The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World Paperback – 2 Feb 2006
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"'The Know-It-All is a terrific book. It's a lot shorter than the encyclopedia, and funnier, and you'll remember more of it. Plus, if it falls off the shelf onto your head, you'll live.' P.J. O'Rourke"
"'A jape of a book...with Jacobs...coming across as a slightly younger and Jewish Bill Bryson. Some of his quips are worthy even of Woody Allen... Hilarious' Guardian"
"'For those who enjoy learning about some of the stranger facts about the world in which we live and who appreciate having a guide of some charm, The Know-It-All will be something of a treat.' Sunday Times"
"'The Know-It-All is one of the most informative humorous books and one of the funniest collections of information that I have seen in a long time. (Note to publishers: that's the sentence you can put on the back of the next edition if you like).' Daily Express"
"'Frequently funny and sometimes downright hilarious, but this is also an unexpectedly moving book.'
On leaving school or university, you feel pretty pleased with yourself. You've learnt a lot, you're well-read, and you know a whole bunch of obscure facts guaranteed at some point to appear in the questions on Mastermind or University Challenge. Then you get a job, and ten years later, you're more eloquent and eager to argue about Britney and Big Brother than Beckett and the Brontes. Sound familiar? Well, it happened to AJ Jacobs too. As an editor at "Esquire", Jacobs had built up an impressive knowledge of celebrity trivia - and the cure was going to take a long time. While others read a broadsheet at the weekend, or become casual newsnight enthusiasts, Jacobs elected to read the "Encyclopaedia Britannica". All 33,000 pages of it. Bill Bryson meets Schott's Original; Miscellany meets Woody Allen. Part assemblage of fascinating trivia, part journey through adulthood, all laugh-out-loud funny.See all Product description
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I wondered how he could make reading about someone who read the Encyclopaedia Britannica even remotely interesting, but he manages to make it more than that.
AND you get to learn little snippets of information you may not have known before.
It's well-written and it's funny.