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Straight Dope Paperback – February 24, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st Ballantine Books trade ed edition (February 24, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345422910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345422910
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Cecil Adams is a self-proclaimed omniscient whose wisdom was first imparted to the masses in 1973 in the pages of the Chicago Reader, a weekly alternative newspaper. In Adams's column, "The Straight Dope," he delivered answers to readers' questions--however bizarre and diverse--in sarcastic prose that has been called "strangely addictive, in an irritating sort of way."

How can a mother hen sit on a fragile egg without crushing it to bits? Why do men have nipples? How are coins taken out of circulation? Fearlessly embracing readers' questions on topics ranging from history to body parts, Adams feels his peculiar brand of information dissemination contributes to the public's basic life competence. "Before my arrival," he says, "people would go to their graves without ever knowing why wintergreen Life Savers make clouds of sparks when you chew them in the dark." Not only is Cecil Adams funny, his books also tell you things you really want to know. This particular collection of questions and answers is based on the best of Adams's first eleven years of columns, but a number of other "Straight Dope" volumes exist as well in case you find yourself strangely addicted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

This is the book that STARTED IT ALL! It's Cecil's very first book collection! We've been dying to publish this book in trade paperback to match the other book in the series ever since we started publishing the "Straight Dope" columns in book form. And now we're finally able to make this format available to all of the fans who have Cecil's other books in this size. So enjoy! --E. Zack, Sr. Editor

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 25 customer reviews
Aside from being informative, this book is also often very, very funny.
Mike Smith
Tons of questions of this type are answered in this book with humorous and insightful commentary from the one and only Cecil Adams.
Bill R. Moore
I highly recommend this book that can be read in snippets for people on the go, or just straight through.
Tina

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Karen Bierman Hirsh VINE VOICE on January 3, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Straight Dope books are some of the best trivia books out there today - they cover all sorts of odds and ends from animals, media, sports to other abnormal oddities.
Cecil Adams began his quest for truth in 1973 by accepting letters from the Teeming Millions (as he calls his readers) at the Chicago Reader and his been answering bizzare trivia questions ever since. Cecil has stuck around due to his irrevrant sense of humor and willingness to answer just about anything the public can throw his way. His column is currently seen in more than 30 newspapers throughout the United States and Canada but his books are must haves!
The Straight Dope is the first in the grouping and covers all sorts of inane topics such as: What does the 'H' stand for in Jesus H. Christ? Why do pigeons bob their heads? Is it true what they say about Catherine the Great and the horse? Why is there no Channel One?
and so on... buy this book and you will be the envy of all your friends - or at least you will be on your way to becoming King or Queen of all useless knowledge. This book makes a great gift (I would know as I tend to buy it for friends) or can be useful for great party chatter!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By IagoBloom on August 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first got this book at a local Borders and was amazed at its interesting explanations and addicting prose.
The books seems average enough. Its 420 pages long divided into different sections. Pretty tame and normal. But the content is far from it.
The premise is also simple. Cecil Adams a pseudonym for an unknown person who I personally believe is Ed Zotti. The people send in questions and he answers them. But these are real questions. The kind that the average person thinks about or nulls about. The kind of questions that involve physics and sports and just plain out little riddles that we think about and never really received the answer to.
Whats great is the intersting level and way that Cecil writes the answeres in. He writes so funny that I found myself laughing OUTLOUD which I usually never do. The questions are also answered not given some dumb explanation which no dumby could understand. Accompanied with the book are little cartoonsih pictures that are ok.
Cecil is a national resource and i am glad that I got to know his books. They are fun and certaintly not boring as a lot of others can be. I recommend for the child (11 to 16) Know It All which is also quite entertaining. Buy this book for a laugh and YOU SHALL GET IT!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on November 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ever ask yourself questions, seemingly silly ("What if...", "How does...", or "Hmmm... you know...") that you think are interesting but will never be answered? Sure you do. Well, THEY ARE ANSWERED IN THIS BOOK. Most of them anyway. Tons of questions of this type are answered in this book with humorous and insightful commentary from the one and only Cecil Adams. I personally have spent many, many hours wading through the vast Straight Dope archives. Pick up this book and you will probably do the same. If you a person who wonders about slightly off-kilter, perhaps unscientific topics, then this book is for you, it'll be a Godsend. The various sequels are good, if not quite on this one's level. Pick them up if you get addicted, but definately start here. Highly reccommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mike Smith on July 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
"The Straight Dope" is, hands down, without question, the best source for intelligent trivia out there. Cecil Adams's column, and his books, are more interesting and more entertaining than I can possible do justice do in a dashed-off Amazon review. Suffice it to say though, that Adams makes even subjects you thought you had no interest in fascinating, and as he does so he presents a very amusing persona as well.
Please, please, ignore those lame, lame books like "Why Do Men Have Nipples?" and go straight to this instead. The strangest questions are asked and answered here, with numerous fascinating digressions, and the illustrations by Slug Signorino are often hilarious as well. Put this book in your bathroom, and the odds are good you'll have the entire thing read in a couple of weeks.
People think they can get all the information they need from the Internet, but Adams really performs a service here with the immense amount of information he gathers and distills, the connections he makes that people not obsessed with this stuff never would, and the amusing tone he does it in.
Aside from being informative, this book is also often very, very funny. It's a nice glimpse into just how strange and complex the world can be, and a good read for anyone with an inquisitive mind.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tomas MF on June 19, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First of all let me tell you Cecil Adams' work is not for impressionable people. He is quite outspoken and spits out things in some straightforward and perhaps rude way.
If that's ok for you and you are interested in trivia things, then I reccommend this book to you.
This is the very first book of his set of 4 and covers most of the most interesting articles appeaered on his column at the Chicago Reader since 1973.
Cecil is an eccentric guy who claims to be the "smartest" guy who knows it all around the world. its said he has devoted a whole house to compile and archive articles and data of various aspects deriving from Biology to Laws.
Tip: you can find most of his articles on line, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to read a couple of them first and find out your likeness for his way of writing.
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