Audie Award Nominee, Multi-Voiced Performance, 2013
John Hodgman - best-selling author, The Daily Show's "Resident Expert", minor television celebrity, and deranged millionaire - brings us the third and final installment in his trilogy of Complete World Knowledge.
In 2005, Dutton published The Areas of My Expertise, a handy little book of Complete World Knowledge, marked by the distinction that all of the fascinating trivia and amazing true facts were completely made up by its author, John Hodgman. At the time, Hodgman was merely a former literary agent and occasional scribbler of fake trivia. In short: a nobody.
But during an interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, an incredible transformation occurred. He became a famous minor television personality. You may ask: During his whirlwind tornado ride through the high ether of minor fame and outrageous fortune, did John Hodgman forget how to write books of fake trivia? The answer is: Yes. Briefly. But soon, he remembered!
And so he returned, crashing his Kansas farmhouse down upon the wicked witch of ignorance with More Information than You Require, a New York Times best seller containing even more mesmerizing and essential fake trivia, including seven hundred mole-man names (and their occupations).
And now, John Hodgman completes his vision with That Is All, the last book in a trilogy of Complete World Knowledge. Like its predecessors, That Is All compiles incredibly handy made-up facts into brief articles, overlong lists, and beguiling narratives on new and familiar themes. It picks up exactly where More Information left off - specifically, at page 596 - and finally completes Complete World Knowledge, just in time for the return of Quetzalcoatl and the end of human history in 2012.
16 Hours. Read by Dick Cavett, Patton Oswalt, Jon Hamm, Paul Rudd, Sarah Vowell, Brooke Shields, Scott Adsit, Robin Goldwasser, Jonathan Coulton, John Roderick, Rachel Maddow, Wyatt Cenac, Stephen Fry, Paul F. Tompkins, and Prominent Ragnarok Denier Dr. Elliott Kalan.
Music by Jonathan Coulton, John Roderick, John Flansburgh, John Darnielle, and Cynthia Hopkins.
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Great Highs, Weird Lows
I would definitely recommend at least two thirds of this book to a friend, which by itself is easily worth one credit.
Not as strong overall as the first two books in the series.
The performances by Hodgman, and a cast of others is great as always.
This book has some hilarious parts, but suffers in a few areas. First Jonathan Coulton is only in it a short while, which is a bummer, but his part of the book is at least one of the high points. Second the book delves into an oddly depressing, short, autobiographical section that felt kinda out of place, and sort of killed the mood for a while. Third, the 700 X section of this book (700 hobos, and 700 molemen in the previous book) is about one and a half hours of John Hodgman speaking backwards over a music track. Even when I found a youtube video of someone who had kindly reversed the audio to make it understandable, the music kinda drowns out his voice. It's a real bummer that I can't bring myself to listen to it, because I bet it was pretty funny. I'm sure some might appreciate the humor of reversing the names of these 700 dark gods, but I can't imagine even they would sit through that entire section of the book. I have to imagine the book doesn't suffer from this problem, but I could be wrong.
Zenith of World Knowledge Conclusively Achieved!!