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QI: The Book of Animal Ignorance Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
The reason why I like the QI products so much is the QI philosophy: knowledge should be interesting, and learning is fun. So the worthy but dry stuff is cut, leaving just the good stuff.
At times this can be annoying if you want a detailed and complete understanding of a subject, but that's not what they are about. And of course once you've picked up the personality of a subject, and find you like it, you can always dig deeper.
The reason I like this one in particular is the subject matter - the animal kingdom boggles the mind. The elvish approach has pulled up a torrent of scarcely believable and fascinating information, most of which is new to me. There's nothing they couldn't have used for the inside cover, it's amazing from cover to cover.
The book introduces us to about 100 animals, with the information squeezed into two pages for each. Cartoons support the ideas and facts presented simply and stylishly.
As others have said, if you want a complete overview of the principles and organisation of the animal kingdom, then you are better looking elsewhere. But if you want something to interest and fascinate you, then this is a great place to start.
Literally pick an animal, any animal and then prepare to be instantly fascinated by facts which will simply astound you. Squid!? Eh, squid you say...? Well maybe not 'squid', but you will find box jellyfish (whose eyes are permanently out of focus!) But commoner animals are just as fascinating in the hand of this book's meticulous authors: For instance, thought you knew all about dirty rats? You'll rapidly learn that they enjoy peeing on each other, giggling in ultrasound, and that the only place in the world where you won't find any (outside of the polar ice caps) is Alberta, Canada because they have a 400 mile buffer zone against their entering. A quarter of all electrical faults are owing to their teeth cutting into wires; just as they are responsible for most otherwise unexplained domestic fires. And lest you thought they were dirty: they certainly are! Yet still spend half their lives cleaning themselves.
Utterly fascinating is this book - owing to its most interesting compendium of amazing facts regarding all kinds of critters. I just wish that the book included more animals and was, accordingly, bigger; albeit hopefully a future edition will be "noticeably stouter". Still, it remains an unquestionable must buy. 5/5!
As always, I treated this book like a 'treat' and just dipped into it periodically and, as always, my challenge was to discipline myself to avoid being utterly hooked and simply reading the whole thing in one sitting. Again as always, I thought "Oh, I must remember that" umpteen times and, of course, I can remember very little now.
If I have one, tiny, grump it is that some sections seem a little dated, referring to research that is ten years or more out of date but that didn't dent the unalloyed joy of reading this book one jot. Utterly brilliant!!!
The book has lost the question and answer style of the book of general ignorance. Instead it has been organised into two-page sections, each concerning one of 100 animals, organised alphabetically. Hence the focus has drifted away from the ignorance and over to the animal. However, that does not mean that the book is any less interesting.
For someone who religiously watches the TV show which the book accompanies, this book is far more rewarding. The first book lifted much of its material from the general ignorance round in the show. That which hadn't been seen by viewers of the show, probably hadn't made the cut. For this book it is clear that a considerable amount of extra research has been done.
Since much of the research has been done exclusively for the book, you can begin to perceive some of the themes that preoccupied the authors and their elves. The etymology of animal names is a clear example. Understanding how an animal was named gives a fascinating insight into what we believed we knew about the animal in the past and how our relationship with it has changed. The mouse is an excellent example:
"The very name `mouse' ultimately derives from the Sanskrit root mush, which means mouse and also to steal. Hence wherever we went thereafter - on foot, in carts, or by ship - the little thief kept us company.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
A typical QI fact book, loaded with information you probably didn't know about the animals around us. Read morePublished 8 months ago by WayneJ
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