Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs Paperback – October 30, 2007
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
And while this is good - no matter how nice a guy Ken seems, 200+ pages about his life may not be a great page-turning experience - Brainiac seems a little light on Ken's "Jeopardy!" run, almost giving it passing mention and completely neglecting his (admittedly non-memorable) appearance in the show's Ultimate Tournament of Champions.
This is too bad, since putting a picture of Ken behind a podium on the front cover with the tagline "The greatest champion in 'Jeopardy!' history" implies more Trebek-related material.
That said, I really liked Brainiac. Ken clearly can write - at no point during the book would I have suspected it was a first attempt by a recent computer programmer. His prose is easy to read and not overly cerebral. He explores all the nooks and crannies of a subject, trivia, that is dedicated to the exploration of nooks and crannies. He spends time with a college quiz bowl team, visits a giant city-wide trivia contest, and meets with the authors of storied trivia books. Sometimes these experiences make the book move slowly, like an extended history of NTN bar trivia bookended by a visit to a pub quiz game in Massachusetts. But Brainiac is fun, unique, and well-put together.
Ken also ingeniously baked ten trivia questions into each chapter, using superscript numbers to identify the clues. A large number of these questions are substantially harder than the material on "Jeopardy!", but it's a clever concept that overall serves the book well.Read more ›
The book is less about Ken Jennings and more about trivia as a whole. Jennings focuses on its history as well as its popularity in certain pockets of today's society. Jennings takes an indepth look at an annual trivia contest which completely consumes Stevens Point, Wisconsin as well as the bar trivia scene, the quiz bowl circuit and much more. Of course, Jennings also gives a look into his amazing streak on Jeopardy and an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes.
Even though Jennings peppers his text with facts and "trivia questions", one need not be a trivia fanatic to enjoy the book. It's surprisingly well written, and even funny at times. The history of trivia and an examination of how it pervades our culture is will interest most inquisitive readers.
One important piece of information that comes from the book is that specific study before Jeopardy is relevant. For example, Jennings is Mormon and doesn't drink alcohol. Knowing that alcohol drinks is a subject that has appeared on Jeopardy, his studies (apparently only on paper) the ingredients of well-known drinks. This is in contrast to some other Jeopardy champions who have suggested they studied a range of material before for the show but it wasn't helpful.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First allow me to say I enjoyed this book immensely. Finding an error by Ken Jennings was a bonus and just added to the fun, and it is a fun read. Read morePublished 11 days ago by lowdram
Jennings, undisputed all-time "Jeopardy!" champion and master, explores trivia's rise and fall and rise again in American pop culture, and tries to explain why so many of... Read morePublished 3 months ago by William F.B. Vodrey
Ken Jennings comes across in a much more positive light than he did on Jeopardy. He's funny, not at all nerdy or geeky. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Judith
I bought this book to learn more about the Jeopardy process. I didn't expect to find it so well written, interesting and funny. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Karen G. Spisak
Ken makes a mistake about Louie Louie. It was not a hit in 1964, it was a hit in 1963:
First released in May 1963, the single was initially issued by the small Jerden... Read more
Excellent book for the Trivia Buff in you! Gave it to a friend who was a Jeopardy contestant. He loved it. So did I.Published 15 months ago by Lucinda H. Caldwell
Fun book to read and learn new yet interesting things. Great price too.Published 18 months ago by Roeina M.
The book arrived exactly as advertised. Very pleased with item and seller!Published 19 months ago by VTratings