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Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs
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Hardcover
Book cover for 9780786292585 Book cover for 9781400064458
 
Large print edition from Thorndike Pr (January 17, 2007)
9780786292585 | details & prices | 529 pages | 6.00 × 8.75 × 1.00 in. | 1.40 lbs | List price $31.95
About: One day back in 2003, Ken Jennings and his college buddy Earl did what hundreds of thousands of people had done before: they auditioned for Jeopardy!
from Villard Books (September 12, 2006)
9781400064458 | details & prices | 269 pages | 6.25 × 9.25 × 0.75 in. | 1.15 lbs | List price $24.95
About: The competitor who became the longest running champion on 'Jeopardy!
Paperback
Book cover for 9780812974997
 
The price comparison is for this edition
Reprint edition from Villard Books (October 30, 2007)
9780812974997 | details & prices | 269 pages | 5.75 × 8.50 × 0.50 in. | 0.55 lbs | List price $16.00
About: The competitor who became the longest running champion on Jeopardy!
Click to show details on same page as prices
Publisher Villard Books
Publication date October 30, 2007
Pages 269
Binding Paperback
Edition Reprint
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9780812974997
ISBN-10 0812974999
Dimensions 0.50 by 5.75 by 8.50 in.
Weight 0.55 lbs.
Original list price $16.00
Amazon.com says people who bought this book also bought:
U.S. Presidents | Maphead | Because I Said So! | Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac | Prisoner of Trebekistan
Summary
The competitor who became the longest running champion on Jeopardy! offers an entertaining look at the human fascination with trivia, from the pop culture of the past to such modern-day phenomena as Trivial Pursuit, that celebrates the glory of the useless fact and recounts his own successful run on the popular game show. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.
Amazon.com description: Product Description: One day back in 2003, Ken Jennings and his college buddy Earl did what hundreds of thousands of people had done before: they auditioned for Jeopardy! Two years, 75 games, 2,642 correct answers, and over $2.5 million in winnings later, Ken Jennings emerged as trivia’s undisputed king. Brainiac traces his rise from anonymous computer programmer to nerd folk icon. But along the way, it also explores his newly conquered kingdom: the world of trivia itself.

Jennings had always been minutiae-mad, poring over almanacs and TV Guide listings at an age when most kids are still watching Elmo and putting beans up their nose. But trivia, he has found, is centuries older than his childhood obsession with it. Whisking us from the coffeehouses of seventeenth-century London to the Internet age, Jennings chronicles the ups and downs of the trivia fad: the quiz book explosion of the Jazz Age; the rise, fall, and rise again of TV quiz shows; the nostalgic campus trivia of the 1960s; and the 1980s, when Trivial Pursuit® again made it fashionable to be a know-it-all.
Jennings also investigates the shadowy demimonde of today’s trivia subculture, guiding us on a tour of trivia hotspots across America. He goes head-to-head with the blowhards and diehards of the college quiz-bowl circuit, the slightly soused faithful of the Boston pub trivia scene, and the raucous participants in the annual Q&A marathon in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, “The World’s Largest Trivia Contest.” And, of course, he takes us behind the scenes of his improbable 75-game run on Jeopardy!

But above all, Brainiac is a love letter to the useless fact. What marsupial has fingerprints that are indistinguishable from human ones?* What planet has a crater on it named after Laura Ingalls Wilder?** What comedian had the misfortune to be born with the name “Albert Einstein”?*** Jennings also ponders questions that are a little more philosophical: What separates trivia from meaningless facts? Is being good at trivia a mark of intelligence? And is trivia just a waste of time, or does it serve some not-so-trivial purpose after all?

Uproarious, silly, engaging, and erudite, this book is an irresistible celebration of nostalgia, curiosity, and nerdy obsession–in a word, trivia.

* The koala
** Venus
*** Albert Brooks



From the Hardcover edition.

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