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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 24 May 2017
not as good and it seemed
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on 27 August 2008
I had high hopes for this book but was left a little disappointed.

There was lots of stuff in here that I had forgotten but most of it I will surely forget again because I'm not too interested. The bits I was interesting in (maths and science) I found that I did know (because I read sciencey books anyway) and it felt a bit lightweight in that area.

The book mostly covers early secondary school topics and touches on some of the basics from 'O' level (I guess that's GCSE now).

Overall, I think it is worth a read and it does deliver what it tries to. My problem is that my expectations were unrealistic (but that's not the author's fault).
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on 22 June 2017
There are whole areas of knowledge that are closed to me, so this book may be perfect in every other respect and I will never know it. However, I was struck by this - ' "Les Miserables" is set in Paris in 1815, at the time of the Battle of Waterloo' . Um.... no it's not. It OPENS in Paris in 1815, but the crucial action takes place during the June uprising of 1832. This fairly substantial error rather makes me doubt the authority of the rest of the book.
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on 18 January 2017
With my mother-in-law rambling on and taking the long way around telling her stories this was ideal.

When telling her stories she and veers off subject, many times forgetting what the point of the conversation in the first place. With the added bonus, sometimes of losing her thread, she sometimes forgets crucial details.

For example a long winded joke and the punch line. Or a stunning place she wants to visit, but forgetting the location that was on a programme she was watching.

She has been tested for memory loss, but despite not being a spring chicken passes all memory loss tests. It has therefore been established that this is just her and how she tells her stories/things she has seen on TV.

This is perfect as recently she has decided to say that as a more experienced person she has better knowledge than me and my wife. Thanks to being an elder person in society she is a fountain of knowledge, just can never remember it! When she attempts to tell us, she forgets crucial details, mostly due to telling things the long way around. (Much like this review appears to have done!)
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VINE VOICEon 15 February 2009
Fascinating, helpful, good revision and stirred up a few memories. I'm not a parent but bought this as a gift and a bit of a joke, and had a quick look before intending to wrap it up. Got totally engrossed and now it sits on my bookshelf and still often refer to it.
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on 1 May 2009
Priceless - you just find so much that you actually did know but forgot. It wakes the brain. A great book to share and share conversation about afterwards! Buy it - I bet you'll enjoy it. If you don't, just put it in the loo, someone else will!
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on 13 March 2009
Fascinating little book .I am frequently picking it up to have a browse, it also evokes memories of school, as I remember when I learned a particular topic and some of the teachers who taught me. It has also come in useful helping me to remember items when I am helping my grandchildren with schoolwork. All in all a cracking little book, so much so, that I have purchased two others in the series.
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on 7 September 2009
Anyone who enjoys I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot from School should get themselves a copy of So That's Why They Call it Great Britain: How One Tiny Country Gave So Much to the World as I think it is more fun and informative read.

While I enjoyed brushing up on Geography and the Periodic Table of Elements in I Used To Know That, I must admit that I skim read the Maths section and did not learn anything in the Literature chunk of the book. It might be a useful book to turn to to help children with their homework though.

It was a different story with So That's Why They Call It Great Britain. It's an easy to read A-Z of wonderful British inventions, discoveries and heroes. I found myself dipping into it whenever could and almost always found out something new.
Did you know, for instance, that the chocolate bar, the I-Pod and Champagne are British inventions or that the first woman doctor in Britain and America was from Bristol or that the world's first set of traffic lights were installed in London before there were even any cars on the road? Me neither but I'm pleased I know it now!
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on 16 May 2012
This is not an all encompassing encylopeadic reference book. This is not a study aid. It was never meant to be and anyone who thinks it is or was meant to be needs to wake up. This is one step on from the novelty toilet book... I lie, for me it is a toilet book. A man's downstairs loo toilet book - it sits alongside the Schotts Alamanc's and miscellany's and the joy of a book that is 'It looks like cock.'

It covers the central points of education, History, Geography, Science, maths and English - reading it brought back memories of school days and Oxbow lakes. Oh Sarah and the bike sheds... i digress! Its what it is, a novely read, it raises a smile and actually is an ideal Capital city reference guide. Banjul, anyone? It's written in lighthearted style - I agree Wordsworth is dull! So is elevated from refernce material as it has humour and is elevated above toilet humour as it has fact and detail a plenty.

It is a great stocking filler or pet present to a quiz enthusiast or just someone getting old or with kids the right age. It still hasn't cured me of my inability to do fractions nor my deep rooted belief that Pythagoris and Trigonometry are utterly irrelevant. But i loved the prime minister and kings and queen section. Its a fun read and novelty buy!

Banjul = Gambia. But you knew that right?
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on 18 June 2008
Apparently, like loads of other people, I go around thinking that I still know everything that I learnt at school, when in fact, I bet I can't remember half of it, and it wasn't even that long ago! When someone actually asked me to tell them what photosynthesis was I found that I no longer knew anything more than 'it's how plants live and something to do with carbon dioxide and green stuff in leaves'! And more disturbingly all my basic maths skills have also got lost somewhere in the depths of time. This book is a godsend to anyone who wants to be reminded of all these skills so that you no longer feel like a dunce at the pub quiz or just generally really, and it also has loads of things that I was never even taught at school which are of genuine interest. It looks so nice on your shelf too that its a good one to buy for awkward relatives and friends - as long as they won't be insulted!!
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