Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
on July 17, 2006
This book is an immense collection of trivia, loosely related by tangential connecting facts. For example, a story about famous downfalls which recounts Oscar Wilde's end says: "But it's not like Wilde was angry enough to start a hunger strike or anything...." And then we're off into "The Greatest Hunger Strikers Ever." Scatterbrained is much like "The Areas of My Expertise" (John Hodgman), except not made-up. And with fewer hobo facts.
The Scatterbrained approach to trivia is very readable, like a talkative dinner guest who goes on endless factual tangents. It's amusing and fun, and offers you plenty of chances to bail out when you've had enough (for example, when you've completed your business in the, uh, bathroom). This would also make a nice (albeit small) coffee-table book, as it's the sort of thing your guests can leaf through and call out interesting, often bizarre anecdotes.
Nerdy note: this book was co-edited by noted Young Adult author John Green. Fans of "Looking for Alaska" will appreciate "Fond Farewells: The Best and Worst of Famous People's Last Words" on page 125, and fans of "An Abundance of Katherines" will enjoy "Math Nerds Gone Wild (And by Wild, We Mean Nuts)" on page 132.