Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Karlology” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,833 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
A voyage through the strange yet mesmerising mind of cult author Karl Pilkington, now in ePub format

By his own admission Karl Pilkington left formal education behind with only an E in History to his name and not much else. Ever since, his thirst for knowledge has nagged. With this in mind, Karl has embarked on a tour of discovery to make up for the lost years of learning,
Published November 17th 2008 by DK Publishing, Inc. (first published October 1st 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Karlology, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Karlology

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Karl never fails to make me laugh.

This might be an outlandish thing to say, but could Karl be considered a genius? Like Ricky Gervais once said, "You're one of the cleverest blokes in some ways, that I know. It's like you follow the sub-plot, which is quite an interesting thing." Karl's perspective on any subject always differs greatly from anybody else's and whilst his responses are usually dismissed as nonsense, when returning to what was said in hindsight Karl's answer is, actually, quite tru
Jan 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I think the problem with this book is, in order to appreciate Karl's humour, you probably have to have listened to the Ricky Gervais podcasts or the old Xfm radio shows, but if you HAVE listened to those, you probably will have already heard most of the anecdotes/contemplations in this book. There were a few things I really did enjoy though:

- The additional "What I've learnt" tidbits from people such as Noel Fielding, Russell Brand, etc.
- The illustrations
- The whimsical format
- The addition fro
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like reading Karl's thoughts and perspectives of different concepts. It was a very funny book.
Jay Kerr
Karl Pilkington is a fascinating human being. After listening to every XFM show he produced with Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant, I moved onto the globally popular podcasts they created shortly after they left XFM in 2005. After this, I scrounged up every interview, mini-podcast, and video blog I could find in which Karl could be found. Finally, I moved onto written media. Karlology is that book.

If you're a fan of the radio shows or podcasts, but haven't read this book, add it to your to-do li
Brian Stanton
Very funny and stupid in equal measures. Karl's theories and thoughts on the world and his stories are brilliant. From the state of his school and education, to his observation of his holiday rep trying to sell him day trips to the leather shop and the cheese shop Karl is brilliantly funny. Definitely worth a read and it won't take you long.
Jan 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Brian Stanton
Karl Pilkington, the nation's favourite idiot, attempts to expand his knowledge and mostly comes up flummoxed.

As funny as it is stupid, this provided welcome relief after some rage-making reading material with me interrupting my boyfriend at least once every couple of pages to read stuff out to him, sniggering all the while.
Graham Watts
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved hearing the inner workings of Karl's mind and his unique and honest outlook on life - very enjoyable book
Rob Gardner
The ramblings of a mad man.
Basti Lo
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zwischendurch während Making of the atomic bomb gelesen.
Sam Quixote
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Karl's third book! He's written as many books as he's read! Well, he's done it again. Another corking book filled with the drivel we've all come to love to read on the can.

Some of the genius is missing as Ricky and Steves' voices are absent and when the three are together the drivel reaches bold new heights of idiocy. But Karl's lone voice speaking his theories uninterrupted without Ricky's voice saying "Karl, Karl, Karl - where did you get this from? What do you mean the monkey drove t
I find Karl Pilkington fascinating and I loved all his 'Idiot abroad' books (and TV shows) but Karlology seemed a bit weak in comparison. I guess it's one of his earlier books and that it suffers by comparison because it lacks the element of discomfort that Idiot Abroad imposed upon KP. In this book he just rambles about a bit, getting a brain scan, going to the London Aquarium, Tate Modern, the Tower of London and the Natural History Museum and generally noting his observations about just how o ...more
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karl Pilkington is one of a kind. He is both an idiot and a genius.

He's an "idiot" in the same way an innocent child is an idiot: he lacks some 'book smarts' and occasionally makes uninformed statements which could, conceivably, cause offense to those who are overly sensitive. BUT it's all very endearing because he's so genuine and well-intentioned. His idiocy is a product of him being a simple guy and wanting to stay in his comfort zone.

