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Topics About Which I Know Nothing

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  296 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Scintillating, surprising, inventive fiction from one of the most talented young writers in Britain – this is a superb collection of new short stories from the acclaimed author of The Crash of Hennington.Have you heard the urban myth about Jesus's double-jointed elbows yet? 100% true. Or seen the latest reports on the 'groomgrabbing' trend – the benevolent kidnapping of ba ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published July 29th 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2005)
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Jan 27, 2012 Potassium rated it really liked it
Continuing my trend of reading everything written by Patrick Ness, here is his collection of short stories.
It is always hard to rate a collection of short stories because unless you LOVE or HATE all of them... how do you rate a book where you loved some of the stories and felt a bit meh about the others?
So it gets a 4 because it is Patrick Ness and he is funny. No 5 this time though because of the meh stories... That is all.
It's still a fun collection of short stories though. He does a very go
Nov 02, 2010 Kaethe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his introduction Ness says he likes stories as a way to experiment. After finishing the volume, I concur. Most are successful, but the urban legends about Jesus one soon became tedious. My favorite was "Ponce de Leon is a Retired Married Couple from Toronto" which is worth at least six stars.

So, a good collection for fans of Ness, for fans of short stories, and for those who study writing. If there is such a thing as a book club comprised of all writers, it would be really cool to discuss whi
I have a confession.
I have a huge, almost unlady like crush on Patrick Ness.
Here's a picture of my room:

Just kidding. My husband probably wouldn't allow it.

However, I admire his writing so much that I would give a book full of absolute drivel two stars automatically. Not kidding.

I like to think that I am not easily offended by opinions. I will not maul anyone over their religious, political, sexual beliefs. If you know you are easily offended, please know that you most likely will be while rea
Lauren Kathryn
Jan 28, 2014 Lauren Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
If you haven't guessed already, I love this man. He is an absolute genius.

Topics About Which I Know Nothing was just what I needed. It made me laugh, made me think and actually made me want to tell people about it, just so we could have a discussion about their understanding of the storylines.

Honestly, I just don't know how Ness does it. He continues to surprise me with every book, regardless of the fact that this was a collection of short stories and not a series. His outlook on the world is m
Sep 16, 2015 Christina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
3.5 stars. In general I'm not a fan of short story collections, but I can honestly say that this one is the best/most interesting one I've ever read.
david y biblioflick

Just testing my new header. Review to come for each stories
Aug 02, 2016 Soumyaditya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of weird and quirky short stories. Patrick Ness is the master of crazy. A must read!
Jul 09, 2015 skippity_doo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Fun, interesting and varied. Fab!
Dec 26, 2015 Sabrina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
4.5 Stars!
Zuki Myira
Jul 24, 2017 Zuki Myira rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I know I'm supposed to like it, but to me it sucked
Maia Moore
Oct 26, 2015 Maia Moore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original review posted here

This is a continuation of my ‘read everything by Patrick Ness’ binge that came about from receiving all his books for my birthday.

I do prefer his young adult books (as in I love them and rave about them always) but I’ve been trying to get into his adult stuff too. I really enjoyed The Crane Wife earlier this year, and was looking forward to this one too.

I worry about reading short stories like this. It’s the kind of thing we’d read in my creative writing classes at uni
Read For RNIB
Mar 04, 2014 Read For RNIB rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super excited that the short story, "Now That You've Died", which Patrick wrote especially for Read for RNIB is contained in this new version of the book.

The story really does take readers on an exhilarating journey into the afterlife and is another fine example of Patrick’s finesse for storytelling which is both captivating yet challenging to the reader.

The story was originally performed as an exhilarating interactive theatrical experience, part of the Sense Story Series, in 2013, when RNIB bro
Sep 22, 2015 Scribd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: friday-reads
Chaos Walking, Ness’s young adult trilogy, may be one of the quirkiest, darkest, and evocative YA series I’ve ever read, so I was intrigued to discover that we have Ness’s early works (aimed at adults) on Scribd. Though the stories that comprise Topics About Which I Know Nothing take place worlds apart from the one in Chaos Walking, these disparate tales share a sense of humor that belies an ominous undertone.

