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The Onion Book of Known Knowledge: Mankind's Final Encyclopedia From America's Finest News Source

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  536 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Are you a witless cretin with no reason to live? Would you like to know more about every piece of knowledge ever? Do you have cash? Then congratulations, because just in time for the death of the print industry as we know it comes the final book ever published, and the only one you will ever need: The Onion's compendium of all things known.

Replete with an astonishing assem
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Little, Brown and Company
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Ken Bronsil
I enjoyed this. I found it hard to read many pages in one sitting: the novelty started to wear off. But reading it in 15-minute segments seemed to work well. Since this is an encyclopedia, everyone and everything is ridiculed or satirized equally. A couple samples:
--HEARSE: vehicle for transporting a coffin halfway to a funeral home and then, in a panic, back to the emergency room.
--PIP: man doomed to walk the earth without the guiding force of Gladys Knight to lead him.
Paul Cockeram
The Onion has perfected satire, but their best work is always accented by touches of absurdity. This encyclopedia sits squarely in that territory, where a lemon is defined as a "sour-tasting egg laid by a citrus duck." There is plenty of satire here too, and it's as satisfying as ever. But this book is most digestible in smaller morsels. Put it on the back of your toilet or, like me, enjoy it as some light reading over breakfast. Two or three story lines do develop throughout the book--I particu ...more
This shouldn't have been made into an audiobook. The format doesn't lend itself to being read out loud. Makes for very boring listening.

Was it funny? Sometimes. Would it have been funnier if I'd read the physical copy?

I certainly hope so. This was lacking the bite of the Onion website. The bits that were funny were extremely funny. The ones that weren't bombed extremely hard. Ah, well.
Faux reference book as comedy; neither particularly funny, nor referential. Probably much better served as a coffee table book than a book taken out from the library to read through, as I did.
Not the best Onion book, but not bad either. I didn't really like that each entry introduced a joke, and them the rest of the entry was just reiterating the joke with different words: some were long enough that this became tedious. I did like the running jokes (ex-girlfriend Caroline, the kinda noir murder investigation that routed you through various entries, the Seychelles physicist war, and the hatred of statutory rape laws), the addition of a 27th letter (which I pronounced " vwuh" for ease ...more
The entry on Ronald Reagan alone makes this a must read.
Dan Smith
I'd say that this book, like many encyclopaedias, didn't have a great plot or jokes, but at least it explained everything as it went along. Surprisingly, the exact opposite is the case. It reminds me what was, and still is, great about the Onion.

As you might expect, it explains absolutely nothing, it's entries ranging all over the comic spectrum from satire to surrealism, through nonsense, cross-referencing, artless ignorance, pompous ignorance, preoccupied narrative voices, and truthful insouci
Harold Cameron
“A Definitive Encyclopedia of Existing Information”

“Are you a witless cretin with no reason to live? Would you like to know more about every piece of knowledge ever? Do you have cash? Then congratulations, because just in time for the death of the print industry as we know it comes the final book ever published, and the only one you will ever need: The Onion's compendium of all things known.

Replete with an astonishing assemblage of facts, illustrations, maps, charts, threats, blood, and additio
Ashlea (
It seems odd that the Onion - a humor vehicle completely of the moment - would choose to parody an encyclopedia, a thing that completely lost relevance several years ago. Perhaps that's part of the joke I didn't get. Otherwise, it is just what you'd expect of the Onion - uneven, whimsical, occasionally scatological, full of inside jokes, running gags, and misinformational graphics. It's varied enough that most people who think the Onion is sort-of funny will get a genuine laugh about every 5th e ...more
The Onion's writers are masters of tone. From the newspaper to radio spots to the videos to the books, they hit every note perfectly and pierce the heart of every subject. the Onion Book of Known Knowledge is no exception.

Describing this book's hilarity would be a waste of time. I'll excerpt some entries to give you the flavor.

Art: Range of human communication and expression designed to affect the senses, emotions, or intellect, and one of the thousands of methods that insular cliques of people
Generally speaking, I enjoy The Onion. Some of their stuff is hit-or-miss for me, but usually a hit, though I freely admit I don't read it with any kind of regularity. I have read some absolutely hilarious articles (the one about dolphins developing opposable thumbs stands as my favourite) and some that fell flat with me. I was expecting much the same here, and I got it, only in reverse proportions. While a few entries were very, very funny, mostly it was just kind-of "meh" for me. I heard an in ...more
Silly, absurd and funny during the good parts, such as quick graphics and short entries. Tedious and unfunny during the weak entries, such as the long text-y ones.

