Nonfiction: Reference

The Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson

Basically, this should have been called QI: The Book. It’s a book filled with questions that you think you know the answers to. And if you’ve seen all the episodes of QI (as I have!), you actually will know most, if not all of the answers. If you haven’t, then there is much knowledge to be imparted!

I think my favorite is the question about what noise the world’s largest frog makes. The answer is that it doesn’t make any noise since it’s mute. But, and this is where the book is at its most fun, do you know why, when asked what noise a frog makes, we all say ribbit, ribbit? It’s because that’s the noise made by the type of frog that lives in Hollywood and is part of their stock noise library (it probably has a more official name than that, but Josephine is sitting on my lap and I would have to make her get up to be able to reach the book and actually look it up) and, therefore, is used whenever they are filming in a jungle or swamp, &c, no matter where the film is actually set. Neat, huh?

The book is written with the same airy tone that the show has which means you’re only vaguely aware that you’re learning – the best way of doing it, if you ask me!

My rating: B+ (And I hope it goes without saying that you should all be watching QI [Stephen Fry is a god!])

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