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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would definitely recommend at least two thirds of this book to a friend, which by itself is easily worth one credit.
If you’ve listened to books by John Hodgman before, how does this one compare?
Not as strong overall as the first two books in the series.
Have you listened to any of John Hodgman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
The performances by Hodgman, and a cast of others is great as always.
Any additional comments?
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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
In this eagerly awaited final volume of his compendium of world knowledge, Hodgman has reached the apex of his career (and finale if, as he predicts, the world will end with Ragnarök on 12/21/2012).
Hodgman's skill at creating and describing a delightfully ridiculous version of reality never fails to please. His mock serious narration of the "facts," together with the contributions of various guests, including Paul Rudd, Jonathan Coulton, Jon Hamm, Rachel Maddow, Paul F. Tompkins, Dick Cavett, and Brooke Shields, makes for a delightful listen.
Hodgman addresses issues that are admittedly tough for him, such as wine and sports, but he valiantly soldiers on, relying on just enough actual facts for the listener to start wondering where the real stuff stops and the fantastical begins.
A large part of the pleasure of this audiobook is Hodgman's own wonderfully dry narration which, along with the guest commentaries, makes for the perfect, and very funny, audiobook experience.
Magnificent nerd humor--make sure you catch it before Ragnarök!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Hodgman takes us on a journey. Hopping between his various survival facilities and notable world landmarks dispensing mostly false, but always hilarious knowledge along the way. His frame is interrupted not once, as he fully embraces his life as a wise, but deranged millionaire. By way of explaining the world to his myriad celebrity guests, he also implores us to prepare for the imminent end of civilisation known as ragnarok. Hodgman is witty, absurd & he narrates with perfect pace and delivery to best compliment his brand of humour. A recommended listen for fans of comedy ranging from Flight Of The Conchords to Python. Excellent.
Far from being a regular interpretation of his international non best seller, Hodgman has created an impossibly complex epic of nonsense and surrealism. Filled with uncredited special guests, diversions upon diversions, intentional lies and wine tasting, the humour has more of the feel you would find in his regular podcast appearances than a staid audiobook reading. Some may find the backwards read death metal folk song that takes up the last hour too much to deal with. Others may find it a pleasant palette cleanser after the dark sci fi mood shift of the diary of Ragnarok. Overall though there are more laughs and memorable moments than you will find in most books of its kind. And for one credit it's an absolute bargain.