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The World's Worst: A Guide to the Most Disgusting, Hideous, Inept, and Dangerous People, Places, and Things on Earth Paperback – May 5, 2005

3.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (May 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811846067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811846066
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,633,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William Holmes VINE VOICE on 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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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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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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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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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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This is a fun, not-at-all-serious, little book full of absolutely useless, but interesting bits of information. While I didn't find much of it to be terribly horrible or even disgusting, it was all fun to read, if a bit random. It would have been nice to have some illustrations and a few more not-common-knowledge entries. Most of the entries were things I'd heard about, but the author does present them in way that's fun to read. Enjoyable little nuggets of almost disgusting trivia.
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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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This book is true to it's cover and not for the faint-at-heart! Interesting and factual. Great for those of us who love telling stories about interesting and factual things, especially gross stuff! Thank you Ereader News Today and Amazon!
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