From Publishers Weekly
In this eccentric, energetic and engaging memoir of his long run on America's favorite television quiz show, Harris, a former standup comedian and current comedy writer, gives readers the lowdown on life as "one of the show's big winners—and big losers." He promises to tell all, and he does, from the show's beginning in 1963 to his own blow-by-blow experiences as a contestant. He discusses his growing obsession with winning, how it cost him a girlfriend and how he luckily found another. For those who would follow in his footsteps, he is generous with tips on strategy: buzzer skills, how to predict topics (keep holidays in mind), how to suss out a Daily Double, which clues to tackle first, how to one-up your competition (though one of the gems of this often charming book is the account of the quite sincere friendships that grew among the top competitors). Like many a standup routine, his narrative zigs and zags back and forth in time and topic, but like the best of routines, it is sharply timed, pulling out many swerves and surprises to keep the reader alert. And what is Alex Trebek really like? "I dunno," says Harris, but the Trebek we meet is highly professional and unfailingly courteous. "Just like on TV." (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Although reality shows and other mindless drivel seem to dominate the TV landscape, it's reassuring that Jeopardy!
still remains as a last vestige of academic pursuit in a sea of pop culture. This book provides a behind-the-scenes look at this holy grail of trivia contests. Harris, who won five games in a row (the limit in 1998), was invited back several more times to participate in Tournament of Champions competitions. Far from being a scholar, Harris recounts how he used whimsical mnemonics and his Eightfold Path of Enlightened Jeopardy to win over seemingly superior competition. Harris' account is a personal story and manages to cram in enough fun facts to keep any trivia nut happy. David SiegfriedCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved