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.
"There's just enough true in the book to be very alarming."
"Hodgman is funny, clever, and has the face of a giant baby."
"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."
"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