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Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs

by

Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs Cover

ISBN13: 9780812974997
ISBN10: 0812974999
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 trivias 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 todays 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 Worlds 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.

Synopsis:

Ken Jennings has risen from anonymous computer programmer to nerd folk icon as the all-time champion of "Jeopardy!" In this book, he explores his newly conquered kingdom: the world of trivia itself. Whisking readers from the coffeehouses of 17th-century London to the Internet age, Jennings chronicles the ups and downs of the trivia fad.

About the Author

Ken Jennings was born in Seattle but spent much of his childhood in Seoul, South Korea. A graduate of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, he worked as a computer programmer until becoming an unlikely celebrity due to his unprecedented record-breaking streak on the television quiz show Jeopardy! He lives outside Salt Lake City with his wife and son. For more information, visit www.ken-jennings.com.

To schedule a speaking engagement, please contact American Program Bureau at www.apbspeakers.com  

From the Hardcover edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Jennifer Short, October 7, 2008 (view all comments by Jennifer Short)
Ken Jennings is more than Jeopardy's longest running contestant, he's is a collector of odd and unusual facts. Through this book he'll tantalize and tease with trivia, but will also give a look into the subculture of those who find a quiz meet more facinating than a football game!
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780812974997
Author:
Jennings, Ken
Publisher:
Villard Books
Subject:
Trivia
Subject:
General Games
Subject:
Games-Mental Puzzles
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20071031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.16x5.60x.62 in. .50 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Trivia
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
History and Social Science » World History » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » General Puzzles
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Mental Puzzles
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Miscellaneous Games

Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs New Trade Paper
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Product details 288 pages Villard Books - English 9780812974997 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Ken Jennings has risen from anonymous computer programmer to nerd folk icon as the all-time champion of "Jeopardy!" In this book, he explores his newly conquered kingdom: the world of trivia itself. Whisking readers from the coffeehouses of 17th-century London to the Internet age, Jennings chronicles the ups and downs of the trivia fad.
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