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Totally Useless History of the World
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Totally Useless History of the World

3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  163 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Bizarre facts, strange tales and quirky anecdotes, presented in date-by-date order to create a strikingly different take on world history.
Hardcover, 361 pages
Published May 24th 2000 by Quercus Books
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This book has been my go-to 'dipper' for a few months now. I've been reading it extremely slowly but that did absolutely nothing to distract me from the repetition of these so called history facts.

Being a history student I had to use some serious imagination to even consider some of them being true and the fact nothing was cited properly irked me towards the end. I know it's not meant to be a proper history text or 'boring' but I would of liked a bit more information on these so called facts.

Reminds me of the National Enquirer magazine at times where the most outrageous anecdotes are only mentioned. At first, this book was kinda intriguing and actually enjoyable to read. But by the time you hit the 1600s and 1700s, the anecdotes get somewhat repetitive. After all, how many instances of witch burning in Europe does one need to bring up? And honestly, enough already about Prince Charles wanting to be a tampon or Fergie having her toes sucked by a bald Texan! Unfortunately this book do ...more
The title is a complete misnomer as it is NOT useless at all. What such an intense lesson on barbarity, vulgarity, royal inbreeding and general idiocy teaches is that the human race, for all its fits and starts, is, on the whole, becoming more enlightened and humane. Believe it or not.
Julian Walker
An intriguing title and one it lives up to.

Many juicy characters, historical notes, curios and events are served up in these pages for the reader to enjoy, without having to wade through lengthy introductions or explanatory scene setting.

There are no boring bits in this book – it is interesting, fun and not too frivolous. Read it and enjoy travelling through time, without the baggage.
I bought this book on a whim when I saw it in a bargain bin.

It was interesting. There were parts that were so graphically disgusting that I declared it a book to not read while eating, and there were parts that made me chuckle out loud. And I was delighted to see that I already knew some of the historical facts!

One thing that bothered me about the book is that it is from England, so it favors that style of spelling and abbreviations, which threw me off my ease because I noticed these things. I a
A very random (but surprisingly large) collection of interesting and amusing historical anecdotes. I enjoyed it, although it seemed to drag on a bit after a while, so perhaps it would have been better published as two volumes.
history still with the boring bits in it it,s a yawn halfway though
Jul 22, 2011 Hayley rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Incrediably random, fascinating and sometimes funny historical facts. Grouped by time periods from the ancient world to modern day. Including the cat piano, a flying monk, a president abducted by aliens. Most of these facts wont make their way into normal history books. Worth a good browse!
Not the kind of history book I usually read but definitely good. Made me laugh so much - and the best part about that: it is all true! xD *lol* Kind of nice and funny to see that someone sorted through all the history data to give people a different approach.
Simon Lenthen
Yes. The early bits can be repetitive but as you get closer to current times it gets very interesting and funny. Kind of like humorous flash non-fiction. The writing could be tidier though. Some anecdotes start awkwardly.
This book title is a lie. So many of these stories were repetitive and boring. And I have no idea why so much of it was focused on the UK...I thought it was supposed to be about the world..
It does get repetitive! I thought many anecdotes weren't interesting at all. If you're interested in the sexual preferences of historic personalities, this is for you.
Jul 04, 2012 Natasha is currently reading it
I think this is the book I'm reading except that it's called History Without the Boring Bits. Same cover and everything!
This is a great book for those of us with a short attention span and an interest in strangeness.
Mar 30, 2008 Stephen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like historical trivia
Shelves: history, non-fiction
Snippets of history for each year. It contains the trivia that you was not taught at school.
Ming Siu
Loads of fun! Although it did get rather repetitive after a while...
Filled with lots of interesting and funny history tidbits.
Melissa H
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