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The Darwin Awards: 180 Bizarre True Stories of How Dumb Humans Have Met Their Maker (Darwin Awards, #1)
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The Darwin Awards: 180 Bizarre True Stories of How Dumb Humans Have Met Their Maker (Darwin Awards #1)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  3,229 ratings  ·  212 reviews
Warning: The Darwin Awards are not for the tenderhearted. The vastly popular Web site, now a book, recognizes "individuals who ensure the long-term survival of our species by removing themselves from the gene pool in a sublimely idiotic fashion." Who wins a Darwin Award? Terrorists who set their bombs on daylight saving time and delivered them on standard time, blowing the ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 27th 2001 by Orion Books (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nandakishore Varma
This is a HORRIBLE book.

Horrible in its attitude, that is. Actually, it is very cleverly written and readable.

The book narrates incidents where people die or lose their reproductive capability through stupid acts (the so-called "stupidity" is debatable in some cases, though)and thus contribute to the cause of evolution of a smarter homo sapiens by removing their "stupidity" genes from the gene pool. For this service, they are presented with a Darwin Award.

The website is immensely popular, and th
...more
Becky
This book, despite being about death and mutilation, is actually displaying a kind of up-beat hopefulness. It says, "Fear not, humans, for the stupid among you are killing themselves and therefore the smarter among you will breed and thus, humanity gets smarter!" Only, that's pretty much a lie. One needs only watch the first 5 minutes of Idiocracy to see why.

Here we have Trevor and Carol (IQs 138 and 141 respectively) vs Clevon (IQ 84). Carol and Trevor are waiting for the right time - in their
...more
Kirsty
This book was hilarious. I am now seriously wondering how the human race has managed to survive for as long as it has. Surely for each idiot mentioned in this book there are loads more just waiting to do something fatally stupid? And doesn't it seem that it's the stupid ones that breed more frequently than those who possess a brain?

Anyway, this book chronicles the bizarre ways in which people have 'improved our gene pool by removing themselves from it in an astonishingly stupid way'. Also eligib
...more
ein Leichter
Mar 26, 2009 ein Leichter rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like to read about death while on the toilet
A good bathroom book. Although entertaining, I found the book's self-righteous tone unnecessary. I am perfectly capable of finding entertainment in the misfortune of others, without having to be convinced that the individuals where somehow deserving of their misfortunes.
Brandon Sawyer
It is what it is. If you know the website, then this is that. In book form. Which is much easier for toilet reading (for some reason, people still look at you funny if you bring a wifi connected laptop into the crapper).
Alex Segal
Nov 08, 2007 Alex Segal rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People into Dark Humor, who have a strong stomach
The Darwin Awards: Evolution in Action is by far one of the funniest books I have ever read. The book has no real linear story but it is extremely funny and says a lot about the world we live in and the people who are in it. The book can generally be called tongue and cheek, but I think that the thought behind the concept deserves explanation.
Named after Charles Darwin, the father of evolution and the theory of natural selection this book uses his ideas to critique the stupidity of humanity. Th
...more
Connie D.
Humorous if you are in that sort of mood. Mean spirited if you are not.
Laurie
A mean spirited but guilty pleasure book. Some of these "accidents" are absolutely mind-boggling. Snark galore in this series if you are looking for a few laughs.
Simon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley Brown
The Darwin Awards - something I had been planning on reading for a very long time. Some of the tales in this book are reminiscent of the show 1000 Ways to Die - in fact, I recognized some of the Unconfirmed tales as very similar versions as tales from the show. Whether that gives more credence to the show or less to the book, I've yet to decide. As it stands, the Darwin Awards simply is what it is - a collection of deaths or near-deaths that will cause you to simply shake your head at the antics ...more
Barbara
You know those days.

You head off chipper to work only to have your spirit crushed by the struggle to learn new computer software. Meanwhile, a coworker, the office suck-up, spent his weekend reading the entire help section and proceeds to show off his tech prowess to the boss.

Needing a pick-me-up after a hellish day, you swing by the grocery store on the way home to invest your life savings in a tub of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. However, you only manage to increase your level of frustration b
...more
Travelin
Forgetting the fact that Darwin was inspired very late in his researches to add the idea that every squirrel and beetle on earth is secretly engaged in some zero-sum conflict, and that his inspiration was the misinformed misanthrope Malthus, who wrote from a much bigger, far more British island than Darwin studied in South America, many years and species earlier, The Darwin Awards is a very entertaining way to feel superior and understood at one and the same time.