He's a genius because of his one-of-a-kind perspective on
Mohammad Ali Abedi
As he always proclaimed on the radio show and the podcast, Karl is into knowledge. He loves knowledge. Sure, it just usually seems to be interest facts he here, and sure, most of them might sometimes not be true, and if true, it usually becomes misshaped in his head after he hears it, that it bears little resemblance to the actual fact.

But so what.

Getting knowledge from Karl might not be 100% truth, but it is certainly more enjoyable than knowledge from other sources. This book of his is about h
Mark Oconnor
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had previously read "Happyslapped by a Jellyfish" and while this is not quite as good, it is still a more enjoyable read than his first book which is merely transcripts from the Ricky Gervais show. Even though Karl's observations and ridiculous thought processes are completely inane I find myself laughing time and time again, particularly when he starts talking about brains originating on another world! He invariably follows this sort of wild speculation with the phrase "It's just a theory", s ...more
"All the restaurants in Chinatown try to tempt you in by dangling food in their windows, but the problem is, their window display skills aren't the best. They just seem to hang up all their food stock, to the point that you can't see in the place. It's like they use the squids for curtains. Some of the chickens have been hanging there for that long that they have a tan. The Chinese offer some really odd stuff to eat - scorpions, crispy spiders, snake meat and battered bugs. You'd feel daft compl ...more
Karl decides he wants to broaden his intellectual horizons. And so, through a series of events (including trips to a dinosaur museum, the zoo, the tate modern and even a library) he is able to present us with this light hearted and funny insight into his own head.
I find the funniest thing about Karl is his insistence on featuring material about the irrelevant things that occur around him during his quest for knowledge. Odd situations and strange people seem to punctuate his life! More so, Karls
May 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, comedy
I absolutely love Karl Pilkington, and have ever since An Idiot Abroad. I do admit to never reading any of his books, but after reading this one I am eager to read more.

I love this book. Some of his points are absolutely pointless and silly, but I am afraid to admit I actually agreed to some of these points. I feel like we are the same person, which is scary, because truly, Pilkington is a weird idiot.

I loved the graphics in the novel, they made me laugh so much. I also loved the facts at the en
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karl is funny. Not sure that he ever means to be but that's OK. Others know and put him out for our enjoyment. The book suffers from being like a really rich piece of cake. You just can't sit down and read it in one pass. You ave to take little bites and spread them out. What makes a lot of the TV and podcasts work so well, and where this book comes up short, is Gervais and Merchant always questioning Karl's statements and stories. It helps to keep you from getting over-saturated in the crazines ...more
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
Karl is amazing. So Ricky and Steve often make fun of the fact that he is an idiot, and thus this book is a diary of his attempts in educating himself. And it is informative - well not his misinformed dribble or quick judgments, but he has little pages of contributions from other celebrities some of which did teach me a few new things.

