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Return of the Straight Dope Paperback – April 12, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (April 12, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345381114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345381118
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cecil (as he refers to himself) is clearly a man with access to many databases; he's an entertaining know-it-all, full of peculiar and often fascinating information. In his latest volume (after The Straight Dope and More of the Straight Dope ), a collection of his syndicated Q & A columns, Cecil discourses snappily on a wide range of subjects, among them cow tipping, the significance of Star Dates, the odds of contracting HIV from heterosexual intercourse, what happens if you're driving at the speed of light and turn your headlights on. His lively columns frequently provoke corrections, amplifications and hostility from his readers. Fans of Jan Brunvand's (an oft-quoted pal of Cecil's) Urban Legends books will love this one.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-Chicago columnist Cecil Adams once again answers offbeat questions raised by his readers, throwing in his personal brand of vitriolic sarcasm. He answers questions about everything from why there is a "for single slices" slot in the toaster to aspects of "weird science," transportation, the human body, and technology.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The books are well written and right on target scientifically.
John Rummel
Of the three Straight Dope books I've read so far--this is the third in the series--I would say that this is the best one yet.
Mike Smith
You have to love this guy - he gives you quality information and manages to do it in an entertaining way.
robin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Rummel on July 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
Cecil Adams is a hoot. It's that simple. I'm the first to admit that his style may not be for everyone. If you don't enjoy the smart-alec humor of David Letterman, the irreverence of Saturday Night Live, and the take-no-prisoners approach of James Randi, than maybe the "Straight Dope" isn't for you.
For the uninitiated, The Straight Dope is a weekly newspaper column (appearing mostly in local "freebie" papers such as Madison's Isthmus) wherein Cecil (the smartest human alive) answers all manner of questions put to him by the "teeming millions." Do fish breathe? Do birds pee? Are there really 57 varieties of Heinz Ketchup? No question is too trivial for Cecil, and he applies a surprising degree of scholarship to all queries, mixing it all with a sharp-tongued wit and repartee with his correspondents that will leave you laughing out loud, guaranteed.
The books, numbering 5, collect the best of his columns into loosely organized chapters and include occasional updated information since the questions and answers were originally printed.
A few examples from 3rd book (Return of the Straight Dope, 1994), which is the one I happen to have from the library right now:
p. 338: Why do stars twinkle? Cecil supplies the correct answer, embedded as always, firmly within his razor sharp wit: "Ben, you amateur, stars don't 'twinkle.' They exhibit 'stellar scintillation.' The Pentagon isn't going to fund a damn twinkle study."
p. 63-64: A straight-down-the-pipe debunking of Uri Geller, as only Cecil can do. James Randi (whom Cecil sites as a source) has nothing on Adams. This is also a good example of Cecil's "dialog" with his readers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Miller on August 25, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cecil Adams is a hoot. Accept no substitutes! And this, in my opinion, is the best of his four books (as of this writing). In this book, he takes on the favorite subjects of his readers, including food, sex, popular culture, and science, with fascinating, well researched answers. Although he is sometimes condescending, and often hasty (read his answers to Marilyn Vos Savant's puzzles), you would be too, if you were the world's smartest human... AND on a deadline. Highly enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on March 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you don't know who Cecil Adams is, its unlikely that you will find yourself purchasing this book. As the lucky initiated know, Adams has been writing his weekly column, "The Straight Dope" for alternative newpapers for nearly thirty years now. Adams is a good-natured arrogant know-it-all who uses reader questions both to show off his knowledge and flex his keen sense of humor. He is at the same time both hilareous and informative. He also tackles plenty of subjects that mainstream journalists will not touch. For example, in this book he discusses the little known practice of eating the human placenta. There is no one quite like Cecil. And for that we must be thankful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karen Bierman Hirsh VINE VOICE on January 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Straight Dope books are some of the best trivia books out there today - they cover everything from pop culture to religion questions with all sorts of weirdness in between.
Uncle Cece, as he is known to his friends, started a column at the Chicago Reader in 1973 and his been answering bizzare trivia questions ever since. Cecil has a very wacky and irrevrant sense of humor and is willing to answer just about anything the public can throw his way. His column now appears in more than 30 newspapers throughout the United States and Canada but his books are must haves!
Return Of The Straight Dope helps readers to solve the mysteries behind things like what was Barney Rubble's Job or how do those astronauts go the bathroom in space? Or Is there really a place called Podunk?
You get the idea. This book is a must have for trivia lovers everywhere!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 1997
Format: Paperback
From topics like vacuum cleaner accidents to the hard stuff like why car headlights don't automatically shut off and on with the car Cecil Adams proves once again that he is one of a kind. Not only does Cecil know everything but his style of displaying this awesome knowledge is a delight. This volume also includes Cecil vs. Marilyn Vos Savant as readers try to grasp the inner workings of Monty Hall's brain (appears he has one after all.) Definitely a keeper of a book as you will want to consult it over and over as one of the best and most readable of all
reference books
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