Who Cut the Cheese?: A Cultural History of the Fart

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Who Cut the Cheese?: A Cultural History of the Fart [Paperback]

Jim Dawson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 1, 1998
We've told you HOW TO SHIT IN THE WOODS. We've taken you UP SHIT CREEK. Now, we dare to ask the eternal question...WHO CUT THE CHEESE? Which is to say, what exactly is a fart? Why do we do it? Why do we hide it when we do it? And why do we find farts so darn funny? A cut above anything else on the subject, this book really lets go and tells all, getting to the bottom of these mysteries. Author Jim sniffs out a load of historical and scientific fart tales, then offers the kind of fun facts you'll be dying to let slip at social occasions, in chapters like "Fart Facts That Aren't Just Hot Air," "Gone with the Wind" (on famous movie farts), and "Le Petomane & the Art of the Fart" (on the most famous windbag in history). From fact to fiction to frivolous flatulence, this book is unquestionably a ripping good read.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Dawson is a product of West Virginia University, which at this very moment is probably burning his student records. Along with being a real smart feller (or something like that), he's a former editor of Hustler magazine and the author of several books that very few people have read, including the critically acclaimed WHAT WAS THE FIRST ROCK 'N' ROLL RECORD? Dawson lives in Hollywood, California.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; First edition. edition (December 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580080111
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580080118
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim Dawson is a Hollywood, California-based writer who has specialized in American pop culture (especially early rock 'n' roll) and the history of flatulence (three books so far, including his 1999 top-seller, "Who Cut the Cheese? A Cultural History of the Fart"). Mojo magazine called his "What Was the First Rock 'n' Roll Record?" (1992), co-written with Steve Propes, "one of the most impressive musical reads of the year"; it remains a valuable source for music critics and rock historians, and an updated second edition is currently available on Kindle. Dawson has also written a series of articles on early rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll pioneers for the Los Angeles Times, including a front-page story in the Calendar entertainment section on the forgotten tragic figure Ritchie Valens. The piece led directly to Rhino Records reissuing Valens' entire catalog (with Dawson's liner notes) and eventually to the 1987 biopic "LaBamba," which used some of Dawson's research. Since 1983 Dawson has also written liner notes for roughly 150 albums and CDs, including Rhino's prestigious "Central Avenue Sounds" box set celebrating the history of jazz and early R&B in Los Angeles. His most recent book (2012) is "Los Angeles's Bunker Hill: Pulp Fiction's Mean Streets and Film Noir's Ground Zero." He's currently working on a novel about a 1920 coal mine war in his native West Virginia.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely hilarious, thoroughly researched and very well-written.
Appeals to both my literate, probing, analytical University-graduate side...and my giggling, scatological idiot side.
Guaranteed to get you a full row of seats to yourself when you read it on the subway, even at rush hour, and (if you can remain totally deadpan), a source of endless amusement when you ask for it in book stores or libraries...even if you already have a copy!
Wonderful examples of farts and scatology through history, music, different cultures (Did you know that the Arab words for "silent fart" and "death sentence" are only one letter different?) and literature. And of course, there's a whole chapter on the French music hall entertainer "Le Petomaine"!
The transcript of the legendary "Crepitation Contest" record almost made me choke on my Timbits when I read it at a local donut shop.
An absolute must-have for both the scholarly and the silly!
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars blasts away the cobwebs May 7, 2002
I bought this book expecting it to be rather more of a "how-to" guide than it turned out to be. That said, it was still immensely useful and exposes many myths. I, for one, had mistakenly subscribed to that well-known myth that Arabs consider it the height of good manners to break wind during and after a meal. Sadly, this is untrue. If only I had had this book *before* I dined with the secretary-general of OPEC in '96!
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fair Winds Ahead July 27, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I admit it, I bought this book for my husband as a joke. However, this tongue in cheek scholarly tome on the history of flatulance pleasantly surprised us both! I would like to trumpet it's appeal as a breath of fresh air with a mighty blast. What a toot! Er, ah, hoot. Good thing there isn't a scratch and sniff edition though...
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Piece of Work is Man! September 6, 2007
There is a line in an Eddie Murphy stand up routine from the 80's where he says "It's the fart game son you'll play it one day". I picked up this book because frankly I am a gaseous girl, who grew up playing the fart game in my house. My father used to lock the windows to our station wagon and made us guess what he had for breakfast, my sisters used to hold me down and poot in my face, we all did the pull my finger joke and we had our own names for the act:

