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The World's Worst: A Guide to the Most Disgusting, Hideous, Inept, and Dangerous People, Places, and Things on Earth [Kindle Edition]

Mark Frauenfelder
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Bookstore shelves are lined with tomes dedicated to the finest things that life has to offer. This is all well and good, but the real entertainment is to be found not in the cream of the crop, but at the bottom of the barrel. The World's Worst is a celebration/indictment of nearly 50 infamous and little-known exemplars of the awful. In thoroughly researched, scathingly funny essays, author Mark Frauenfelder avoids the obvious and digs deep to tell the fascinating tales of the worst people, places, and things on Earth for the reader's amusement and edification. Half of the entries are also mischieviously illustrated by the author. Addictively readable, and sure to appeal to fans of the popular Worst-Case Scenario and Darwin Awards series, The World's Worst is hilariously unafraid to wallow in the mire.

Selected Horrible Highlights:
Most Unappealing Fetish
Most Disgusting Coffee Drink
Most Horrific Self-Help Technique
Least Adorable Pet
Saddest Fate for an Island Nation
Worst Molasses Related Disaster

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Frauenfelder is the author and illustrator of Mad Professor (0-8118-3554-5) and has written for numerous publications, including the New York Times, LA Weekly, Wired, and Playboy. Co-founder of the popular bOING bOING weblog, he lives in Southern California.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1218 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC (December 16, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0061MIELS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #367,658 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Short Book on a Long Subject July 10, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The World's Worst" is really entertaining as far as it goes, but a cursory review of this morning's newspaper suggests that it should have been a much longer book. Still, each of the book's fifty short chapters is quite witty and enoyable to read. Among the entries: kopi luwak, the world's most disgusting beverage, which involves processing coffee beans through the digestive tract of a civet cat (can't wait to order that at Starbucks); the most disgusting fruit (the durian, "like eating ice cream in a sewer"); the most gruesome bug bite (revenge of the brown recluse spider); the worst-smelling flower ("corpse flower" says it all); the world's worst molasses-related disaster (it killed 21 people in Boston in January 1919, so apparently "molasses in January" isn't so slow after all); the most disgusting behavior on an airplane (I think I'd rather take my chances with the civet cat); and the lamest former dictator (now living on his Mom's couch).

"The World's Worst" is light, fluffy, entertaining and a quick read. And it's very sequel-friendly--the next volume(s) will no doubt be just as amusing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It Can Always Get Worse January 14, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mr. Frauenfelder has scoured the globe for interesting bits of trivia related solely by their ability to horrify. Whether natural perils or stomach turning drunken antics, the book holds one's attention. Perhaps in reading of such events and things we can take solace in our normal and safe lives. Seriously, who first decided to make a drink out of berries scavenged from the dung of a wild cat? Who first opened a fruit that smells like rotting flesh and decided to taste it?

My only complaint was that the format was extremely limited. Perhaps in keeping with the jocular tone of the work the author didn't want to get into too much detail, but detail is precisely what makes many of these things fascinating.

If you have a friend or acquaintance who is discouraged, this would be an excellent gift. Perhaps we have an innate need to constantly reestablish that things can always be worse.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of filler July 5, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Indeed, this book made me laugh and grossed me out. All good, in my opinion.

My beef is that although the book is 176 pages long, it really has about half of that in content. Each "chapter/entry" starts off with a whole page dedicated to a sentance stating what the subject is, "Most Disgusting Drink", for example. Then the entry usually starts off in the middle of the next page. The lay out of this book makes it seem like it's a lot longer than it really is. Take a look at the example. I would have hoped for a longer tome.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars World's worst collection of the world's worst? March 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lazy, lazy, lazy. I read this extremely abbreviated book in the time it took to get a manicure. Partly because there was very little here I hadn't already heard about a dozen times elsewhere. Durian? Maggot cheese? Mike the Headless Chicken? This is all stuff that got passed around on Usenet approximately 100 years ago. Show me a regular user of the Internet who's never heard of durian, and I'll show you a 57-year-old divorcee whose main hobby is filling in the gaps in her Beanie Baby collection via eBay. Seriously, almost none of the information in here was even a little bit new to me.

I bought it at a bargain price and still feel like I wasted my money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Save Your Money March 11, 2013
By Greg B
Format:Kindle Edition
The book was slightly entertaining but if I had paid more than $ .99 I would have really kicked myself. If you get it for the reduced price, I guess a buck is worth the read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of money even at a discount price! March 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Being a fan of Boing Boing I was happy to see this book offered at a discount price. Boy! Was I disappointed. It seems that Frauenfelder phoned this one in while he was busy working on something more worthwhile. A bit insulting really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ton of fun for tiny price February 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Purchased the digital edition while on vacation with family. Was an easy read with plenty of amusing material that was easy to share. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys funny, non-fictional vignettes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The worlds worst book review... September 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a keen 'Boing Boing' [...] .... ok, ok HUGE FAN! I knew Mark's wee book would be a fun and interesting read. I wasn't disapointed. Funny thing though, when I bought it (Kindle edition)in August, on a whim whilst bored shitless at work, I'm sure it cost only a couple of bucks, now its more than $7? Probably wouldn't have been keen to pay $7 for it... after all, its the type of book that you take into the toilet with you, to 'pass the time' as it were.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It was OK
This would make a great young adult nonfiction book so being in my 60's, I am probably the wrong age demographics for this book. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Monte R. Peters
4.0 out of 5 stars Handy little time filler.
Handy to have on your phone, for the occasional waiting room sojourn, just short bits. A lot of facts you will rarely use
Published 10 months ago by john j smestad
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun
Great "bathroom"/sitting around waiting read. Digestible in small, enjoyable bits. I knew Frauenfelder's work from Boing Boing and the book did not disappoint.
Published 12 months ago by funky16corners
2.0 out of 5 stars Frothy
It was ok. I didn't pay a lot for it. Mildly amusing, but I won't read it twice, I think.
Published 15 months ago by H. Coffill
3.0 out of 5 stars Rehash of Interest
Some interesting stories, but much of the contents is things you'll have already read about if you're interested in this sort of thing, in no greater detail (and sometimes less).
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars The World's Worst: A Guide to the Most Disgusting,
a fun read some are really ....really disgusting ... short but well worth the time. I read it in just a few hours over days but as it is just short chapters it worked well that way... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun Quick Reads
It is fairly arbitrary to label something as the 'worst' (and one could probably say as much for any 'best" as well) -- Still, this was fun when I wanted to kill a few minutes... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Michael Fleming
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the world's worst
It was fun. It was entertaining. It was even educational. But these items are far from being the world's worst, just lousy.
Published 17 months ago by Irwin A. Weisberg
4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting
It has all kinds of weird strange things in it that I had never heard of. My only complaint is it was a little short, but for the price was well worth it.
Published 17 months ago by Michael Groat
5.0 out of 5 stars Yikes
Very interesting reading. I was amazed by the bizaar and stupid and unfathemable. There are some ugly things in this world.
Published 17 months ago by Pam Mork
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More About the Author

I'm a writer and illustrator living in Los Angeles. I am the editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine ( I co-founded bOING bOING magazine, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Wired Online. I write a monthly column for Playboy called 'Living Online,' and was the co-editor of The Happy Mutant Handbook (Putnam-Berkley, 1995). Find out more about me at

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