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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 23 October 2008
I absolutely love this book. I have hundreds of quotation books, but they almost all lack the editorial style of Messrs Lloyd and Mitchinson. The big difference is that quotation books are normally only really reference books, this one flows so that you find yourself absorbed and taken along by it.

Other reviewers suggest it's nothing to do with the TV show QI. I don't agree. John Lloyd and John Mitchinson dreamed up and produce the QI TV show, and you can tell the humour and approach is from the same place. The great thing about the TV show is nothing is off limits. If it is interesting and it is funny, it is in. From Greek philosophy to the profane and odd, anything goes. The same applies to this excellent book, and that, along with the Johns' comedy and editorial talent is why this is different from the others.
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on 8 February 2009
Normally one to stick with "stores" or novels such as Sedaris and his "Me Talk Pretty" or the funny books "Barring Some Unforeseen Accident" or "Stephen Fry in America," I found this great and hysterical book of quotations quite by accident. Favorites include:

People say they sleep like a baby until they have one.

All anybody needs to know about prizes is that Mozart never won one.

And, with apologies to America, this from Ronald Reagan (you might have thought George Bush) "What would this country be without this great land of ours?"

And for those of you who remember some great quotes but can't remember who or where they came from , this is invaluable. Lest you think this is strictly "bathroom" reading, let me assure you, it is not. Neither is it something you're going to want to sit down with for hours, but it is a great reference book, great fun, and you'll be amazed at who said what.
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on 8 June 2009
Don't be put off by the use of the word "banter" and the exclusively contemporary quotations on the front cover: for once, "advanced banter" is not a clumsy reference to laddish innuendo but, as you might expect of the people at QI, the original and correct use of the term. This is a collection of clever, witty pleasantry which appeals to every generation. Ranging from Hegel to Hicks and from Iqbal to Izzard, it is a useful and moreover entertaining collection of quotations, arranged into broad and not-so-broad subjects such as "Money", "Persuasion" "Celery" and, the house favourite, "Legs". The wide range of sources ensures it avoids covering the same old quotations you could have read in a 1963 Reader's Digest edition. Yes, it has all the important classics in it but it is fresh and funny and contains so much more than the usual Shakespeare and Voltaire. If you're looking for quotations, this is the book you need.
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on 17 May 2009
Ever read the entirety of a reference book, cover to cover? Me neither. And you won't be counting Advanced Banter: The QI Book of Quotations as a first, I'm fairly sure. This rather sizeable collection definitely works best as something to dip into. The quotations are split thematically, and although you sense that they gathered the material first and then separated it out, this doesn't detract from its quality. Comedians, scientists, artists, statesmen, novelists and philosophers are counted among the talking heads in a collection that runs the gamut from the profound to the throwaway, the clever-clever to the surprisingly heartfelt. (It's this jumping about in terms of tone, by the way, that makes this book best taken down from your shelf and dipped into little and often.) All the usual topics are here - love, duty, wisdom - but much of the material is surprisingly fresh and wisely avoids many of the hackneyed aphorisms that we could probably all already quote. Less Oscar Wilde, more Russian proverbs, as it happens. Not that I subscribe to the really quite ridiculous premise of this book - that you might drop one of its pearls into your conversations. Not in the world I inhabit, certainly. However unrealistic, if you like what can be done with a well-chosen word, it's well worth swallowing this for the opportunity to treasure such lines as `You can recognise a cruel man: he cries in the cinema' (Graham Greene). I like that one.
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VINE VOICEon 10 October 2008
Ever stumbled a cross a quote or saying that rang so true, you've decided to write it down and tuck in a pocket for future reference? Well, this book's full of them.
Quotes are powerful things. They can make us happy, sad, laugh, cry, can comfort us, annoy us...the list goes on. As such, this book is a rollercoaster of opinions and witticisms, some of which are infamous, some of which are lesser known.
It's difficult to review such a book because...well...it's a bit of a nothingness. It is, quite simply, a collection of quotes from famous people, A-Z by subject. That's it. The overall product feels rushed, too - on my first thumb through, I noticed 3 spelling errors! - and I don't appreciate having the QI brand slapped on it. A foreword by Fry it may have, but it has very little to do with the show.
That said, is does what it's meant to do, and it does it well - it's a big volume, the kind that warrants dipping into, despite perhaps not seeming to be great value at first, I can imagine this book lasting years, always worth opening up to find a quote to inspire (or infuriate) you.
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on 12 October 2008
This book is simply a collection of amusing quotations from the famous - and the not so famous. It doesn't really appear to have anything more to do with QI than having the series name on the cover. It's a great book for dipping into but hardly something you'll want to tirelessly read from cover to cover. Ideal as a bathroom reader or to amuse others with.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 November 2015
Bought as a gift and very pleased with it - it's an eclectic mix of quotes and general banter from the TV show and more.

Easy to dip into and very entertaining, it covers the usual highbrow areas of classical music, literature and so on but also fetches it into the mainstream with current and recent events and social commentary.

Recommended
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on 3 November 2008
What a great book - packed with gems of wit and wisdom. Only the interesting-facts QI team could deliver such a great collection and do it so well. Clearly a real labour of love for those who put it together.
A veritable treasure trove. An ideal present for almost anyone on almost any occasion.
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on 12 March 2009
Compendiums of quotations, tacked together from a panoply of sources, can be difficult to review on their own terms, but Advanced Banter is unusual in that it radiates effort, commitment and care. This hardback edition looks and feels delightful, and the quotations are smartly arranged by theme. Lloyd and Mitchinson incorporate familiar epithets from Classical sources to the modern day, but also litter the book with idiosyncratic and esoteric gems. A highly recommended collection.
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on 1 February 2016
The problem that we have here is that there’s not enough about this book that makes it feel like a Q.i. book – sure, it’s written by the show’s creators and it includes a prologue by Stephen Fry (and even a jokey proverb by Alan Davies), but once you actually get into it, it’s just the same as every other collection of quotations that are on the market.

It’s actually kind of daunting to read it, because there’s such a huge amount of information packed in such a (relatively) small amount of space. It’s just back to back quotations from the start to the finish, and if that’s what you’re looking for then that’s a great thing. I guess I was just hoping for them to be put in context – more context than the fairly arbitrary categorisations that the authors use.

That’s why I gave this book a seven, my default rating for any book which is professionally written but which nevertheless leaves a little to be desired. There’s nothing wrong with this book at all, but I can’t help feeling like it could’ve been a little better. All of the other Q.i. books are packed full of context, and I would have liked to have known a bit more about some of the people who are quoted here.

Still, there are plenty of quotes here that I’d never come across before, and it does also have a useful index at the end for you to look up the people that you’re interested in. There’s a good variety of sources, too – on the cover alone, they reference Billy Connolly, Steve Martin, Dolly Parton, Albert Einstein and P. G. Wodehouse.

You’d expect nothing less from Lloyd and Mitchinson – they’re clearly two guys who like to do their research, and they’ve done plenty of research here, and so there was always going to be a certain amount of skill shown here. It’s just a bit of a shame that it didn’t live up to its full potential, and I’d go so far as to rank it as the worst of the collection.

So I’d suggest that you try one of the other Q.i. books, like the Q.i. Book of the Dead or even just The Book of General Ignorance. If you still want more then you can move on to this one afterwards. Let me know what you think once you’ve read them!
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