Jacobs takes us along on his journey through the alphabet, but it's not just a highlight real of the best facts in the Britannica. It's also about his experience. How the towering stack of completed books begins to grow, how he is able to apply his new knowledge, and the weird overlaps the articles have in his everyday life. Jacobs is funny, lovably neurotic, and much harder to put down than an actual encyclopedia..
just not for me.. who would like this? hmm... anyone who really loves woody allen monologues would be smitten with this work.
this book is that old friend who tries way too hard to be clever.. if you are yearning again for a long conversation with that friend, then you should get this book. if you are not, then you should pass.
The smart wit, and Geoffrey Cantor's narration was on point! I was laughing so hard my roommates thought I was crying hah!
The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner for writing style and wit. But I only read Geography, never listened to it.
His animation is great, and his accents cracked me up!! AJ Jacobs is an incredible and hilarious writer, and Cantor's delivery really did the audiobook justice!
Oh yeah, I could NOT get enough. And now all my friends are on board with it, it only took a few minutes of listening for them to get hooked!
I like to listen to business, self-development, behavioural and books that challenge my perspective
It was an enjoyable story that also taught me some tidbits - would recommend
Not that I plan to read the entire Britannica it does continue to make me interested in facts
Baby Boomer in Raleigh NC. Faves include James Lee Burke, CJ Box, Baldacci, Flynn, Child, DeMille, Crais, Connolly, Thor, Coes, L'amour. Average two books/week.
Very David Sedarisian and quite Bill Bryson-esque.
My normal "reads" are crime and covert-ops espionage so the occasional side venture to humor are always welcomed. The narrator here even sounds like David Sedaris who I always felt is a long lost son of Woody Allen.
Great travel choice with the family. Maybe a few hours longer than necessary but easy to leave and come back to without having to recall any plot lines or characters..... there is no plot or characters.
Promising idea. I wasn't sure you can actually get a whole book out of it, but apparently you can. It's really just as the summary suggests, guy reads the Encyclopedia Britannica, gives all kinds of interesting facts that he reads about, along with personal stories, and his journey to become smarter.
Interesting read. I've listened to the audio version of the book on Audible, and the narrator is the best narrator I've listened to. he made the book a joy to listen to.
The wonderful mix of learning & humor, the author is fantastic, and the man reading the book is the Best! He is one with the words, my favorite book of the decade.
When I finished, I had to start lisening to it again, so much I wanted to remember.
He did them all OUTSTANDING.
MANY EXTREME LAUGH OUT LOUD TIMES, AND MANY WOW MOMENTS.
Listening to this book is very similar to the authors experience with reading the encyclopedia-sometimes interesting, but a lot of useless knowledge and way too much name dropping. A.J. clearly comes from a family of privilege, so it's not so much "average man tries to rise above" as it is "Well educated and pampered guy spends weekends at his parents in the Hamptons being a little bit obnoxious"
I really wanted to like this book....I really did, but it's just not doing it for me.
I love this audio, and I think that people who don't like it didn't pay attention to the description before buying. It's ' The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World,' not, ' A Concise Summary of the Encyclopedia Britannica.' So it is the story of his reading it, why he chose to, and his life away from the books, just as described. And it's funny. He is nicknamed 'the great conversation stopper' by coworkers at Esquire, takes a speed-reading class, drops in at his high school and embarrasses himself, goes on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire,' and aggravates his wife.
I really like the reader also, who does many great voices. I checked a few words that I thought might be mispronounced, and several were just an alternate pronunciation. It didn't really bother me too much, because the Encyclopedia does not contain pronunciation guidelines, and it is easy to mispronounce a word you learn by reading it, so it just seemed to fit, to me. He does sound like an NYC Jewish guy, and since the author is a Jewish guy who lives in NYC that seems reasonable. Some people have commented here that that annoyed them, so listen to the sample first.
He comments a lot on what he learns, so you will get some new facts from this, although that is not a major reason for reading it, since the new facts are based on what the author was struck by as he sat on the couch with his big, heavy, hardcover volume.