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[Citation Needed]: The Best of Wikipedia's Worst Writing [Kindle Edition]

Conor Lastowka , Josh Fruhlinger
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Do you need help telling the difference between a Renaissance Pope and an oracular octopus? Do you need details on what inappropriate body parts the attendees at Wing Bowl expose to one another? Do you need an accounting of which movies in the Air Bud series contain the fewest fart jokes? Fortunately, all these facts are lovingly recorded on Wikipedia, thus fulfilling the dreams of generations of scholars who worked towards a compendium of the world’s most vital information.

But how can you find these details, hidden as they are among boring facts about science and history and stuff? Fear not: For nearly two years, the blog [Citation Needed] has sifted through The Best of Wikipedia's Worst Writing. A thousand entries later, Conor Lastowka and Josh Fruhlinger have handpicked over 200 of their favorite examples of putrid prose and collected them here. Each entry features hilarious commentary from the authors, but they're confident you'll already be laughing by the time you get to it.

Praise for [Citation Needed]:

"Wikipedia has long been my favored source of dubious scholarship, unverified assertions, press-release hagiography, and confusing recaps of comic books in long run-on sentences. It is not merely that this material is USEFUL to a writer of fake trivia. There is also a strange pleasure that comes in witnessing very bad writing and wondering at the human mind that conceives it, and why that mind is so preoccupied with the drama behind the scenes of House Party 4. I am just glad that I now have the best of the worst, all hilariously annotated by Fruhlinger and Lastowka, and all bound in one non-internet volume such that I can enjoy these bits of grim, awkward human poetry without feeling tempted to get into a huge online fight over the weight of Mr. Belvedere." -John Hodgman

"You will not be surprised to discover many of Wikipedia’s worst writing comes from entries with nerdy subjects, include Care Bears (and their suspect genders), Adult Diaper fetishes, bizarre assumptions about He-Man characters, and more. I’m convinced Topless Robot readers will love the hell out of it...Frulinger and Lastowka are not nearly as mean-spirited as I am and about five million times funnier. The book is available here at Amazon for $11. If you have a Kindle, the ebook is only $1, which is the most absurd entertainment value I’ve seen in quite some time." -Rob Bricken,

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Josh Fruhlinger is the creator of the Comics Curmudgeon, a surprisingly successful blog that makes fun of Mary Worth and Apartment 3-G and proves that pretty much anyone can become mildly famous on the Internet for any reason whatsoever, as long as they update every day. He’s also written for the satirical political blog Wonkette, recorded a RiffTrax, and finished in third place on his only Jeopardy! appearance (the correct answer was “Golda Meir”). He lives in Baltimore with his wife Amber and his cat Hoagie.

Conor Lastowka has written for for the majority of its existence. He founded the fake holiday National High Five Day, plays bass in his fake band Re-Ree and hosts the all too real [Citation Needed] Podcast. He lives in San Diego with his wife Lauren and his cat Slidell.

Product Details

  • File Size: 278 KB
  • Print Length: 222 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1466346981
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005W55IVE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,206 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful November 28, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For some whatever reason that I don't quite understand, and being a person who doesn't generally more than chuckle in reaction to things, I have laughed loudly and heartily at almost every page of this. Most of the Wikipedia articles excerpted here are just so precious in their depictions of nerdy passion over their respective subject matter, and as a reader you feel that there's so much subtext to each one of them, that it's just such a damn pleasure to get to the one or two sentence jokey accompanying comment that follows. A good coffee table book, if anything.
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39 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your wikipedia entry is a little pitchy, Dawg. October 24, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Most of Wikipedia is done by amateurs, but is actually pretty good. Like some 17-year-old girl from Texas singing Etta James on the Motown episode of American Idol.

This book, however, is more like the first few weeks of that show. When an obese 39-year-old from Arkansas pretends to be 25 to get on the show, croaks through Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You," refuses to leave the stage, tells Simon Cowell to go back to Great Britainland, then gives it one more shot with "Amazing Grace" before giving Randy Jackson a Bojangles receipt with her phone number written on the back and leaving.

Actually, this book is like if you asked that woman to provide 250-300 words on the religious history of Great Britainland.

People never cease to amaze you, in the heights and depths of what they are willing to do for free and with no formal training whatsoever.

And thank God somebody focused on the depths, because they are 1,000 million times more awesome. [Citation Needed]
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtlely funny, much like Nairobi. October 25, 2011
This book is subtlely amusing and the author is quite the creative genius as he has compiled factually accurate Wikipedia entries for the purpose of doing research for a school project. Only if the project was due at a community college and the students looked like they just came out of a Deadmau5 show. Neverthless, the book produces a satire of Wikipedia by pointing out the informative nature of entries from Wikipedia contributors is only second to Youtube commenters.

