D.F. Lamont's Reviews > That is All

That is All by John Hodgman
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Sep 15, 12

Read from January 09 to February 25, 2012 — I own a copy

Hodgman's third and final book in his trilogy of fake trivia leaves you with a sense of amazement. At first, it seems insane that anyone would publish not just one but three books of fake trivia, and just as insane that anyone would write them. Even more surprising that all three would be really good - hilarious, poignant and the last is the best of all. The books don't just stand up to repeated reading, they demand it.

In THAT IS ALL, Hodgman pulls together the disparate, seemingly random threads from the first two into a more cohesive whole that is hilarious, touching and poignant. The comparison that leaps to mind, of all things, is Tolkien's "The Return of the King."

Like his fellow Daily Show alumnus Stephen Colbert, Hodgman has created an alter ego of himself, with the same name. The genius of his voice is that by posing as a fake expert in everything, he has created a character who can be superior and erudite while disarming people who hate intellectuals - and they are legion. He makes fun of smarty-pants elitist braniacs by being one, and in this subversive way he can mock expertise while delivering it and making it palatable. No. Small. Trick. Especially if you are sustaining it over three books.

Hodgman's many gifts include not just quickness, a gift for the insane and absurd, but the insight that ephemera and trivia are important, at least as a metaphor for us, and for our lives - fleeting and small in the grand scheme of things and all the more precious and tender as a result.


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message 1: by Ryan (new) - rated it 1 star

Ryan Holdbrook I want so hard to like this book. I hate it, paid 5 bucks for it. I'll try again another time. Hodgman is the man. Weird and couldn't break in though sadly


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