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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2005
If you're curious about whether you are more likely to date a supermodel, win an academy Award, catch a ball at a major league baseball game, bowl a perfect game or get struck by lightning, this is the book for you. (Answer: catch a ball at a major league baseball game.)

The author Gregory Baer walks through the odds of these and other life events (43 in all). His writing style is perfect for a book like this: lively, clear, and hilarious. Here's a good example of his brand of humor: "Many a paperback labeled 'The Best Selling Book from Today's #1 Fitness Guru!' was never a New York Times best-seller or even a national best-seller. You see, there's really no law against labeling your book a best-seller, even if it was a best-seller only in your own home. It's what they call "puffery" in the advertising business and it won't get you locked up. Of course, you have to live with yourself."

For each of the categories, Mr. Baer also offers tips for improving the odds -- thus, you will learn where to go to school (and church) if you want to president, where to sit on a train if you want to maximize your chances of surviving a train wreck, what you should do for a living if you want to date a supermodel, and which state to move to if you don't want to get struck by lightning.

In all, this book is a fun, light, and surprisingly informative read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2006
This is one of those 'little odd books' that most people tend to pass up; unless they are looking for a small gift to bring to someone who is laid up for a spell,or something to leave behind at a visit to a cottage. I once heard someone jokingly say that ,"He was going to give his friend a book for his

Birthday;'till he realized he already had one". Even a one-book

type of person would enjoy this one.

Nobody can get through life without facing "the odds"; and is continually asking; "What are the chances of....if I ....?

Here we find the odds on all kinds of things such as;

Dying in a plane crash

Marrying a millionaire

Catching a ball in the stands

Being sussessful in life

Getting away with murder

Marrying royalty

Dating a supermodel

Getting a hole-in-one

Surviving cancer

Being poorly endowed (male or female)

Getting hit by lightning

Being murdered or robbed

Finding a 4-leaf clover

Avoiding an IRS Audit

And many more of life's circumstances.

And on top of it all ,you'll learn how to improve your odds

and once you see how to go about calculating the odds on things; you'll be able to calculate odds on just about anything.Though your calculations may not be scientifically accurate; you'll at least have a feel of what you're in for.

There are two chapters in the book that really stand out;

"The Color of Money. Here we get the lowdown on Blackjack and

how to maximixe your chances of stretching your money out

as long as possible--you don't really believe you can beat

the house,do you?

In this chapter you will also get the real scoop on the likelihood of success if you start a small business.It will not surprise you of the high success rate for a Dentist,Optometrist or Funeral Director;or to any Bibliofile of the poor odds of opening a Book Store; but some of the others will surprise you.

And ;

"Your Whole World Waiting Behind Door Number Three".What you learn here will surprise you too.

A great little book to leave around,with something in it for everyone;even a person who seldom picks up or reads a book.

However;even with all this ;there is one "odds" the author failed to resolve;

"What are the odds of a big success if I write a book about...?"

Even when you you learn all there is to know about "the odds";just remember these old adages;

"It's better to be born lucky than rich"

"Every flow has its ebb"

"God sends good luck and God send bad"

"A blind man sometimes hits the mark"

and finally;

"Thieves and knaves have the best luck,if they do but scape hanging."
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2003
I'm surprised other reviews qualify this book as riotously funny.
It isn't.
Case in point, discussing the odds of finding a four leaf clover, he describes a particular member of the plant's family as "a genetic mutation, like Carrot Top". Oh! Oh ho ho. A jab at Carrot Top! What wit!
The book is full of these weak attempts, and I don't recall a single one that made me laugh. A few chuckles, but it was almost painful, like watching a standup comic trying too hard. It wasn't even "So bad it's funny", it went beyond that, to the point where it's just not good.
The book IS interesting, and makes great bathroom reading (something the author seems a little proud of in the introduction), but it is entertaining despite the lame attempts at humor, not because of them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2003
I got this for birthday, after my sister read a review in the Chicago Tribune. I got a kick out of learning a bunch of cool facts, and telling people at work. Some chapters were really funny (dating a supermodel) but others were really interesting (the ones on space, like the odds of finding intelligent life in the universe, or the earth being destroyed by an asteroid). I thought the chaper on penis size was going to be silly, but the research was actually scientific. (Hint: the average is smaller than most people think.) The whole thing was pretty funny.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2003
I was given this book as a present and I love it -- it's been a joy to read! I found it to be not only fun and VERY funny, but very interesting as well. It's the perfect holiday gift for smart friends and family, and for people who need a break from the more stressful side of life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2003
Life, the Odds is the perfect book to while away a few minutes or an hour contemplating whether you will ever date a supermodel or win the Medal of Honor. The book is very funny and yet, against the odds, seems to reflect actual research and analysis. If you liked daydreaming over the the Guiness Book of World Records when you were young, this is a great read for you now.
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on November 15, 2011
i am featured in this book, my four leaf clover distribution is covered in the last chapter, there are several inaccuracies because the interview was done via transatlantic telephone call and i was not given the opportunity to proofread it. Our Gritbins were marked, grit and determination (not Grim and Determination) my husband is called Alexander not William, I studied at University of Wales Caerleon (not Claereon), and our clover scientist is Terry (not Penny) Michaelson Yeates,

Please if you buy this book, print this and add it as a footnote!
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on April 10, 2007
A great statistics book this is not. A fun read, it is. It did make me giggle out loud a few times, and does instill a slight bit of statistical information, but mostly it's just fun and silliness. And that can be a good thing sometimes. Don't read it if you're expecting hard-core math or great statistical studies, do read it if you want to take a lighter look at the various things that may or may not happen to you.
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on October 20, 2014
Perhaps something is wrong with me... but I found this book informative and amusing. [it's NOT meant to be funny, just to make the subject matter less dry]

I've owned it for about 7 years now, and reskim it every now and again for kicks.
The "chapters" are about 4-8 pages each, and you can jump around as you see fit.
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on October 23, 2003
I saw a review of this book in my local paper and bought it. Whether the subject is the odds of sainthood or bowling a perfect game or celebrity divorce, the book convinces you that you are looking at the best possible analysis. But when you add it all up, you find yourself laughing your head off. I'm buying two for stocking stuffers.
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