as well as when the last trial for witchcraft occurred (1944 in fact), who Uncle Sam was and where Archbishop Sudbury's head now resides.

And there's the only danger inherent with this book. It will, inevitably I think, end up residing in numerous bathrooms throughout the UK and lead to frayed tempers and hammering on doors as that brief trip to the loo in the morning ends up getting stretched further and further out. I mean you must know how a dead man created fog, where the terms left and right wing came from and who liked kissing her dead husbands feet...

Justin Pollard has written a wonderfully quirky little book that I bet is going to thrill and amuse many people at parties, family gatherings and of course on toilets everywhere! An ideal gift for history buffs and trivia lovers this Christmas.
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Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 74,879