It is definitely worth the bathroom read itself and serves as either a transition or complement to "What's Your Poo Telling You?" (also available on Amazon, [...])

The book is also great as a gift for your loved ones!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ok, maybe not. but,this is a hilarious compendium of mistakes, poor grammar, and shenanigans that proves true the long discussed Spaceballs Theorem "Evil will always triumph over good because Good is dumb." Are you a teacher looking to prove to your students that Wikipedia is not a credible source for research papers? A Luddite trying to prove that the internet is bad for the world? A cookie fanatic interested in the real story behind the Keebler elves? Then THIS is the book for you.

Plus it's 99 cents. Buy the book. Read it on your phone. It's better than reading your friend's facebook status about his ongoing battle with the toilet snake.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Citation Needed Here: This is funny stuff January 24, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a quick and amusing read, highlighting selections from some really ridiculous writing actually found on real wikipedia articles. The passages are always followed by a snarky italicized commentary. I frequently laughed at the commentary, and was entertained by the variety of odd writing. Everything from unfortunate word choices that gave the selections a twisted double meaning, to obsessive pedantry about ridiculous topics, to out-and-out awful, nearly unreadable writing rounds out the types of things you can expect to laugh at in this funny collection of bad, bad writing culled from the internet's seventh largest website.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Wish They'd Publish More December 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I follow the Citation Needed Tumblr (and eagerly listened to every new podcast back when Conor et al made them), but what is missing from the website are all the truly laugh-out-loud jokes and commentaries found in this little book.

I wish they would publish new, updated books with new entries and jokes regularly, I'd gladly pay the paltry sum (and more). In the meantime, you should gladly pay the paltry sum for this book right now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Was ok August 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Personal favorite: The Master of Social Work (MSW) is a master's degree in social work.

To which the author appended: Please consider another field of study if this is news to you.

Some of them struck my funny bone hard, others were routinely silly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite funny at times July 29, 2012
By KBieb
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. Most of the entries and comments were pretty funny and some of them were laugh out loud, squirt a few tears hilarious. It is definitely worth a read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Ripsnortingly funny. Loved it!
Published 1 month ago by KAS
2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious. Most of this are out-of-context excerpts from Wikipedia...
I do not recommend this book as reading material. If you need 2 minutes of meaningless time-wasting-by-reading SOMETHING, Anything, this fits the bill. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michael Orr
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 2 months ago by jrc
4.0 out of 5 stars This Book Made Me Laugh Out Loud!
I really enjoyed this book. I am currently reading Gone Whalin' with my husband and we are loving the writer's style. Thank you Rifftrax for introducing us to Conor Lastowka! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Erika
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Little Read
This collection is great for some giggles -- the commentary by the authors is just as funny as the goofy Wikipedia entries they've gathered. Read more
Published 4 months ago by xtina
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Wikipedia
This book contains the reason high school teachers forbid you to use Wikipedia as a source: many of the writers are idiots. A must buy for all e-book readers.
Published 4 months ago by Ryan Coate
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh...
Well, it was okay, I guess. The selections were NOT as over the top awful as I expected. His commentary was, however, enough to carry the book through.
Published 7 months ago by Emil Skentz
1.0 out of 5 stars Copy and paste nonsense
This is not a book. In fact it's barely a pamphlet. It is a series of sentences and single paragraphs copied from Wikipedia with a barely literate sarcastic contribution from the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Hypsy
5.0 out of 5 stars Gee-haw whammy diddle
It's a series of good laughs at Wikipedia editors' expense.

It's short, but hey, only 99 cents on sale! Read more
Published 11 months ago by William Burns
4.0 out of 5 stars MST3K for bad Wikipedia writing
This is a really fun book. It's a quick read, and it's something you can pick up and read for short bursts of time. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Matthew D. Groves
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More About the Author

Conor Lastowka has worked as a writer for, the web incarnation of Mystery Science Theater 3000, since 2006. In addition to writing jokes about modern blockbusters, old b-movies, and comically outdated educational shorts, he has been a writer-producer on several RiffTrax Live events broadcast nationwide, and performs as the voice of DisembAudio on RiffTrax MP3s.

He is also one of the editors of the blog [Citation Needed], which collects the best of Wikipedia's worst writing. He has co-authored two volumes of [Citation Needed] books riffing on hilariously bad Wikipedia writing, and produced and written a season of podcasts expanding some of the all-time worst Wikipedia entries into skits.

He lives in San Diego with his wife Lauren.

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