And Karl as usual is hilarious. Definitely recommend it if you are a fan of Karl. There is a 20 minute special too that goes along with this about his MENSA test a
I adore Karl Pilkington. His books and his way of thinking make me laugh out loud while reading...which is something that rarely occurs for me. This book received 3 stars instead of 4 or 5 because I'd heard most of these stories in the podcasts/other books/Ricky Gervais show on HBO. While some of them still made me chuckle, I found myself looking forward to the next book in my stack to read rather than really connecting with this. Overall though, Karl is wonderful and will make you at least smil ...more
Lewis Mccann
In my opinion, Karl Pilkington is one of the funniest men alive today.
Sometimes, the stuff he comes out with is cringeworthy, sometimes he says things that are too ludicrous to be unscripted, but regardless, the 'bald-headed buffoon' definitely makes it into my celebrity dinner party list!
This book is full of insights, quips and comments I think Karl doesn't even realise are funny, and it's great to get a glimpse into how his brain works!
Anita George
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what to expect. I love the various series featuring Pilkington (An Idiot Abroad, The Moaning of Life), so gave this a try. I was pleasantly surprised! Pilkington's odd way of looking at the world and strange leaps of "logic" caused me to laugh out loud more than once. And have given me a lot of examples of logical fallacies (hasty generalization, false analogy, false cause) to use in my teaching.
Feb 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-on-kindle
I LOVE Karl Pilkington. And while I really enjoyed this book, most of the material is from The Ricky Gervais Show - I've heard almost all the podcasts, so I've heard a great deal of what was written here before. That being said, it's still wonderful, hilarious stuff and I love how simple Karl is. His views on things are amusing, to say the least. The distinctively English manner that Karl uses in his speech/writing is also a great change from the norm!
this book was ok, but because i read it directly after "the world of karl pilkington" i felt it suffered with my preconceived notions of hilarity because of how funny that book was. karlology was humourous and all, but maybe not as good as the previous one or the podcasts themselves. still definitely worth a look tho for fans.
Amanda Day
I like Karl, he makes me laugh a lot. This book is pretty much what I expected: A window into his mind. The thing is his mind seems to rotate between funny, quite insightful.... and a bit dull. After about half way I skim read the rest. It's a light read, and not as funny as I had hoped, but worth it for Karl fans.
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have never laughed more. I literally couldn't wait to read this book. I ran for the break at my work just to read another words of wisdom by this "bald-headed twat". His views are out of this world. You wouldn't expect a thing he is going to say. He is by far the best author ever.

Art is such a nice thing. You would never mix an art with an idiot. And that's just what happened there.
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book the only annoy thing is I found myself reading it in his voice ha ha!
Tons of Karlisms in the book and I often find myself agreeing with his thoughts and opinions on things! The history section and the art exhibition where probably 2 of my favourite bits along with his description of his school days! If your a fan of Karl or an idiot abroad read this book!
Apr 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010, five-stars
There will never be a time when i find Karl Pilkington boring he's just a genius in his own simple way. Really funny book, most of the stuff you have heard him say in the podcasts but its still funny, the random stuff he comes out with, you dunno whether its delusion or genius. The fact he quotes Cher in this book pretty much sums up Karl Pilkington, funny read, deff get it.
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely Hilarious from start to finish,Karl has such a different outlook on the world.Intentionally or not it's very funny and after reading it i sometimes find myself thinking like Karl.There are a few things we could definitely learn from him.A journey to discovery or bewilderment,the choice is yours.
Dec 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full of Karl's great ideas and funny picking out problems with them. It just shows you how our mind makes links with certain things and to some less skeptical people that becomes 'fact' in their mind.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Ricky Gervais Show - First, Second and Third Seasons
  • American Freak Show: The Completely Fabricated Stories of Our New National Treasures
  • Tiny Acts of Rebellion: 97 Almost-Legal Ways to Stick It to the Man
  • Monty Python Live!
  • Spilling the Beans
  • The Hell of It All
  • This Mitchell and Webb Book
  • A Castle in the Backyard: The Dream of a House in France
  • How Not to Read: Harnessing the Power of a Literature-Free Life
  • Best New Horror 18 (The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, #18)
  • I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan
  • The Pop-Up Book of Nightmares
  • If You Loved Me You'd Think This Was Cute: Uncomfortably True Cartoons About You
  • Cooking and Screaming: Finding My Own Recipe for Recovery
  • Eight Nights (Eight Nights #1)
  • Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America
  • 101 Cataclysms: For the Love of Cats
  • Innovate the Pixar Way: Business Lessons from the World's Most Creative Corporate Company
Karl Pilkington is a Sony Award-winning English radio producer, poet, podcaster, raconteur and author, best known for producing and co-presenting The Ricky Gervais Show on London radio station Xfm from 2001 to 2005 and later in the form of podcasts and a television show on HBO. In October 2006, Pilkington's first book The World of Karl Pilkington was published, featuring original ideas and drawing ...more
More about Karl Pilkington...

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“There are more idiots in the world than bright ones, but it’s the odd good one that makes a big difference.” 4 likes
More quotes…