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ISBN: 0743250605 / ISBN-13: 9780743250603

The Know-it-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the world

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You go to school. You work hard. You go to university. You learn a lot. You're pretty pleased with yourself. You're erudite, well-read and know ... Show synopsis

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  • The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World (Simon & Schuster) – Hardcover (2004)
    by A J Jacobs

    The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World

    Hardcover, Simon & Schuster
    2004
    English
    New ed.
    386 pages

    ISBN: 0743250605
    ISBN-13: 9780743250603

    Alarmed and more than a little chagrined at the massive gaps in his personal knowledge base, Jacobs sets for himself a suitably daunting, and some might say insane, task: to fill in the holes in his Ivy-league education by reading the Encyclopaedia Britannica from A to Z.

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Reviews of The Know-it-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the world

Overall customer rating: 4.401
Matthew

A bit gimmicky

by Matthew on Mar 18, 2008

The Know-It-All makes an entertaining browse, but isn't a great book to just read through. The book is organized into dozens of small sections, headed with words from the Britannica; unfortunately, the sections are at times only loosely related to the heading. The writing is almost as disjointed as a volume of the encyclopedia itself. Fine book for browsing, but no point investing any more time in it.

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ALEX23
by ALEX23 on Feb 6, 2008

A singularly light and translucid work. The ebb tide of literary skill juxtaposed on self-deprecating wit. A truly splendid read!

michaelt

absolutely terriffic

by michaelt on Jan 16, 2008

funny from beginning to end . . . informative, entertaining and hilarious. a must read!

bazancita

Hilarious and a real gem!

by bazancita on Apr 4, 2007

I got this book to read in between breaks of a more dense though also fantastic book. This book did its job and more. It is downright hilarious at times, but also inspiring. At times I thought the author/character had no clue about certain important things in life and let his mouth get on the way, but you feel like the journey he goes through and the things he ultimately learns are things that are important for all of us to realize in our lives. Though at times his need to make everything too funny; the book is written in a brilliant way, keenly balancing the encyclopedic things with the real life things, as well as the intersection of both. Funny and endearing at the same time!

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theBarri

So so funny

by theBarri on Apr 3, 2007

A.J. Jacobs immediately invites the reader to join him on quest to read the entire Encyclo- paedia Britannica. The journey is funny and informative. The reader is given a very personal glimpse into Jacobs' life and endeavor, while also introducing us to a variety of well-known people along the way. See how smart Mensa members are, go to a crossword puzzle contest, meet Alex Trebek. In addition, Jacobs' shares lots of facts about all sorts of things. I had to keep sharing sections of this book with my husband because I would laugh out loud while reading and he would want to know what was so funny. Very entertaining.

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