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The Know-It-All

Cover of The Know-It-All

The Know-It-All

One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
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A hilarious, intelligent-trivia-packed story from a man who read the entire ENCYLOPEDIA BRITANNICA. Early in his career, A. J. Jacobs found himself putting his Ivy League education to work at ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. After five years he learned which stars have fake boobs, which stars have toupees, which have both, and not much else. This unsettling realization led Jacobs on a life-changing quest: to read the entire contents of the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, all 33,000 pages, all 44 million words. Jacobs accumulates useful and less-so knowledge, and along the way finds a deep connection with his father (who attempted the same feat when Jacob's was a child), examines the nature of knowledge vs. intelligence, and learns how to be rather annoying at cocktail parties. Part memoir/part-education (or lack thereof), the chapters are organized by the letters of the alphabet.

A hilarious, intelligent-trivia-packed story from a man who read the entire ENCYLOPEDIA BRITANNICA. Early in his career, A. J. Jacobs found himself putting his Ivy League education to work at ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. After five years he learned which stars have fake boobs, which stars have toupees, which have both, and not much else. This unsettling realization led Jacobs on a life-changing quest: to read the entire contents of the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA, all 33,000 pages, all 44 million words. Jacobs accumulates useful and less-so knowledge, and along the way finds a deep connection with his father (who attempted the same feat when Jacob's was a child), examines the nature of knowledge vs. intelligence, and learns how to be rather annoying at cocktail parties. Part memoir/part-education (or lack thereof), the chapters are organized by the letters of the alphabet.

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About the Author-
  • A. J. Jacobs is a senior editor at ESQUIRE magazine and the author of THE TWO KINGS: JESUS AND ELVIS, AMERICA OFF-LINE, and FRACTURED FAIRY TALES. Since his local grocery store did not carry the type of mint cake chosen by Tenzing Norgay to celebrate his successful ascent of Mount Everest, Jacobs celebrated the completion of his feat with some Ring Dings. He lives in New York City with his wife.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine The vehicle for the author's quest is the entire Encyclopedia Britannica--this is the story of how he plows through all 33,000 entries contained therein. Along the way, we glean a great deal about a great deal of things and by the end have learned far more about the author than about the topics in the EB. Narrator Geoffrey Cantor is really in an impossible position because he has to translate Jacobs's amusing anecdotes without slipping into obnoxiousness. He succeeds, for the most part, but, overall, his tone is too smart-alecky, as opposed to funny. Also, he tends to read too fast at times and has a tendency to swallow words and letters. R.I.G. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine
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    HighBridge Company
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Know-It-All
The Know-It-All
One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World
A.J. Jacobs
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A.J. Jacobs
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