The Book of General Ignorance

  • by John Mitchinson, John Lloyd
  • Narrated by uncredited
  • 4 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Think Magellan was the first man to circumnavigate the globe, baseball was invented in America, and Mount Everest is the tallest mountain? Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.Misconceptions, misunderstandings, and flawed facts finally get the heave-ho in this humorous, downright humiliating book of re-education based on the phenomenal British best seller. Challenging what most of us assume to be verifiable truths in areas like history, literature, science, nature, and more, The Book of General Ignorance is a witty gotcha compendium of how little we actually know about anything. It'll have you scratching your head wondering why we even bother to go to school.Revealing the truth behind all the things we think we know but don't, this book leaves you dumbfounded about all the misinformation you've managed to collect during your life, and sets you up to win big should you ever be a contestant on Jeopardy! or Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.Besides righting the record on common (but wrong) myths like Captain Cook discovering Australia or Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone, The Book of General Ignorance also gives us the skinny on silly slipups to trot out at dinner parties.Thomas Edison said that we know less than one millionth of one percent about anything: this book makes us wonder if we know even that much.You'll be surprised at how much you don't know!


What the Critics Say

"Trivia buffs and know-it-alls alike will exult to find so much repeatable wisdom gathered in one place." (New York Times)
"The Book of General Ignorance won't make you feel dumb. It's really a call to be more curious." (The Associated Press)
"Ignorance may be bliss, but so is learning surprising information." (Hartford Courant)
"You, too, can banish social awkwardness by having its endless count of facts and factoids at the ready. Or you could just read it and keep what you learned to yourself. Betcha can't." (New York Daily News)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Absolutely Brilliant!!

My only regret is that it was over to soon. There should be a sequel. Fascinating facts and the way they were presented made my hours driving disappear. Being able to spout off unknown facts irritates my wife but even she found this book addicting. Well done.
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- Septimus MacGhilleglas


This book is very interesting. The ideas, though disorganized, were all joined together, one after the other, by a humorus commonality. It was good for me to stop and start again without worrying about where I left off because the topics jump quite rapidly. It is a cyclone of facts (hopefully) that kept me hanging on.

I enjoyed learning the obscure facts very much. This gives me something to inject into a conversation no matter what subject is brought up.

This book is generally great entertainment. There is so much information that is just too hard to stick. Perhaps I will listen to it again.
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- A. Hawkbird

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-25-2008
  • Publisher: Random House Audio