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Know It All! Paperback – July 13, 1993


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Know It All! + Triumph of the Straight Dope + The Straight Dope Tells All
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (July 13, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345362322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345362322
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,910,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Here they are--the basic questions of existence with answerss! As editor of two popular books, THE STRAIGHT DOPE and MORE OF THE STRAIGHT DOPE, Ed Zotti has helped the legendary Cecil Adams answer the great riddles of our time. Now, in KNOW IT ALL!, Ed Zotti draws on this vast storehouse of knowledge to solve the mysteries that keep all of us up at night wondering...How do astronauts go to the bathroom in space?...Are cats color blind?...If somebody opened the emergecny exit on an airplane while it was in the air, would everybody on the plane be sucked out and killed?...and many, many more.
It is questions like these upon which the fate of mankind rests. Ask, read, and remember. You will be tested!

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By William Holmes VINE VOICE on September 8, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ed Zotti is the editor of Cecil Adams' "The Straight Dope" and its sequels, each of which is a collection of fascinating articles that answer a lot of interesting (and sometimes bizarre) questions. The answers are, of course, administered with bitter sarcasm.
"Know It All" is a mellow version of The Straight Dope--some of the sardonic wit remains, but the text has been "dumbed down" to reach younger and less sophisticated readers. (The book even contains pronunciation guides for words that aren't all that difficult.)
Having said that, "Know It All" covers the same ground as "The Straight Dope" and does it with the same no nonsense style. Almost all of the questions and answers are adapted from longer, more cynical pieces appearing in the Straight Dope series--which makes me wonder whether Ed Zotti is really just Cecil Adams' editor, or whether Cecil Adams is instead Ed Zotti's pen name. (For his part, Zotti marvels that "people accept unquestioningly that my name is Ed Zotti."--Triumph of the Straight Dope at 285.)
The bottom line is that I enjoyed this book, though it is not as good as the Straight Dope series. The short "question and answer" format make it a perfect "bathroom reader" (for those of you who are inclined to do your reading at single sittings), and it is still entertaining and informative. Think of it as the Cliff's Notes for the classic "Straight Dope."
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a fabulous book for the young and old. It's interesting! It's funny! It also answers almost everything you ever dreamed, thought, or wondered about. I myself couldn't put this book down. I looked forward to reading it all day. With this book you'll wonder no more. I'd recomend it to people who enjoy things that are so stupid they're funny. Have you ever wondered how they get the M on the M+M? Or if a chicken can really run around with it's head cut off. Well if if your answers to those questions are both yes read this book as soon as possible!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 31, 1996
Format: Paperback
Reading through the subjects, its like a yuppy usenet thread. Zotti's research is pretty good, but it would actually benefit by being treated as a discussion thread because sometimes he misses some interesting links.

"Why are yawns contagious?" dodges answering the question -- even though there are good indicators from other human behavior (when people get seasick in unison).

This book is a 10 for my curious 10-year-old, but only about a 5 for me
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24 of 34 people found the following review helpful By dcole@wvu.edu on July 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
Supposedly this book is for folks who don't have a strong science background. Yet it contains quite a few factual erors. Also there are spots where Zotti becomes facetious rather than informative without expressly telling you he is joking and not relating facts. If you are not already familiar with the topics covered you will end up misinformed. The book gives the impression that Zotti is tired of standing in Cecil's shadow. Sadly, he shows neither the wit nor the knowledge required to step into the light.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tomas MF on January 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
Ed Zotti makes in a plain and simple language a quick and straightforward explanation of some mysteries, myths, weird things and such you always wanted to know or wanted to check out.
Plus, the cool drawings ease to help the understanding of some difficult subjects.
Working on a tandem with Cecil Adams, Ed Zotti has made a powerful contribution to trivia fans.
If I were you I wouldnt doubt it for a second...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tim Boyd on May 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is my favorite book. Once you start reading it, you can't put it down. Some of the things it tells you about you could have a masters degree and not know. A very fun book to read. He even adds humor to it. I'd recommend it for children about nine and up. Even then they probably wouldn't lose their interest.
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