A similar award, the Ignobel, ha
...more
Ashley
Mar 12, 2011 Ashley rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 1
I love these Darwin Awards books. They're great to read when you have other things going on because each story is so short. I can literally pick this up when I have 30 free seconds and get a laugh. Many of them I read out loud to my husband as well. My 10 and 8 year olds also enjoy them, although the 8 year old misses a lot of references. A warning: I did wind up having to explain, "Mom, what's S&M sex?" to the 10 year old. Oh well, gotta explain it sometime... At least the guy it referred t ...more
Peter Auber
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erik
I picked this book up at a local used bookstore, enticed by the low price and excited about the potentially hilarious anecdotes I was about to read, only to want my small amount of money back. The Darwin Awards moves quickly, and some of the stories are very funny, but the humor always lands in an inherently tasteless and uncomfortable place.

The major problem with this book is not that it has limited ambitions and feels like a stocking stuffer (though it unquestionably does); the problem is that
...more
Jeff Guertin
I've always been a fan of reading about Darwin Awards online, so I was excited for this book. The stories were good, but I was disappointed in the amount of "unconfirmed" and "urban legends" that were presented. I would much rather read a book full of stories that were actually confirmed via news/police reports, etc. I hope the subsequent versions of the Darwin Awards have more confirmed stories.
Monica
This is one of my coffee table books. (I am grossed out by the whole bathroom book idea.) It's fun for guests to scan through or fidget with when they come over. Compared to other books I have put out this book was the most popular with my company. Everybody couldn't resist picking it up and reading at least one story from it. It started many light conversations and helped break the ice.
Vaishali Joglekar
I lost interest in this book because the premise of willing people's deaths is simply deplorable. While the rest of humanity works toward a more compassionate society, this book makes an attempt at reviving a humor more prevalent in the 6th grade. You actually have to read it by telling yourself to forgo some morals ... which then brings to question if the author had any at all.
Deniz
I listened to the audiobook version which was about 3 1/2 hours. I didn't expected much from a book about stories of people doing stupid things resulting in their demise, but this was still worse than I thought it would be.
Despite the fact that a significant portion of stories are either admittedly unverified accounts and/or urban legends, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of the book, the narrator was nearly unbearable. His obnoxious, smarmy tone makes you cringe as he hits you with the
...more
Jennifer
Nov 21, 2008 Jennifer rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who laugh at death.
Shelves: fun, non-fiction
I read this book when sending out Darwin Award stories in e-mail to your friends was "cool". After reading the book I realized that reading one or two in your in-box beat sitting down and reading a whole book of them.

If you like to read on the can this would be a good book to keep by the toilet along with your Uncle John's reader.
Ken
Okay, the Darwin Awards are a dubious notion at best, and this book reads like a collection of wildly divergent, unconnected brief tales which often — but not always — come to a morbid conclusion. Most have no more detail than a newspaper clipping, which is generally their source. As anything more than a way to pass the time, this collection is worthless.

But as time-passers go, you could do a lot worse. I found myself barely able to put the book down as I scanned entries, hoping and expecting th
...more
Don LaFountaine
This is not necessarily a bad book, but it is one that I think is geared to a certain audience.

