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Prisoner of Trebekistan: A Decade in Jeopardy!

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Prisoner of Trebekistan: A Decade in Jeopardy! Cover

ISBN13: 9780307339560
ISBN10: 0307339564
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A.: This is the story of a working-class guy from Ohio with little real knowledge of Ambidextrous Presidents, Things Made from Rubber, and hundreds of other categories, but who nonetheless plunges so far into cramming for Jeopardy! that it changes his relationships, bends his worldview, and literally leads him to the ends of the earth, trying to understand it all.

Q.: What is Prisoner of Trebekistan?

Welcome to a world where obscure information is crucial to survival, vast sums of cash are at stake, and milliseconds can change not just a game but the course of your entire life. (Plus, you could win two Camaros and enough Bon Ami cleanser to scrub a small nation.)

Prisoner of Trebekistan is Bob Harris's hilarious, insightful account of one man's unlikely epic journey through Jeopardy!, gleefully exploring triumph and failure, the nature of memory, and how knowledge itself can transform you in unpredictable ways — all against the backdrop of the most popular quiz show in history.

In Prisoner of Trebekistan, Bob chronicles his transformation from a struggling stand-up comic who repeatedly fails the Jeopardy! audition test into an elite player competing against the show's most powerful brains. To get there, he embarks on a series of intense study sessions, using his sense of humor to transform conventional memory skills into a refreshingly playful approach to learning that's as amusing as it is powerful.

What follows is not only a captivating series of high-stakes wins and losses on Jeopardy!, but also a growing appreciation of a borderless world that Bob calls Trebekistan, where a love of learning reigns and the smarter you get the more you realize how much you don't yet know.

Filled with secrets that only a veteran contestant could share — from counterintuitive game strategies to Jedi-like tactics with the Jeopardy! signaling device — Prisoner of Trebekistan also gives you the chance to play along with the actual clues that led to victory or defeat in high-level tournaments, plus candid, moving reflections on how the games affected Bob's offstage life — and vice versa.

Not only an irresistible treat for Jeopardy! fans, Prisoner of Trebekistan is a delight for anyone who loves a rollicking tale that celebrates the unpredictability of life and the sneaky way it has of teaching us the things that really matter.

Review:

"Prisoner of Trebekistan is funny, enlightening — and just might help you win a million bucks on Jeopardy!" A.J. Jacobs, author of The Know-It-All

Review:

"Prisoner of Trebekistan is so effortlessly funny and informative, the fact that it's also tender, human, and very wise kind of sneaks up on you....Amidst the nerve-wracking Jeopardy! showdowns and hilarious study rituals, Bob Harris has found the difference between facts and knowledge, between knowledge and wisdom, proving conclusively that the answer to the meaning of life may very well take the form of a question. A must for anyone who loves Jeopardy!, or has ever seen it, or is breathing." Joss Whedon, creator, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Review:

"If you don't buy this book — this funny, learned, charming, and surprisingly moving book — I will make it burst into flames in your hands." Arthur Phillips, author of Prague and The Egyptologist

Synopsis:

In "Prisoner of Trebekistan," Harris chronicles his transformation from a struggling standup comic who repeatedly fails the "Jeopardy!" audition test into an elite player competing against the show's most powerful brains.

About the Author

Bob Harris has written for National Lampoon, Mother Jones online, and the television drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. In addition to being an undefeated five-time Jeopardy! champion, he reached the finals of the annual $100,000 Tournament of Champions before losing so absurdly that the final episode was shown on airlines as in-flight entertainment. In 2002, Harris was one of only fifteen players invited to compete in a Million-Dollar Masters Tournament held at Radio City Music Hall. More recently, he was a memorable part of the 2005 Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions. He lives in Los Angeles.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

spacebarshift, August 6, 2012 (view all comments by spacebarshift)
A must read for those still auditioning. With Alex pondering retirement in 2 years, good luck having as much fun and luck as this man did.
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Jennifer Short, March 5, 2008 (view all comments by Jennifer Short)
I finished reading this book last night -- at four in the morning. I just couldn't put it down! Bob Harris has a way with words, and his account of his Jeopardy! experiences are written in such a way I often found myself laughing. He stays upbeat with his losses, and he keeps coming back and back and back to Jeopardy! He talks about the contestants he has played against, and we all remember such names like Chuck Forrest, Ken Jennings, and Eric Newhouse. It was a look inside the mind of a Jeopardy! champion. My only gripe with the book is I wish he would have elaborated on why not to play poker with Eddie Timanus! There has to be a story there that wasn't shared!
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
Mary Folley, September 11, 2006 (view all comments by Mary Folley)
Yes, this is a book about appearing on a game show. But, it is not only about the show. Prisoner of Trebekistan provides solid advice on how to prepare for Jeopardy! or any of the other game shows that test contestants? knowledge of trivia. Harris does a first-rate job of explaining and illustrating complex concepts from cognitive psychology, like state dependent learning and chunking, to a general audience. I have a Ph.D. in social psychology, and I can say that after teaching this type of material to students, being both clear and entertaining with this extremely dry subject matter is no simple task.

Harris also tells the story of his family?s ongoing struggle with his sister?s autoimmune disease. He gives a very moving and compassionate portrayal his admiration for her strength and his own helplessness in the face of the never-ending, grueling effects of the disease on his beloved sister. Harris writes a very human account of the impact that chronic disease can have of the friends and family of the afflicted.

And, on top of all of that, Bob Harris has written a laugh-out-loud funny book. Trebekistan is a well-paced, delightful read! Buy this book!!
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(14 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307339560
Subtitle:
A Decade in Jeopardy!
Author:
Harris, Bob
Publisher:
Crown
Subject:
General
Subject:
Trivia
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - General
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography-Entertainment and Performing Arts
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20060905
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 in 1.35 lb

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Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » TV Programs

Prisoner of Trebekistan: A Decade in Jeopardy! Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Crown Publishers - English 9780307339560 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Prisoner of Trebekistan is funny, enlightening — and just might help you win a million bucks on Jeopardy!"
"Review" by , "Prisoner of Trebekistan is so effortlessly funny and informative, the fact that it's also tender, human, and very wise kind of sneaks up on you....Amidst the nerve-wracking Jeopardy! showdowns and hilarious study rituals, Bob Harris has found the difference between facts and knowledge, between knowledge and wisdom, proving conclusively that the answer to the meaning of life may very well take the form of a question. A must for anyone who loves Jeopardy!, or has ever seen it, or is breathing."
"Review" by , "If you don't buy this book — this funny, learned, charming, and surprisingly moving book — I will make it burst into flames in your hands."
"Synopsis" by , In "Prisoner of Trebekistan," Harris chronicles his transformation from a struggling standup comic who repeatedly fails the "Jeopardy!" audition test into an elite player competing against the show's most powerful brains.

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