If you’ve listened to the podcast No Such Thing as a Fish or watched the tv show QI, well, You Don’t Want to Know by James Felton is their grosser cousin. Fortunately, that’s what I was looking for when I put this book on my wish list. Reading weird shit makes for better writing of weird shit.
Some of these stories you may know, especially if you’ve been around the internet for a number of years. Oregon’s experiment in blowing up a beached whale is here. Our buddy Ea-Nasir’s angry letter to Nanni regarding the quality of copper is here. And of course the emu war.
But also there are lots of amazingly gross facts about surgery, animals, masturbation, animal masturbation, ways to die, science, ways to die using science, and tons of situations that could have been easily solved by humans learning to communicate.
I don’t predict it will age incredibly well due to a running set of jokes and commentary referencing current events, but then again, Ea-Nasir probably didn’t think his letter of complaint in cuneiform would last almost two thousand years either.
Good collection of vignettes, some stories of animal and human cruelty, will definitely turn off some readers. Buyer beware, this may not be the book for you.