WARNING: This book could be dangerous!
1,342 QI Facts is a glorious mishmash of facts which could occupy so much of your time that forgetting to eat and drink is a real possibility. This is not hyperbole as the book has an associated web page, http://qi.com/1342/ which links to the reference material to back up the printed facts. If you enter the page number from the book into this portal, as it’s described, then you’ll be directed to the source.
I followed ‘Sabre-toothed tigers never existed’ (page 5). I found the reference on the web page, followed that and then followed further references in that article. Two hours later I returned to the book and read a new fact. The associated web page is well designed and simple to use. I don’t think even the most timid of computer users would have any problems using it. All of the links I tried, and there were a lot of them, worked the first time, every time, which is a remarkable record.
The book is simple and straight forward with fact after fact. The book makes only a token effort to have facts on similar topics grouped together but that it in no way detracts from the simple enjoyment of learning new things. Actually, I felt it added a great deal of interest as you were never bogged down or bored as sometimes happens when too many similar facts are grouped together.
The book is part of a growing library of books coming from the QI Elves lair http://qi.com/shop-books/. John Lloyd, creator of QI, is the lead elf and would be a wonderful dinner companion for anyone even mildly curious, with his wealth of knowledge of weird and wonderful facts.
Most people would probably categorise the book as ‘good bathroom reading’ and while this is true, it doesn’t really do justice to what is also ‘a good read’. If you want to delve even further into the QI world there is also a weekly podcast from the elves: http://qi.com/podcast/.
Reviewed by: Jan Kershaw
Rating out of 10: 10
Released by: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: November 2016
RRP: $22.99 hardcover