Hot on the heels of the #1 bestsellers The Onion's Our Dumb Century and Jon Stewart's America comes The Areas of My Expertise, the brilliant and uproarious #15 bestseller (i.e., a runaway phenomenon in its own right-no, seriously) – a lavish compendium of handy reference tables, fascinating trivia, and sage wisdom – all of it completely unresearched, completely undocumented and (presumably) completely untrue, fabricated by the illuminating, prodigious imagination of John Hodgman, certifiable genius.
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The Daily Show correspondent relates his knowledge of the world.
No offense to books, but if you’re just reading The Areas of My Expertise, you’re not getting the full experience. John Hodgman (whom you may recognize from The Daily Show, or the “I’m a PC” commercials) has got this bookish, bald-faced deadpan that simultaneously conveys authority and whimsy. Which is what you need when you’re lying your ass off. The Areas of My Expertise is like some mischievous, bizarro doppelganger to Bill Bryson‘s A Short History of Nearly Everything, where the myriad “facts” are dubious at best, more often ludicrous.
Topics include: Failed palindromes, unlikely tricks used by con artists, preposterous crab restaurants, the time the U.S. had a hobo Secretary of the Treasury and exciting lies about all 51 states. Lightened by occasional poppy interjections from singer-songwriter/straight-man Jonathan Coulton — not to mention a weird walk-on by Paul Rudd — The Areas of My Expertise is probably too smart and subtle to be called a comedy album, too damn funny not to.
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Great transition to audio
A ton of easily digestible made-up facts, with excellent humorous presentation. If you like Hodgman as the "Resident Expert" on the Daily Show, you'll enjoy the audiobook. The original book is done in an almanac style, which wouldn't always make a good transition to an audiobook. It's been wisely abridged, but don't let the abridgment scare away purists - being narrated by the author, he adds a lot of commentary and content specific to (and appropriate to) the audiobook format. Throw in contributions by people like Jonathan Coulton and Paul Rudd, and I'd recommend the audio book even to people who have read the original book.
This audio book from the guy who plays "PC" in the Apple commercials features music from Jonathan Coulton. Very clever and fun faux almanac.