The Book of General Ignorance by John Mitchinson

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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.

You’ll be surprised at how much you don’t know! Check out THE BOOK OF GENERAL IGNORANCE for more fun entries and complete answers to the following:

How long can a chicken live without its head?
About two years.

What do chameleons do?
They don’t change color to match the background. Never have; never will. Complete myth. Utter fabrication. Total Lie. They change color as a result of different emotional states.

Who invented champagne?
Not the French.

How many legs does a centipede have?
Not a hundred.

How many toes has a two-toed sloth?
It’s either six or eight.

How many penises does a European earwig have?
b)None at all
c)Two (one for special occasions)
d)Mind your own business

Which animals are the best-endowed of all?
Barnacles. These unassuming modest beasts have the longest penis relative to their size of any creature. They can be seven times longer than their body.

What is a rhino’s horn made from?
A rhinoceros horn is not, as some people think, made out of hair.

Who was the first American president?
Peyton Randolph.

What were George Washington’s false teeth made from?
Mostly hippopotamus.

What was James Bond’s favorite drink?
Not the vodka martini.

From the Hardcover edition.

About John Mitchinson

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JOHN LLOYD is the producer of the hit British comedy shows Not the Nine O'Clock News, Blackadder, and Spitting Image. JOHN MITCHINSON writes for the British television show QI, and drinks in the same pub as John Lloyd.
Published August 7, 2007 by Crown Archetype. 288 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Horror, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Book of General Ignorance

Publishers Weekly

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If you think you're a trivia expert, British TV men Lloyd (producer of the hit comedy shows Spitting Image and Black Adder) and Mitchinson (writer for Quite Interesting) may disabuse you of the notion

Aug 06 2007 | Read Full Review of The Book of General Ignorance

Publishers Weekly

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Structured as a series of questions mimicking the quiz show’s final round—known as “General Ignorance,” where questions with seemingly obvious but wrong answers are posed to the four panelists and points are awarded and deducted for clever and dull responses, respectively—the book is a ...

Sep 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Book of General Ignorance

BC Books

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I’ll confess I’m a big fan of Beyer’s previous books, The Greatest Stories Never Told and The Greatest War Stories Never Told.

Oct 28 2007 | Read Full Review of The Book of General Ignorance

The Bookbag

Summary: QI: The Book of General Ignorance belongs to the very popular family of general knowledge trivia volumes, bought especially round Christmas as presents for anorakish friends and family members.

Nov 26 2012 | Read Full Review of The Book of General Ignorance

Huffington Post

"The Book of the Dead: Lives of the Justly Famous and the Undeservedly Obscure" (Crown Publishing, $21.95), by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson: The subjects aren't all obscure in "The Book of the Dead: Lives of the Justly Famous and the Undeservedly Obscure."

Oct 04 2010 | Read Full Review of The Book of General Ignorance

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