A decent diversion in short bursts, tiresome in long bursts. With twenty-six letters in the alphabet to chose from, you could break the book into small letter-sized bursts. For example, begin with the "A" entries, then put the book down for a while, then read the "B" section and so on through the alphabet. Or you could skip to one of
Darcy McLaughlin
I already had the Onion's version of the atlas titled "Our Dumb World", so I figured I would add this one to my collection of humorous text books. I'd have to say that I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the atlas. Maybe it was the sheer amount of content, but I felt like there were many more misses in terms of jokes compared to truly laugh out loud moments. There's plenty of gems, but there's plenty of entries where you'll read the opening gag, realize the joke and just rush through it to ...more
Lauren Silva
This book is laid out in dictionary form, with definitions of random words from A-Z. Some of the entries are hilarious! But some are less funny and there is a lot of language so that might put some people off.
Jamil Sosa
weird book. not so funny. I could have waste my time reading something more informative and useful. happy i did not bought it.
Nov 16, 2014 Logan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: owned
I read this cover-to-cover, and I love it. This is the funniest thing I've read in some time, and I can't get enough. Now that I've read the whole thing, I am sad.
This may have worked as a book, but as an audiobook? Nopenopenopenopenope.

A great conversation starter. Great as a coffee table Book.
Juraj Borza
Mildly amusing, but probably not exactly my cup of tea. Not that I found anything offensive, just the jokes were cheap. But what else could you expect from The Onion?
Cody Brockel
Classic Onion. A great coffee table book provided your company isn't easily offended. The book reads like a normal encyclopedia and while physical books are going by the wayside, The Onion Book of Known Knowledge actually addresses it and makes light of its own situation. What's great is that you can easily skip around to read entries, but there are also callback jokes in later entries if you've read the ones at the beginning. Fans of the Onion or similar fake news like the Daily Show or Colbert ...more
Honestly, this just wasn't that funny. The structure is that each entry has one joke--sometimes good, sometimes not--and the rest of the entry carries on from there. It's not a terrible coffee-table book, but I can't help but be reminded of the recent Onion website, which seems to have a lot of one-note jokes as well. Maybe I'm just spoiled by Our Dumb Century, which is an outright classic.

"Sinatra Tells Russkies To Knock It Off"
Singer Gives Krushchev 24 Hours To 'Drop This Commie Bunk Or It's R
I was occasionally funny
Nov 22, 2014 Matt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comedy
Impressively detailed and consistently funny. Not a comedy classic like Our Dumb Century, but quite entertaining.
[I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway]

The Onion Book of Known Knowledge is formatted in the same way as a book like Chronicle of America, or an illustrated children's dictionary. I'm never going to sit down and read this all the way through (which is when I normally review a book), but I love leafing through and absorbing some Onion brilliance, one or two smart-alecky articles at a time.
Awesome book.. very funny
It is a funny book.
This is very similar to Jon Stewart's book "Earth". There are some straight up lol moments, for sure. But there are also some ho hum moments as well. But I'm a huge Onion fan, so my bias pushed my review to four stars instead of three. It is very short to the point. All to often I need to read a book that doesn't take itself so serious. Nothing better than some good humor to brighten my day.
I thought it was very classic onion. Which mostly is a good thing, but partly means it's kind of cliche and at many points not very funny. That being said, I still love owning it and it is SO AWESOME that I won it from goodreads, my most favorite of websites!
The best description of the book was how they made fun of the Beatles. It's definitely going to be my new bathroom reader.
This book is hilarious. Full of satire and irony, much like you'd expect. It makes for a great coffee table book - the entries can be short and make for a good short dose of humor.

The only critique is I have is that sometimes the book is not classy and more crude than it really has to be or you'd expect after reading their online articles.
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The satirical newspaper The Onion was founded in 1988 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Originally a weekly humor print publication targeting a local student population, The Onion is today a booming news organization known as America’s Finest News Source.

The launch of in 1996 expanded its signature brand of satire to a national and international audience. Online expansion opene
More about The Onion...
Our Dumb Century Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas of the Planet Earth Dispatches from the Tenth Circle: The Best of the Onion The Onion's Finest News Reporting, Volume 1 The Onion Ad Nauseam: Complete News Archives, Volume 13

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