The content of this book is about as random as its title, which is a good thing.
Alex Boese, whose book is about hoaxes, holds an advanced degree in the history of science, according to a statement on the back cover of Hippo Eats Dwarf. This statement raises one immediate question—"Is the history of science really an academic field or is this just one more hoax?" The answer: As much as the academic field of "history of science" sounds fake, as an alum of a school where this is an undergraduate major, I can assure some people do study this academic field.
Of course, that knowledge leads to the next logical question—"What do you do with a degree in the history of science?" Well, if Mr. Boese is any indication, you collect stories of hoaxes, pranks, and the foolishness of the human race. So kids, now you know how to get this job when you grow up.
Now to talk about my thoughts on this book.
Rather than reading this book from the beginning, the first thing I did was to flip open to any old page. I repeated this experiment a number of times. The results of this willy-nilly experiment are in, and any old page in this book is pretty funny. Whether talking about fat cats or counterfeiters, this book delivers the strange and amusing facts you need.
The fact that you can start reading at just about any point in the book makes this a great resource for all those situations where you need short increments of text, allowing you to fill every moment, without overfilling. (I am thinking specifically at this point about bathroom reading. It is tough when you finish your business and then have to make the tough decision whether to leave a long article off in the middle or stay on the pot until you reach the end of the article, and ultimately your choice results in a set legs that have fallen asleep making it difficult to stand up.)
This book is the perfect thing for a coffee table. Now, most highfalutin fancy pants types probably would not want this book on their coffee table, whereas most college kids would want this in their dorm room. If you fall somewhere in the middle, then you would probably benefit greatly from owning this book.
This book should be required reading for those people who have the habit of forwarding every single e-mail they ever get that has a hint of tragedy or injustice. It traces the history of these ubiquitous "forwards" and gives advice about spotting them. Of course the advice is just common sense, but some people could use all the help they can get in this area. (Those who knew me in college can attest that anything that can into my inbox with "FW:" in the subject line went straight to the trash unread.)
If you are comedy writer, Hippo Eats Dwarf is just the thing to keep on your bookshelf for those days when inspiration is nowhere to be found. There is enough real life whimsy in this tome to go around. Get this important resource.
The "Reality Rules" in this book are a must for anyone who has ever been proven gullible.
Read an excerpt from this book to judge for yourself - Hoax Websites.
Disclaimer: some parts of this book should not be read before eating, specifically the part about things people have found (or claimed to have found) in their fast food.
by Cameron Hatch
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