Book review: The Book of General Ignorance Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong (John Lloyd & John Hitchinson)

Yes, I’m a fan of QI, so I knew I would like this book, a gift from a considerate brother and sister-in-law.

The foreword by Stephen Fry is appropriate, as he hosts the QI television programme.

There are over 200 questions, where the obvious answers are so obviously wrong.

Some are silly, like “How long can a chicken live without its head?” (Answer: 2 years, apparently.) Also, it’s a relief to know that drinking alcohol doesn’t kill brain cells (it just makes it harder for new ones to grow). Hitler’s vegetarianism is also debunked (doctors recommended a vegetarian diet for his chronic flatulence). More controversially, it is pointed out that the Immaculate Conception refers to Mary, not Jesus, citing Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans. But at least we learn that Santa — Saint Nicholas — comes from Turkey.

If this kind of trivia isn’t your cup of tea, you know it is for one of your friends or family.

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