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The Dead Guy Interviews: Conversations with 45 of the Most Accomplished, Notorious, and Deceased Personalities in History Paperback – September 25, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; First Edition edition (September 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143112279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143112273
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,289,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Aw yes, a place to hype the hell outta myself. And I think I will (if you don't mind...):
My column, 'The Dead Guy Interview' appears in mental_floss magazine (and I thank those crazy brainiacs for letting me use a few of these in the book). I also write an 'Accidental Parent' column (ParentMap magazine) which recently won the presitigious Gold Award from the Parenting Publication of America (hey, had to mention it....it came with a plaque and everything!).
I've also created three board games including 'The Doonesbury Game' (with Garry Trudeau), 'Hear Me Out' and 'Earthalert.' In addition to being a playwright (i.e. starving artist), my work is frequently published in Seattle Magazine, Law & Politics, Yoga International, Go World Travel and Seattle Business Magazine.
The Dead Guy Interviews is my first book - and hopefully not my last....

Customer Reviews

They actually have asked to read more of the interviews.
D. L. Hamilton
For anyone who thinks history is boring, if they read this book, they're sure to change their mind.
Pugmom
Highly recommended for anyone who loves history, biographies, or just plain crack-up humor.
Kevin L. Murphy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By D. L. Hamilton on September 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Hilarious and informative! This book was not only a great read for a history buff like myself, but also really useful to me in the classroom as a high school history teacher!

First, I loved the compact bios before each interview. They refreshed my memory on each figure while including things I never knew. Impressive research work! The interviews themselves are witty, creative, fast-paced, sometimes irreverant, and full of contemporary references and humor.

As an educator who teaches about famous dead guys/gals everyday, this book is a godsend. I've already used three interviews in the classroom with great success! Students are drawn in and hooked by Mr. Stusser's ascerbic humor and engaging interview style. Then, they become fascinated with the person being interviewed and their personalities. They actually have asked to read more of the interviews. Yes, high school students asking to read more history!

A quick and entertaining read with each interview leaving you saying 'oh, just one more' and then you're done! I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in historical figures but are repelled by dry biographies and endless historical tomes. Michael Stusser's interviews are fun and refreshing!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sam Sattler on July 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
The Dead Guy Interviews is based on the intriguing premise that forty-five of history's greatest, and most interesting, people can be summoned back to life long enough to sit for an interview with the author. The theory goes that Michael Stusser will ask the hard questions, questions that would have in some cases probably gotten him killed if he had dared to ask them during the actual lifetimes of his subjects. Stusser will combine insightful questions and humor in his interviews in a way that will provide the reader with forty-five painless little history lessons. So much for the theory, because in reality, this hit-and-miss book is more miss than hit.

Stusser interviews Beethoven, Napoleon, Churchill, Einstein, Darwin, Freud, Hoover, Poe, Mae West, Wilde, Crazy Horse, Washington, Lincoln, Julius Caesar, Buddha and thirty others. Each interview runs five or six pages and is introduced by a one-page biography of the person being interviewed. The interviews seldom fail to offer at least one or two lesser known, but intriguing, historical facts about their subjects but so many of the questions are phrased in such a sophomoric style of humor that the facts are soon overwhelmed by the silliness. And because Stusser sometimes has his historical figures respond in the same tone in which the questions are asked, many of them seem to have the same personality regardless of what they accomplished in life or in what era they lived. After a while it starts to seem that everyone who comes back to life does so with the personality of Don Rickles.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Murphy on September 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
The idea for this book is one of those concepts you wonder why no one ever thought of before. Michael Stusser not only thought of it - but he pulled the whole thing off splendidly with his gritty and sassy journalistic style! Both hilarious and educational, The Dead Guy Interviews has 45 interviews with famous icons of the past we've heard of - but never had the chance to meet in person; from Alexander the Great to Oscar Wilde, and many in between. Have you ever wanted to sit face to face with Sigmund Freud and have him spill his guts? How about grilling Napoleon or getting to the bottom of Frida Kahlo's genius? Well, Stusser does it for you. By exposing historical rumors and monumental truths straight from the dead guy's mouths, the book had me intrigued and laughing out loud on every page! Highly recommended for anyone who loves history, biographies, or just plain crack-up humor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midnyte Reader on November 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
If you could interview a famous person from history who would it be? Author Michael Stusser didn't have to choose. He reached into his imagination and created what he thought a sit down with some of the world's most famous and notorious people would be like. Each interview was only a few pages and they were easy to read, fun and humorous. I also learned quite a bit of interesting tidbits about these figures, not to mention history. The biggest surprise to me was Genghis Khan. Although he was a fierce warrior he also outlawed kidnapping, torture and abolished the sale of women. It is easy to see that Stusser researched these figures well yet also humanized them which brought them to life. If history was taught this way instead of dry narrative text, I think I would have done much better in school.

I hope the author does more of these. My suggestion: Horror movie icons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joseph R. Calamia on February 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Dead Guy Interviews" by Michael A. Stusser is a collection of some 45 supposed interviews with some of the most famous personalities to have walked down the corridors of time. From "Alexander the Great" to "Crazy Horse", and on to Oscar Wilde, the interview tapes just keep on rolling!

Mr. Stusser prefaces each interview with a short biographical fingerprint of the individual to be interviewed, and relays a great deal of fascinating facts in a finely constructed capsule of information. The interviews are satirical and some quite funny. Sometimes however, I felt the author was trying too hard to be funny and his humor became more "slap-stick" in nature than... genuine humor.

This is a fun book, and the type you want to keep by your bed at night or, in your bathroom to read... "when the urge hits you." This book would also be highly recommended for those very serious businessmen who make a living running from one airport to another in route to their boring staff meetings, and teleconferences.

The books format is well planned and the author's pick of subjects for interview are... brilliant. Simply put... a good book to hang on to.
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