For myself, I have a hard time laughing at people who have killed themselves doing something foolish. The people who have earned a "Darwin Award" seemed to lack common sense, and did things like walk into water carrying a live electrical line or people ignoring a bite from a lethal snake and going to a bar to drink instead. With that said, for myself, I did not find much pleasure in reading about thes
...more
Greg Meyer
These books are kinda horrifying. They portray these people's deaths as a funny anecdote. This is a portrayal of how our society has become desensitized to the point of not even caring about death except as a casually funny story.
Siegfried
This book was hilarious, but in a strange way I would suggest it if you like humor that can be morbid at times. I wouldn't recommend this book to younger children as it can be a bit gruesome and not fit for all ages at times. I personally loved it as it can be fun at times to look and see how stupid human can be, examples such as gluing your hands to a rhino's butt, or trying to steal the supports of a giant electrical tower, or trying to make your lawn chair fly with balloons. All in all it was ...more
Cole3
The Darwin Awards are stories about people who die (or become unable to reproduce) because of their own stupidity, making the ultimate sacrifice to remove themselves from the gene pool. I read the first book, published in 2000. The book is very funny. It’s a collection of many short stories. Some of the stories are personal accounts, some stories are confirmed by eyewitnesses, others are unconfirmed, and some are urban legends. My favorite chapter was about macho men who die proving their manlin ...more
Derek
The book implied it followed a strict criteria for whether or not an event should be included, which was in stark contrast to the sloppy reporting of the incidents themselves (often little more than a country and first name to serve as a reference). And perhaps attitudes have changed in the 15 years since it was published but most of the entries came across as particularly mean-spirited (a fatal car accident is not tragic but is a benefit to the gene pool because the victim ended up in a sewage ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 22, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Who Can Laugh at Stupidity Causing Death
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Ultimate Reading List
The Darwin Awards commemorate ""individuals who ensure the long-term survival of our species by removing themselves from the gene pool in a sublimely idiotic fashion." The subtitle is "evolution in action." The description on the back cover asks you to "Marvel at the thief who tries to steal live electrical wires. Gape at the lawnchair jockey who floats to a height of 16,000 feet suspended by helium balloons." These purport to be true, verified stories: I guess that's why in the end I just can't ...more
Keksisbaby
Albert Einstein sagte mal : "Zwei Dinge sind unendlich, das Universum und die menschliche Dummheit, aber bei dem Universum bin ich mir noch nicht ganz sicher." Dieses Buch illustriert eindrucksvoll den Wahrheitsgehalt dieser Aussage. Die Preisträger des Darwin Awards qualifizieren sich für diese Auszeichung durch eine auffällig dumme oder unüberlegte Weise aus dem Leben zu scheiden. Wendy Nothcutt hat vielen kleine Storys über tödliche oder schmerzhafte Fehleinschätzungen mancher Personen recher ...more
Josh
Suicide, a topic that is untouchable. It is a dark and morose gesture to discuss, right? WRONG! In this comical book about accidental death, the author Wendy Norcutt exposes the idiotic side of the world.
"The Darwin Awards" is a book that awards people for improving the gene pool, by removing themselves from it. This is a book that celebrates idiocy. Learn about the gangster from Sao Paul who threw the pin while holding onto the grenade, or the sun tanner who spent 45 minutes in a UV machine wi
...more
Alex Telander
Think of the stupidest thing a person could ever do. Multiply this by a factor of ten. Then imagine that this person gets killed in the process of carrying out the stupid act. This is an example of a Darwin Award.

In the founding days of the Internet, these Darwin Awards were one of the first chain letters to be created, named after the father of evolution, Charles Darwin. In 1993, UC Berkeley began collecting them, finally starting a website www.darwinawards.com. Since July of 1999 there have be
...more
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Wendy Northcutt graduated UC Berkeley with a degree in molecular biology. She began collecting the stories that make up the Darwin Awards in 1993 and founded www.DarwinAwards.com shortly after.

Northcutt is the author of the international bestsellers The Darwin Awards: Evolution in Action, The Darwin Awards 2: Unnatural Selection, The Darwin Awards 3: Survival of the Fittest, and The Darwin Awards
...more
More about Wendy Northcutt...

Other Books in the Series

Darwin Awards (6 books)
  • The Darwin Awards II: Unnatural Selection (Darwin Awards, #2)
  • The Darwin Awards III: Survival of the Fittest (Darwin Awards, #3)
  • The Darwin Awards 4: Intelligent Design (Darwin Awards, #4)
  • The Darwin Awards Next Evolution: Chlorinating the Gene Pool (Darwin Awards, #5)
  • The Darwin Awards Countdown to Extinction
The Darwin Awards II: Unnatural Selection (Darwin Awards, #2) The Darwin Awards III: Survival of the Fittest (Darwin Awards, #3) The Darwin Awards 4: Intelligent Design (Darwin Awards, #4) The Darwin Awards Next Evolution: Chlorinating the Gene Pool (Darwin Awards, #5) The Darwin Awards Countdown to Extinction

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