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Extended Audio Sample The Book of General Ignorance, by John Mitchinson, John Lloyd Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,324 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Mitchinson, John Lloyd Narrator: John Mitchinson, John Lloy Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Think Magellan was the first man to circumnavigate the globe, baseball was invented in America, Henry VIII had six wives, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain? Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

Misconceptions, misunderstandings, and flawed facts finally get the heave-ho in this humorous, downright humiliating book of reeducation based on the phenomenal British bestseller. 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 (Cinderella wore fur, not glass, slippers and chicken tikka masala was invented in Scotland, not India).

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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • 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
  • This UK bestseller redefines ‘common knowledge’ with factoids that will inform and entertain (or at least liven up your next cocktail party). OK! Magazine
  • You, too, can banish social awdwardness 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
  • To impress friends with your cleverness, beg, borrow or buy John Lloyd and John Mitchinson’s The Book of General Ignorance, an extraordinary collection of 230 common misperceptions compiled for the BBC panel game QI (Quite Interesting). Financial Times
  • This book would make even Edison feel small and silly, for it offers answers to questions you never thought to ask or had no need of asking as you already knew, or thought you knew, the answer. The Economist
  • Trivia books, like any kind of mental or physical addiction, are both irresistible and unsatisfying. By the standards of the genre, this one has something approaching the force of revelation. Answering silly questions suddenly seems less important than taking the trouble to ask a few. Melbourne Age
  • Eye-watering, eyebrow-raising, terrific . . . moving slightly faster than your brain does, so that you haven’t quite absorbed the full import of one blissful item of trivial information before two or three more come along. Such fine and creative research genuinely deserves to be captured in print. Daily Mail
  • Trivia buffs and know-it-alls alike will exult to find so much repeatable wisdom gathered in one place.
    New York Times

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Billy Terrier | 2/3/2014

    " Got to give this 5 stars really, simply because for some crazy reason you remember everything you read in this book - giving you the ability to annoy even more people with your knowledge and totally ruin conversations about Kim Kardashian or what happened on Eastenders and did you see dancing on ice. This book can and will make you an oddball - love it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Betsy | 1/14/2014

    " Hilarious and educational. Can it get any better? I love QI! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Eric | 1/13/2014

    " Fun little snippets about things we thought we knew. Put it in your coffee table book rotation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Bret Watson | 1/9/2014

    " A lot of panning for a few gold nuggets. "

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