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Showing 1-10 of 44 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 168 reviews
on January 27, 2016
One of the only books you will ever need in your whole life.

I read this, and was able to speak with trees, see brain waves, interpret Hobo mating calls, boil 3 eggs at once, and cry like a man.

You will laugh, cry, and chant the welcome to end times aloud in a ritualistic circle.
I can't recommend anything more.
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on March 13, 2006
This is honestly the funniest thing ive ever read. I find humor in print isnt an easy thing to convey. Just head to the humor section of any mega book store and you'll find that its lacking. That being said i was very skeptical going into reading Hodgmans book. Much to my surprise and amazement, it turned out to be a genuine laugh-out-loud read throughout. So much so that i felt i need to share it with others and thus, this is my first review on Amazon. If you are like me, you come to this site to check out reviews before buying books.

There is a catch with this book, you really have to like and understand his kind of non-sequitor humor. As you can see in the reviews, theres alot of people who didnt like this book. I think the problem is not that this book isnt hilarious...it is...i think its just a type of comedy that folks 'get' or not. Sooo i'd suggest you bounce over to the books website areasofmyexpertice.com and look around and decide if his humor is your thing before buying. As for me, ive already bought 4 additional copies to share with friends. I think its that good.

Then again, im one of the lucky few that will be ready for the next Hobo Wars....i know the signs.
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on May 11, 2007
Are you reading this review? Hello? Yes. If you are, that means that you are somewhat likely perhaps maybe a little interested in this book (or Audio CD for those of you that would prefer to receive your funny through a sense other than that disgusting eye-reliant one). Errr. Now I've forgotten what I was doing. No no no, I remember now, I was writing a review of the most excellent 'The Areas of My Expertise' by John Hodgman.

Within this great tome or (as Mr. Hodgman put it) "cumbersome audio CD set", you may find interesting facts and trivia. Or you may not, I'm not psychic. What I can tell you is that, to myself and several select friends, this is one of the most humorous books in the realm of literary genius. Within minutes of opening this book (assuming that you have chosen to read it and not just pretend to in order to impress members of the opposite sex with your ability to hold a book open and make thoughtful noises) you will become overwhelmed with the literary hilarity, or as I am putting it 'literarity'. In short (or tall), you'll laugh. Quite a bit.

If you enjoy such humorous things as a monkey boxing a cat, or a robot boxing a kangaroo, H.B.'s (Hobo Boxes) or just Boxcars themselves, you should (or would be in your best interest to) enjoy this book. Immensely. Greatly. No, I will not combine another word.

Ah. Yes. The review. It is quite a good book cover, don't you think? Blue and Orange, thats Nature's goodness. And it can be right in your home. Or car. Or garbage bin of a material you selected when you purchased it (the bin, not the book). The cover contains knowledge. What knowledge? The knowledge of John Hodgman. What John Hodgman? Don't be silly. It is the very John Hodgman who wrote 'The Areas of My Expertise'. The work contains interesting facts on furry lobsters, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the attempted Hobo takeover of the United States Government in the 1930's. It also lists over six-hundred and ninety-nine names of the aforementioned Hobo-folk.

The end of the review? A summary? Buy the book or audio CD. Buy it now, you will most likely not regret it unless you don't find it funny. But many have, and you can too. You want to, don't you? Then buy it.
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on January 9, 2007
this is an outstanding book for those places where you only get a few minutes at a time to read. the bedside, the bathroom, your backpack... the author has a wonderfully wry, left-of-center sense of humour, and is unapologetic about constructing false facts to make his "almanac" more interesting. that, in itself, is a wonderfully subtle statement about how people tell their own stories.

the only thing that keeps this book from getting 5 stars is that i was hoping for a TRUE almanac, just with wittier and stranger content. that said, though, i was pleasantly surprised to find a gem of a book which finds its way into my mitts several times a week.
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on November 24, 2010
Hodgman has a perfect pen for the art of brilliant randomness. I enjoyed this book from cover to cover as his sense of humor is precisely on the same vector as my own. I would highly recommend this reading if you enjoy a delightful mix of clever factual fabrications and the juxtaposition of quick "makes you think' humor and sharp, scholarly diction. I've bought 5 copies as gifts for acquaintances that I like as well as those that I don't, in hopes that they will learn not to take life not quite so seriously. Thank you John.
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on March 3, 2015
Hard to read right through. But great to open now and then for a random laugh.
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on October 29, 2013
Its great reading on the john but I wouldn't recommend reading this at great length. Hodgman is a very talented comedian/actor extraordinaire but this book is more of a Cyclopedia written by a mad man in some sort of parallel universe full of hobos.
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on February 23, 2007
Awesome. Maybe some of the sections, like the various colonial professions related to eels, but it is wonderful to see such a personally wacky tome make it in the mainstream. Even if you don't listen to the entire audio version on your iPod (including all the hobo names--why did I listen to all of them? why did he read them?) like I did, it is unique and well worth your time.
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on February 3, 2014
I've had a lot of fun reading this book. Some sections I have read over and over and been struck by something funny and different each time I read them.
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on November 7, 2005
Hodgman's contributions to McSweeney's led me to this book, and THE AREAS OF MY EXPERTISE is almost entirely without disappointment. This isn't a book to read straight through, in a week; it's a book to sample from all year long. This is the sort of collection of stories and musings and articles that's best kept nearby to be accessed when the mood strikes.

The style here is vaulted, relaxed, and perfectly ridiculous all at the same time. Some authors have imagination, some have language, and Hodgman has both, in excess.
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