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The Straight Dope (The Straight Dope)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  529 ratings  ·  28 reviews
No molly coddle, he, Cecil Adams tackles the tough questions in life, including "Do cats have navels?" and "What are the real lyrics to 'Louie, Louie'?'" Uncompromising and always entertaining, he explodes myths, reveals shocking truths and answers over 400 of the most pressing questions of this or any day.
Mass Market Paperback, 417 pages
Published May 12th 1986 by Ballantine Books (NY) (first published 1984)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,054)
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When I first moved to San Francisco, I worked in an office next door to Steve Peroutka. During his neurology residency at Johns Hopkins, he had done the family genetic study which established that the 'photic sneeze reflex' (sneezing in response to bright sunlight) is an autosomal dominant trait.

It pretty much made his day when I told him that I already knew who he was because I had read about him in 'The Straight Dope'. Much more so than if I'd said I read the research paper he had written. He
I used to regularly read Cecil Adam's column in The Reader back in the 80's when we lived in Chicago, and to this day all I need to do to revisit those grad-school days is open my well-thumbed copy of The Straight Dope. Was there ever as cool a smart-ass/nerd as Cecil? He set the tone for a lot of the hip-cool know-it-all types who came afterward, but none really had the same mojo. Thousands of readers sent Cecil their (seemingly) unanswerable questions, only to have scorn heaped upon them as Ce ...more
Thank you to the "bad book friend" who once got me kicked out of the library. If not for her constant prodding and teasing I might never have learned to "put down the book and live a little". She sent me this particular book. It's informative, it's funny, and I now know things I might never have learned otherwise. Like the calorie content of sperm, for instance.
The first volume of Adam's collected columns covering random stuff in an amusing way.
Holly Lindquist
Mr. Adams, a consummate know-it-all and professional wise-acre, answers assorted questions on a nearly limitless variety of topics. These include deep questions about the nature of the universe, small questions about mundane items (navel lint), and bizarro questions from left-field. Adams tackles them all with charm and just the perfect glaze of sarcasm. I love collections of random information and this one is definitely near the top of my list.
This is one of the most hysterically funny books you can buy! Cecil used to write a column and compiled questions and answers into this (and, I believe, other) book. Cecil is such a wit. I purchased it because of a passage regarding Schroedinger's Cat what was written by a fan in rhyme, and Cecil answered back in verse also. I highly recommend this book that can be read in snippets for people on the go, or just straight through.
I'm a fairly recent convert to the Straight Dope. One of the first things I learned from the esteemed Cecil Adams is armadillos are leprous (a fact not included in this book, but maybe one of his other books). I've learned many other useful facts since I've started reading the column and books... but that's the fact that always stands out.
Erik Graff
Nov 20, 2009 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Straight Dope fans
Recommended to Erik by: Linn Illwitzer
Shelves: reference
This book was left up at Dad's cottage in Michigan by, I believe, his second wife, an editor at Scott Foresman. Lacking any other light reading and being familiar with the column in The Chicago Reader, I went through this, the first collection of such pieces, in short order, finding all of it very amusing and some helpfully informative.
I think Cecil Adams is awesome - I've been reading his columns for a long time (longer than I care to admit!) and always find him thoughtful and hilarious. His straight-forward approach combined with thorough research and great delivery make a totally enjoyable read. You have to like trivia and bits o'knowledge of course.
Eric Hines
Culled from a weekly reader-submitted question column in the Chicago Reader. Thankfully dealing with any topic under the sun, rather than relationship advice. The 1970s hipster-wiseass persona begins to grate pretty quickly, but a wide variety of topics are treated, and Cecil's research usually brings home the bacon.
Rich Meyer
While a lot of the information is quite dated now, even 15-20 years later, this is a fun book to read. Cecil Adams (a.k.a. editor Ed Ziotti) was one of the first popular columnists to answer the important questions that everyone asks, and some that only those denizens of Baltimore have the temerity to query.
I probably haven't read this exact collection, but for the concept, questions he digs out from the bottom of the pile and, generally, mock-outraged, educated pub talk, all the stars in the bowl.
So funny, so entertaining, so comprehensive. This book lives permanently in our bathroom. Best toilet reading ever! (That is a big compliment, by the way!)
Jan 13, 2012 Rebekkila marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Answers to all kinds of questions on all kinds of subjects--some stuff I wanted to know and other stuff I didn't. Fun to read.
Larry Cunningham
By now a bit dated, this was a fun read, and my introduction to the wit and wisdom of The Straight Dope.
Everything I know I learned from The Straight Dope. I'm exaggerating, of course, but probably not by much.
Big Bill
This is a book that clarifies almost every questionable myth or fact. A must read for know-it-alls.
The first of a series. Answers to questions I never thought to ask by "the world's smartest human"
Fun read. Learn all sorts of pigs mate to Catherine the Great...the straight dope!
Bats and rabies? Other "myths" debunked in a highly humorous way! A great read!
Erik Nielsen
The whole series is funny and informative, he was Snopes before the web.
The Straight Dope series is the ultimate in bathroom reading.
Cecil, I wanted to know things that I could never ask. Thanks!
I love to read this book in bed before I go to sleep.
These books should be in every bathroom.
Love me some Straight Dope.
always love to read trivia
Jbondandrews marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2015
Ashley marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2015
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