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)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  2,623 ratings  ·  179 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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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
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
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
Zan
So, because I am (and forever will be) a book geek, I bought this book while at the Smithsonian. At school, we're required to read informational books, and (I may be stretching the boundaries) this (I think) counts as information. All of the stories are told in a newscaster-type narration with lots of humor and information on unfortunate deaths. I have raved about this book so much about five of my friends want to read it, and I even did voluntary math with my friend to find out the details of a...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
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.
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
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.
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
Anna
I remember many years ago, my dad's oldest friend telling us about this funny book called the Darwin Awards. Finally - what, 10 years later, maybe? - I've borrowed it from the library and read it. I'd scanned through it at a used book store a few years back, but after discovering LA County's amazing library system, I knew this would be a fast read and I borrowed it.

As long as I don't think too deeply, this is an amusing book. It sure is hard to believe that some people were that stupid. I was pl...more
Nurul
A sword-swallower died in Bonn after he put an umbrella down his throat-and accidentally pushed the button that opened it"

This book is not about scientifically evolution theory, but then the evolution of mind is happening and observable in life. Natural selection.. We never know how long our life will last. If we don’t survive to pass this generation, I just hope stupidity doesn’t take any part in it. Because if it does, then you'll win the Darwin awards and sometimes without ever knowing it. Aw...more
Stephen
Schadenfreude in bite sized pieces. It's a natural selection for a bathroom read. You can deal with two unsavory biological needs at once and it helps you to pace your consumption of these tales of woe. Too many of these laughable accidents taken in one dose can be less effective.

Though intended primarily to be funny the "Darwin Award for the Dry Spell" segment left me wondering a bit... A man died after trying to cross the desert with only three quarts of water. It states that those in the know...more
Robyn
Exactly what it says on the tin, this is a book about stupid people doing stupid things (some of them are merely slightly ill-advised, but then they hit the mother of all bad luck patches, some of them are stupid to the point of being utterly dumbfounding.)

If your sense of humor is a bit dark, and you're a smidge misanthropic this is just the thing to put a grin on your face, but that's about all it will do. There's nothing here more than something to laugh at, and then move on afterwards.

Proba...more
Kimberly
The Darwin awards is a collection of stories (verified and unconfirmed) about the idiocy of the human race. Each chapter is a collection around one underlying theme. The book can be read cover to cover or thumbed through and read randomly.

I picked up this book after I shelved a book next to it while volunteering at the public library. I read it randomly and thus not 100% but I did find it entertaining for 30 min. or so. I shared a abit with my daughter so we could both shake our heads at the lac...more
Allyson Daniels
This is a pretty funny book full of people doing stupid stuff. If you are in the need of a laugh this is a good place to find it
Beau Johnston
I think these stories are what happens after someone says "Hold my beer and watch this".
Stacey
Haha good read to breeze through. Can't give a bathroom book more than 3 stars though
Ty Papke
Good for a chuckle or two. Also good for boosting your self-esteem when you realize you're not as stupid as the Darwin Award winners. *Disclaimer: Some readers may experience a lowered self-esteem upon reading this book. Readers who experience this side-effect are those who have made the same mistakes as the Darwin Award winners. Proceed with caution.
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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...
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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