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The Areas of My Expertise
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The Areas of My Expertise
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Hot on the heels of the #1 bestsellers The Onion's Our Dumb Century and Jon Stewart's America comes The Areas of My Expertise, the brilliant and uproarious #15 bestseller (i.e., a runaway phenomenon in...
Hot on the heels of the #1 bestsellers The Onion's Our Dumb Century and Jon Stewart's America comes The Areas of My Expertise, the brilliant and uproarious #15 bestseller (i.e., a runaway phenomenon in...
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  • Hot on the heels of the #1 bestsellers The Onion's Our Dumb Century and Jon Stewart's America comes The Areas of My Expertise, the brilliant and uproarious #15 bestseller (i.e., a runaway phenomenon in its own right-no, seriously) - a lavish compendium of handy reference tables, fascinating trivia, and sage wisdom - all of it completely unresearched, completely undocumented and (presumably) completely untrue, fabricated by the illuminating, prodigious imagination of John Hodgman, certifiable genius.
 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • John Hodgman lives in New York City and currently hosts the podcast Judge John Hodgman. Previously, Hodgman was a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and a frequent voice on public radio's This American Life. He also frequently appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His fiction, nonfiction, and genres in between have appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney's, One Story, and The Believer. He has performed at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, as well as on the great stages of Chicago, Philadelphia, and London's Barbican. His books include The Areas of My Expertise, More Information Than You Require, and That Is All.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 25, 2005
    In this super-literate, ultimately exhausting exercise in literary parody, New York Times
    magazine contributor Hodgman has produced "a compendium of COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE." From sections titled "What Will Happen in the Future" to "What You Did Not Know About Hobos," he piles up smart-alecky nonsense in layer upon layer of surreal, wholly fictional factoids. Whether highlighting American presidents who had hooks for hands, or sketching out the mythical secrets of Yale University, Hodgman creates a strange and intermittently hilarious parallel universe where lists of history's worst haircuts (in addition to the Mullet, there are the Scrape, the Scab and the Shag-Swoop) are printed alongside descriptions of "famous novels that were not originally published as books." Sprinkled throughout with breathless "factual" interjections—"Were you aware of it? The body of Thomas Edison was never buried. Instead it was displayed for many decades in a traveling carnival.... DOES IT EVEN SEEM POSSIBLE?"—this "almanac" demonstrates Hodgman's formidable imagination, if not his ability to amuse consistently. The individual passages are funny but get lost in an already overstuffed work. For the hyper-well-read fans of publications like McSweeney's
    , this is a treasure trove of twisted absurdist miscellany. For others, however, it may just be too much of a good thing. Agent, Kassie Evashevski.

  • AudioFile Magazine It's hard to imagine this quirky almanac in audio, with all its lists and visually enhanced, completely artificial arcana. After hearing it perfectly read by the erudite goofball who wrote it, however, it seems unlikely there could actually be a print version. Hodgman is a deft performer. His audio adaptation is gravy to dry humor. His earnestly ridiculous prose is meant to be absorbed though the ears, metered precisely by the cadence of his own voice. The audio has its own extras, such as the made-up state songs of the 51 states (yes 51, but not D.C. or Puerto Rico). This audio is not for everyone, but it's desirable for any collection short on offbeat humor or aurally enhanced arcana. D.J. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine

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