The Third QI Book of General Ignorance, by John Lloyd
Faber & Faber (2015), Paperback, 320 pages
If you are a nice, considerate person, you will read this book to amuse yourself, improve your general knowledge of useless information, and then never mention to anyone that you have read it, or God forbid, quote examples from it. On the other hand, if you are not a nice, considerate person, you will drive your friends insane by repeating examples from the book which demonstrate that everything they ever thought they knew, is dead wrong. Such is the dilemma a book like this presents. The arresting blurb informs you that “Everything you thought you knew is still wrong”, and it delivers. You think Tarzan swung on vines through the jungle? Wrong, at least as far as the original books go. The Earl of Sandwich invented the sandwich? Wrong. You can legally kill a Welshman in Chester after sunset? Wrong (I should hope so!). Lady Godiva rode naked through Coventry? Wrong. And so on. Vastly entertaining, if you are a trivia buff (I am). Irritatingly pointless, if you are not. Let’s face it, this is never going to be considered for any book of the year awards, but it does what it claims to do, and is entertaining along with it. And you might learn some things, or perhaps many things, you have never known. Fun stuff, pure and simple.