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The Book of the Dead: Lives of the Justly Famous and the Undeservedly…
by John Mitchinson, John Lloyd (Author)
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0571244904, Hardcover)Following their Herculean - or is it Sisyphean? - efforts to save the living from ignorance, the two wittiest Johns in the English language turn their attention to the dead. As the authors themselves say, "The first thing that strikes you about the dead is just how many of them there are." Helpfully, Lloyd and Mitchinson have employed a simple - but ruthless - criterion for inclusion: The dead person has to be interesting. Here, then, is a dictionary of the dead, an encyclopedia of the embalmed. Ludicrous in scope, whimsical in its arrangement, this wildly entertaining tome presents pity and provocative biographies of the no-longer-living from the famous to the undeservedly and - until now - permanently obscure. Spades in hand, Lloyd and Mitchinson have dug up everything embarrassing, fascinating, and downright weird about their subjects' lives and added their own uniquely irreverent observations. Organized by capricious categories - such as dead people who died virgins, who kept pet monkeys, who lost limbs, whose corpses refused to stay put - the dearly departed, from the inventor of the stove to a cross-dressing, bear-baiting female gangster, finally receive the epitaphs they truly deserve. Discover: - Why Freud had a lifelong fear of trains - The one thing that really made Isaac Newton laugh - How Catherine the Great really died (no horse was involved) Much like the country doctor who cured smallpox (he's in here), Lloyd and Mitchinson have the perfect antidote for anyone out there dying of boredom. The Book of the Dead - like life itself - is hilarious, tragic, bizarre, and amazing. You may never pass a graveyard again without chuckling.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:49 -0400)
The QI Book of the Dead is a book about life. Around 90 billion people have existed since the human race began. From this huge number, the QI team selected 600 of the finest examples of our species and researched them in depth, distilling this immense banquet of life into an exquisite tasting menu of six-dozen crisp, racy mini-biographies, where the internationally and immortally famous rub shoulders with the undeservedly and (until now) permanently obscure. The object is to learn something about what it means to be alive and how we can make the most of the time we have. "The QI Book of the Dead" compares and contrasts the different ways individual human beings cope (or fail to cope) with the curves that the uncaring universe throws at us. Collected into themed chapters with thought-provoking titles such as 'There's Nothing Like a Bad Start in Life', 'Man Cannot Live by Bread Alone' and 'Is That All There Is?' here is a chance to share the secrets of the Dead, to celebrate their wisdom and to learn from their mistakes.
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