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More Information Than You Require Paperback – November 3, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade; Reprint edition (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594483647
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594483646
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #663,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best of the Month, October 2008: While writer and former literary agent John Hodgman had a considerable cult following before the publication of his first book, The Areas of My Expertise, the exact moment when Hodgmania hit fever pitch can be traced to his November 16, 2005, appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, when a "Famous Minor Television Personality" was born. Since then he has welcomed a new level of visibility as the Resident Expert on The Daily Show, appearing as the PC in the ubiquitous "Get a Mac" ads, and in bit roles in movies and on TV, so the world should be primed to embrace More Information Than You Require, Book Two in his Compendium of Complete World Knowledge (or, as it says on the cover, "New Ferret, Same Old Con"). Fun facts, bizarre trivia, and oddball photos ("Figure 51: Jane Addams, Pre-Antlers") are crammed into every corner of the page with extended riffs on How to Tell the Future Using a Pig’s Spleen, What to Expect While Serving as a Juror, Gambling ("Sure Thing Number Three: Star Wars Slots"), How to Deal With Some Common Infestations, and of course, How to Be Famous. And what he did for hobos in The Areas of My Expertise, celebrating their free spirit and conniving ways (and a list of 700 hobo names), Hodgman does for mole-men, the "race of humanoids who live in the complex warren of tunnels and vast caverns beneath the earth." Did you know, for instance, that Thomas Jefferson uncovered on his "mole-manic palace known as Monticello" a "small group (or 'Parlor') of mole-men dining on weevil pie and discussing world affairs... 'They touched my face,' wrote Jefferson, 'and hissed, as is their custom.'" Naturally there are 700 Mole-Man Names and Occupations included ("No. 281: Mr. Wallow Dripstone, a worm rider"). Hodgman may be up to the same old con, but this brand new ferret of a book is a wise (and wise-ass) little predator who will swindle away your reading time with endless hours of rabies-free laughs. --Brad Thomas Parsons --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"There's just enough true in the book to be very alarming."
-RACHEL MADDOW

"Fascinating!"
-Jon Stewart

"Hodgman is funny, clever, and has the face of a giant baby."
-Ricky Gervais

"I love this book so much I nearly read it."
-Justin Long ("Mac" in the Apple ads)

"Hodgman has forged his own tradition here-one that I expect will be imitated widely in the future, though probably not with success. An imagination like this is not so easily duplicated. For now, then, let us just enjoy the real thing."
-Elizabeth Gilbert, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love

"John Hodgman is funny in this way where sometimes I just stare at the paragraphs trying to figure out how he's doing it. Like there's some hidden trick in his brave, deadpan sentences that makes them funnier than they have a right to be."
-Ira Glass

"More Information than You Require is exactly the tonic for these truth- challenged times: a transformation of pedestrian reality through the enlightened power of imagination and insatiable list-making."
-The Onion AV Club --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

If you liked the first book (as I did), you will like the second one.
Joe Airaudi
I can't say what I was hoping for with this book, nor can I say what can be done to improve it, but still it is painful to be let down in this way.
Timothy Dufresne
One of our communication problems today is that we're skewing the language with new uses/meanings for specific terms.
Robert Busko

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 52 people found the following review helpful By David M. Scott on October 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Hodgman's book, like the man, is hysterical. I was fortunate to hear him speak in Brookline, MA (his hometown) and after he signed books. I then spent most of the night reading. And much to my family's annoyance, laughing. At 3:00 AM, laughter in a (mostly) sleeping house isn't good.

The section "How to become a famous minor television personality" is worth the price of the book by itself, It is everything you wanted to know about how Hodgman went from a literary agent and writer to a regular on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and his gig as "I'm a PC...". As you can imagine, there are many twists to the story including details pertaining to Battlestar Galactica, Justin Timberlake, American Airlines Admirals Club and other seemingly random people and places.

A clever touch is that the book doubles as a page-a-day-calendar (there is a date on each page with a date-specific bit of wisdom). After reading much of the book in one sitting last night, I realize I messed up. I should have had the book in the bathroom and read a single page each day while on the throne. Somehow I think Hodgman would appreciate that.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By B. Jackson on October 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Simply put, this book (and its predecessor) is/are the epitome of COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE. I bought this book the day it came out, and the introduction alone was worth the full purchase price.

In addition to useful information on mole-men and gambling, this book also includes a helpful section on the presidents, past and future, as well as a brief exposition on how the glorious half-sultan of our nation is chosen.

The page-a-day calendar is also a handy feature, but I hope that the paperback edition has different facts, as buying the same calendar twice would be uneconomical. (You will have to buy the paperback edition, since the proper way to read a page-a-day calender is, of course, to rip out each page once you're done with it.)

All in all, this book is well worth any amount of money that you agree to pay for it, and should be on every shelf of the serious scholar.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Robert Busko VINE VOICE on October 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Let me make a prediction. As a writer, John Hodgman will be to poetry what Stephen King is to modern historical thought. Is that farcical? You bet. Okay, John Hodgman isn't a poet, and Stephen King while an unsurpassed author of horror fiction, isn't an author of history. One fact that isn't a farce, however, John Hodgman is simply brilliant as a writer of faux facts. From a humor point of view, I can't remember a book that I've enjoyed more than More Information than You Require.

Coming on the heels of Hodgman's unique The Areas of My Expertise, More Information Than You Require is in everyway a continuation of the earlier book; even continuing the numbering of the pages. By the way, More Information will stand on its own as a read, but for the uninformed reader the paging may throw them off. Where as Area's of My Expertise dealt with hobos and hobo names, More Information deals with mole men and mole men names and claims that even the iconic Thomas Jefferson had dealings with them. Brilliant! Other notable points that stand out: Today in History sections. What's the funniest bit? Racing hermit crabs! I'd like to think of something to compare The Areas of My Expertise and More Information than You Require to, but there simply isn't anything; like the cheese, they stand alone.

The English language is very precise. Terms like "genius" and "stunning" have very specific meanings. One of our communication problems today is that we're skewing the language with new uses/meanings for specific terms. Hodgman's More Information Than You Require is stunningly funny. It will entertain you for months or years to come. Is the book written by a genius? Only time will tell.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By lesismore on October 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you only know John Hodgman as the perennially outclassed PC of Apple's "Mac vs. PC" ads, you are missing so much of who he is. If your knowledge extends to his recurring role as resident expert of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," you're still only scratching the surface. And if you've gotten to his 2005 faux almanac "The Areas of My Expertise," you know he captures the title of the most oddly brilliant writer in literature today.

And if you haven't gotten to his new book "More Information Than You Require," shame on you. Once again, Hodgman has written a book filled with made-up facts on subjects ranging from gambling to presidential elections to how he plans to spend his enormous wealth. The book is a direct sequel to "The Areas of My Expertise" in every way: it begins exactly where that book left off (page 237), has the same format of lists/predictions/hoboes and is once again a book you can't read in public because everyone stares at you for laughing so hard.

The closest equivalents to Hodgman's fiction-masquerading-as-truth style are The Daily Show's "America: The Book" and Stephen Colbert's "I Am America (And So Can You!)," but his books avoid being limited to one area of study. His topics oscillate between counting how many United States presidents have had hooks for hands (eight), the best way to cook an owl (goat sacrifice is involved) and racing hermit crabs for money (the winning strategy is to use trained falcons against the competition).

In the hands of a lesser author these facts would fall apart into babble, but Hodgman - a Yale graduate and professional literary agent - has a rare gift for holding it all together.
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