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Showing 1-10 of 29 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 37 reviews
on July 10, 2005
"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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on March 22, 2013
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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on October 1, 2014
Pretty much everything in this book was posted on BoingBoing.net (where the author frequently contributes), so none of it was new to me, as someone who used to read the site regularly. It was a huge disappointment in that regard. But in addition, like so many of the "10 Best" or "10 Worst" articles on the Internet nowadays, the entries in the book are either glossed over, oversimplified, or subjectively and/or selectively tilted in order to make them seem worse than they really are.
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on January 14, 2007
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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on April 27, 2013
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 .
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on September 6, 2012
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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on March 25, 2013
I have actually bought 4 copies of this book so far. I am a substitute teacher and these stories are short, typically a few pages, and are perfect for filling in the time when usually the students are all standing at the door trying to leave. The stories range from the informative, to the bizarre and disgusting. Just what middle schoolers love!!
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VINE VOICEon July 29, 2007
This book consists of a couple dozen "chapters" of 2-3 pages each. Each chapter focuses on an arbitrarily-chosen "world's worst/disgusting." A few choices are debatable - - I would reverse the order of the two most disgusting beverages, both described in the same chapter.

The writing style is light and generally amusing but not laugh-out-loud funny. The book is likely to appeal most to pre-teens and teens because of the grossness (content is PG-13 in places), but adults can enjoy it too.

Aside from the fact that it could be funnier, my main objection is just that it's really short, what with the small page size, low page count, large number of title pages (one per chapter) and drawings. I read it in a half hour, and would have been happy to read it longer had there been more to read. But I passed it on to the rest of the family, and so we got some collective value from it. If longer, it would have earned four stars; call it 3.5.
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on March 18, 2013
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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on March 9, 2013
A solid read. Interesting stuff..some I knew..some I didn't. On what I knew, I got more info. On what I didn't, I learned more. Not a book I can rattle on about. I will recommend it those of you who like to just learn about things around you. Buy it.....it will NOT disappoint.
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