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Download The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Know-It-All: One Mans Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World Audiobook, by A. J. Jacobs Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (15,585 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: A. J. Jacobs Narrator: Geoffrey Cantor Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2004 ISBN: 9781598871715
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Look at all those footprints on Everest! The moon has them, too. Been there, done that. But only this Esquire editor and NPR contributor has read the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z. In this amusing chronicle, he discusses the feat of read Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Converse | 2/15/2014

    " Entertaining tale of celebrity journalist reads the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica, joins Mensa, realizes he can no longer do long algebra, & gets wife pregnant - with some difficulty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tyler | 2/12/2014

    " Although it took my much longer than expected to read it, I thought it was really funny. It is also handy how you can pick it up for 1 minute incriments as your waiting for the kids to brush their teeth and read an entry or two. It did make me feel smart for knowing a lot of his science facts that he learned, although at the same time I can tell I know zero about most of the famous writers he wrote about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan Hartberg | 2/8/2014

    " Kind of annoying at times and kind of interesting at others. Overall, probably not worth the time, but its always nice to have variety in the library. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 caitlin | 2/7/2014

    " fun. good to read little bits at a time. weird trivia and casual writing style. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet Hanks | 2/7/2014

    " The insecure, self-deprecating-but-not-really brand of writer is like nutmeg -- a little bit goes a lonnnnnggg way. And we already have Woody Allen, so A.J. needs a different schtick. Not my fave by a long shot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 1/26/2014

    " It was very entertaining but got boring towards the end. Ended up not finishing it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aileen | 1/21/2014

    " I didn't expect this book to be as funny as it was. The author is very witty, and I guess you have to be if all you're talking about it how you read the whole encyclopaedia. I laughed out loud frequently, and enjoyed his funny anticdotes that accompanied the different sections of the book (he broke it down alphebetically, cleverly incorporating the things he read into his everyway life). To top it all off, there was an over-arching story of him and his wife trying to get pregnant that made me want to continue reading to see what happens. It all flows together very nicely. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paul | 1/21/2014

    " Humorous and even endearing writing style, but more vulgar than I prefer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patyn | 1/19/2014

    " A well written, entertaining read. I learned some random facts and enjoyed the anecdotes along the way. Not a must-read book, but a good one nonetheless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawne | 1/6/2014

    " Laugh it loud humor. A nice, pleasurable read - an escape from my usual fare. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason | 12/24/2013

    " Since I've often driven my wife and others crazy by spouting off disconnected trivia, I could easily relate to this memoir about a man who read the Encyclopedia Britannica and increased his social awkwardness exponentially. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 George | 12/23/2013

    " An amazing journey through the Encyclopedia Britanica and everyday life "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emilie | 12/9/2013

    " So funny, impossible to put down, lots of off-the-wall info. Inspiring and heartfelt at times. Reminded me of David Sedaris books. Loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 5/30/2013

    " Jon Stewart's quote on the front of the book says it all, "...I've always said, why doesn't someone put out a less complete version of the encyclopedia?" I am only on H, but I am learning a lot of trivia. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emily | 2/18/2013

    " I only read this because I LOVED his other book. this one was average - I finished it but I'd pretty much lost interest before the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline Niziol | 2/3/2013

    " It was a hard slog at first (much like the author's journey, I imagine) and then ended up a delightful book. The author vacillated between charming enthusiasm and annoying self-awareness, but at the end I liked him and was no longer jealous of his quest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kenneth | 12/20/2012

    " One of the most entertaining, trivial and educating books I've read. Could not put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobbye Hudspeth | 11/12/2012

    " Loved it. Love A. J. Wish I could convey my thoughts as humorously as he does...seemingly so effortlessly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura Aughton | 10/15/2012

    " I want to be this guy when I grow up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marilyn | 9/23/2012

    " I belly-laughed my way through this book. Now that I'm finished, I want to extract all manner of portions of it to include in my daily conversation. So darn much interesting info we ought to be sharing! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Timi | 8/30/2012

    " A laugh-out-loud read! AJ Jacobs weaves a wonderful tale of his experience reading Encyclopaedia Britannica from beginning to end. And, how he uses his new-found knowledge in his every-day life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy Young | 5/13/2012

    " I chuckle as I read his writing...always a good sign. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jose | 3/24/2012

    " So good, so very funny. great audio book. reminded me a lot of me...always seeking knowledge and facts....great book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Tornese | 10/3/2011

    " Seriously, AJ Jacobs is one of the wittiest, smartest writers out there. He makes me laugh on every page-and his "humble quests" are hysterical and unbelievable. I can't believe the extent he will go to for his research. LOVE his books! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 10/1/2011

    " This was a funny book. Jacobs is a clever guy, reminds me a lot of some of the brainiacs that I go to school with. I feel like I got to learn a lot of the cocktail party trivia he acquired with far less effort than he put in. :-) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dieterjamie Brock | 8/4/2011

    " Jacobs goes above and beyond to research his books with hilarious results. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marianne | 6/22/2011

    " Fantastic read. I just loved reading and re-reading this book. I'm struggling with my transition from reading for pleasure to reading for knowledge/growth, and this was a nice step in the right direction. I could not put it down! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 6/19/2011

    " Great concept, worked for about the first half of the book, easily could have shortened it up a bit, because unfortunately the concept lends itself to repetition. Made an entertaining audiobook. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 6/7/2011

    " I want to be this guy when I grow up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katarina | 6/6/2011

    " Very funny, and I'm a sucker for entertaining facts and tidbits. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 5/31/2011

    " A.J. Jacobs, you are possibly the most hilarious smart guy ever. Will you be my best friend? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Proctera | 5/28/2011

    " Good book about a man who reads the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. The articles he mentions usually relate to his current life story. Interesting parallel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eric | 5/18/2011

    " It started slow for me, but got better. It still wasn't as good as his other books, but I did end up liking it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexandria | 5/16/2011

    " Great read. I laughed out loud a number of times. Found myself trying to remember all the random facts, and have word for word quoted parts of these entries. Jacobs is humble and hilarious as always. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tony | 5/11/2011

    " I loved this book it was a great way to pass the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darlene | 5/1/2011

    " Very entertaining. Somewhat crude and vulgar at times, but mostly hilarious and informative. Makes me want to run out and buy a set of encyclopedias! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becca | 4/30/2011

    " One of the best books I've read in a long time- funny, smart, and makes your heart feel full at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerry | 4/29/2011

    " This was a great read. Nice to know I am not the only crazy person out there who thinks reading the Encyclopaedia is a worthwhile effort. The 1911 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica is now in the public domain. Am looking forward to perusing these tomes of knowledge. "

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About the Author

A. J. Jacobs is the editor of What It Feels Like and the author of a series of experiential journalism books including bestsellers The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically. He is the senior editor of Esquire and has written for the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, New York magazine, New York Observer, and other publications. He lives in New York with his wife and children.

About the Narrator

Geoffrey Cantor is a magna cum laude graduate of Amherst College. His stage work includes the Broadway play Side Man, as well as Romeo and Juliet and Dinner with Friends. On television, he has appeared on The Sopranos and Law & Order, and his film credits include Public Enemies, When in Rome, and Heavy Petting