Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Unbelievable Truth - Dr. Graeme Garden and Jon Naismith

Summary:  Enter Mr. David Mitchell’s amazing Cabinet of Curiosities and prepare to marvel at this hand-picked and lavishly illustrated compendium of incredible facts, each one painstakingly culled from the hugely acclaimed BBC Radio and Australian TV show The Unbelievable Truth. Plus—try your own truth-detection skills over a series of ingenious comic essays on a diverse range of subjects, from Armadillos to Sir Walter Raleigh, by the show’s co-inventor Dr. Graeme Garden. Each essay contains five incredible truths, tantalizingly concealed amongst a host of barely credible lies. The Unbelievable Truth is hosted by the award-winning actor, comedian, and writer David Mitchell, and was first broadcast on Radio 4 in 2006, since when it has become one of BBC Radio’s most popular and successful shows. (Summary and Image from amazon.com. I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.)

My Review:  I grew up playing Trivial Pursuit and watching Jeopardy!.  I love random facts!  I don't know what it is, if it's the further understanding of a topic, or because I think it's fun to have weird, random, fascinating tidbits to toss in a conversation when it comes up, but I've always been drawn to them.  The Unbelievable Truth is based on the BBC program QI, where contestants try to sort fact from fiction.

Ooh, this book was so much fun!  There are a plethora of topics to choose from, each receiving two pages of factoids.  Some facts are a little racy (I skipped over a few), but most are delightfully surprising.  I absolutely loved diving into this book and surprising my family with the crazy facts therein.  (My son is very much like me ... he loved me reading this book, too!)  

Even better, this was a quick, quick read.  I've been suffering from a reading rut, and this book was a perfect book to break through that.  However, it made me want to check out QI.

As this book was from an international publisher and based on a british program, many of the facts were tailored to a British audience.  Some facts reported in British pounds, but the majority of them are broad enough that it was only rarely I was reminded that I'm not British.  In no way did it really detract from the fun of this book.

My Rating:  Four stars

For the Sensitive Reader:  There are a few sections that were not quite appropriate for all audiences.  Those were easy to skip over. 

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