The Barking Spider, "just stepped on a frog", Chocolate Zephyr, Rumbling Paducah, A Howdy, Perfwanky, Beefed, cat food pancake.

This book is like a bible for me, a reference book, and the encyclopedia fartanica if you will. It isn't just a book that you might put in someone's Christmas stocking to get a guffaw "oh look uncle bob got a book from Santa on farting, what a gas!"
It's full of literary references, Shakespearean sonnets, historical data, scientific facts, myths and legends, all you ever wanted to know but they never taught you in 5th grade biology! Besides all the learning you will accomplish, it's also just a funny read and that's really what the game is all about.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pull my finger for Dawson October 28, 1999
By A Customer
This is great knowledge. Only an anal retentive author such as Mr. Dawson would pay so much attention and detail, and add such light aired wit to such an otherwise offensive topic. Through exaustive and careful reseach, the author has managed to be a cut above the cheese. Good reading for all.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read, hilarious book! January 3, 2000
this is a fabulous book, i loved it. people probably think no book on a fart can be good but this one was. not only was it funny but it had good context and was very humorous. when i read it, (which was in one sitting) i had tears rolling down my cheeks i was laughing so hard. a great book you should definatly read!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative yet funny book! February 1, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A real "fartingly" funny book! It gives you the medical background information on farts, how they're formed, make the noise, smell, etc. Yet at the sametime you laugh your butt off in the way it's explained.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What can I say? January 11, 2007
For a holiday gift that I purchased as a gag gift for my father..........this gift turned out to be a pretty big hit! The author presents this distasteful subject in a way that actually makes it culturally/historically interesting. This book has now been passed around my family and the subject matter has been dicussed at length and debated. Even my mom (who dislikes this kind of subject-matter) is in on the discussions. Pretty interesting stuff........
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fart Facts
In places this is as funny as the Fart books, only with an attempt to broach the subject with an intellectual bent. Lots of new info that entertains and enlightens. Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. Mark Sather
5.0 out of 5 stars it was a gift
I got this book for my father in law. He is a history buff. He started to read at christmas and loved it.
Published 7 months ago by dolanz
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny
This book is funny as well as informative. If farts make you laugh, then this book is for you and others like you!
Published 9 months ago by Lisabeth K. Faller
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Cut The Cheese?
I would recommend this scholarly tome to all who are interested in the history of flatulence,it's origins and the continuing performers of the windy arts.
Published 10 months ago by Charles Hoover
5.0 out of 5 stars great gift for dad
buy this book for your dad and he will finally tell you he loves you. it's the gift he's always been waiting for and it will result in the heartfelt confirmation of your worth... Read more
Published 10 months ago by eddie buonopane
5.0 out of 5 stars Met All Expectations
I haven't read this book. But it delighted my 14-year-old nephew and disgusted his mother, which I regard as an outstanding success!
Published 13 months ago by Kevin T. Keith
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute book
I bought this for my brother for Christmas. We get a kick out of this kind of thing for some weird reason. If you do too get it!
Published 16 months ago by Sandra J. Gregorio
5.0 out of 5 stars For those who need a break.......
This book is meant for those who need a break from their all too serious lives.It is funny,engaging and entertaining. Read more
Published 20 months ago by judgecdt
3.0 out of 5 stars Too academic for me, but well done!
I am hesitant to NOT recommend this book because it IS very well done. However, I was not expecting a text book format. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Sara Williamson
5.0 out of 5 stars Denial Will Get You Guys Nowhere, A Must Read!
I saw an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the weirdest things on Amazon and this was one of them. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Cheryl Meril
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