Having just missed one hundred books in the first year of The Book Challenge, in 2010, I made the full tonne. Still reading, but without the challenge, take a look at the reviews for the books that I have read this year.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Book 81 - The World According to the Man in the Pub 2

Book - The World According to the Man in the Pub 2
Author - Robert Anwood
Year - 2007
Genre - Facts

As this was a Marks and Spencer rerelease of a previous Robert Anwood book, it was an absolute nightmare to find a cover pic for this book - hence the very dark shot that I finally located being used here.  Despite the concept of a book marketed and published not by a reputable publishing house, but instead a supermarket, being one that doesn't necessarily fill you with confidence, this was a pretty good book.

Full of exactly the kind of things I enjoy to read about - is chewing gum illegal in Singapore (yes), are there wasps in Thailand (yes), did Ernie Wise make the first mobile phone call in the UK (yes) - Robert Anwood manages to mix the interesting truth behind some of the strange 'facts' peddled out by people in pubs who like to peddle out strange facts in pubs - yes, like myself - with plenty of humour.  Whilst reading, you are learning stuff, yet it remains lightheartedly fun throughout.

The only gripe I have is with the particular entry about the designer of the Sydney Opera House never having seen the finished product.  Apparently after difficulties whilst it was being built, he had an argument with the Australian government and vowed to leave Australia never to return, hence never seeing the building.  This I can believe, and a cursory internet search reveals that this argument did indeed take place.  However, Anwood then goes on to claim that an Australian department was set up to send him faked photos of the building on a regular basis, lest he should notice the changes to the design that were later made, and decide to sue them.  He claims that once the internet age hit us, thousands of dollars of Australian money has been spent on this.  This, I can find nothing of, and to me seems quite frankly ludicrous, and a little like the kind of thing that someone who likes to peddle out strange facts in pubs may like to peddle out.  Unfortunately, with no back up other than his own book.

8/10

Robert Anwood also runs this website which chronicals the use of the superfluous key change in pop music.  Worth a little look, even if it has been a while since it was last updated.

No comments:

Post a Comment