The best of these stories explore the way psychological games, social cues, language, a
Feb 12, 2017 Cynthia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'the gifted' and 'ponce de leon is a retired married couple from toronto'.
Feb 12, 2017 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some good stories some a bit confused but overall a good book.
Jen Brown
Usually I am not one for short stories. I like continuity, I’m a sucker for series in fact. But I had to give this one a try because, you know, it’s Patrick Ness.

Well, the stories were fucking weird, so there’s that. It’s what I expected. But I’m not sure if I understood all the stories. When I finished some of them I felt like I needed a further explanation of what the story was about. Maybe that’s the point? I don’t know.

However, the most interesting thing about this book weren’t the stories
I love Patrick Ness. Where was he when I was a kid? Oh yeah, not born. I don't believe it. Reading his books makes me realize this must be his 3rd or 4th incarnation.

This book, as all of them, is funny, horrifying, scary, and makes you think, "why didn't I write that???"

He should have won the pulitzer for More Than This. Or at least a Wentworth. But noooo, all he got was a nomination for Locus, 9th place. Makes you want to weep. Like I did when I read a Monster Calls.

Read this. Read all his boo
A Meneses
Nov 01, 2015 A Meneses rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Implied violence 4☆
The way all trends do 5☆
Ponce de Leon is a retired married couple from Toronto 4☆
Jesus' elbows and other christian urban myths 5☆
Quis custodied ipsos custodes 4☆
Sydney is a city of jaywalkers 4☆
2,115 Opportunities 3.5☆
The Motivations of Sally Rae Wentworth, Amazon 4☆
The Seventh International Military War Games Dance Committee Qudrenial Competition and Jamboree 4☆
The Gifted 4☆
Now That You’ve Died: This story makes me want to drop the other stories ratings because it was AMAZ
This book is a collection of short stories all written by Patrick Ness. Some made me laugh out loud while others were harder to get through (or skipped altogether). As I've recently moved to Australia, I really appreciated "Ponce de Leon is a retired married couple from Toronto". These stories are nothing like Ness's "A Monster Calls" trilogy, but a good taste of some of Ness's other writing styles.
Adam Stevenson
Apr 20, 2016 Adam Stevenson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange stories, they succeed best when they are experimenting. I like the one about ‘groom grabbing’, written as a PHD thesis paper and the one where he invents fake internet rumours and completely recreates internet type speak. Another good one counts all the ways in which two people may not have met. And there was a story about Amazons running the UK. I also liked the war games one - interpretive artillery firing indeed.

Bad ones were the ones that tried to tell a story.
Mar 17, 2014 Maisie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patrick Ness is an absolute genius! I am currently making my way through all of his books and I now only have The Crane Wife left to read. My favourite story in this was 2115 Opportunities as I thought it was so clever and amazingly written with such a cute end.
I have the newer edition so it also included Now That You've Died which was beautifully written it made me cry.
Patrick Ness is one of my favourite authors and he never fails to amaze me with his incredible writing.
Aug 22, 2014 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an imaginative and compelling book of short stories! Ness has such an incredible range of styles and such a raw edge too though there is plenty of humour - lots of satire - which makes this an extremely satisfying book - so different from Crane Wife and more in sync with Crash and compared to his YA work - wow! Such a talent indeed!
Sanne (The Book Animator)
There were good stories in here, and stories that weren't so great. the good just didn't outway the bad in this case. I wasn't excited to continue reading this, and skipped 2 of the stories after reading them halfway through. This is not something I do often, but they just did not hold my attention..

Too bad, I generally love Patrick Ness's books.
Mar 24, 2008 flajol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of these stories are really creepy (Implied Violence and The Gifted), some downright funny. I love The Way All Trends Do with its sly footnotes, and all the different voices in Jesus' Elbows and Other Christian Urban Myths. In fact, I think I may have met some of those people!

Jan 15, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite of Patrick Ness' adult writing. I enjoyed each and every story. They're often slightly creepy and rather funny, which has put the idea in my head that I'd love for Patrick to write an episode of Welcome to Night Vale.
Biro Tomodachi
Jan 05, 2014 Biro Tomodachi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
An interesting collection of short stories. feel like the young author is experimenting with the form and conventions which results in a varied collection. A useful tool for students to see an author playing with style and convention.
Book Bazaar
Sep 17, 2014 Book Bazaar rated it really liked it
I love Patrick Ness! I usually give his novels a 5, but I didn't enjoy all of the stories in here, although admittedly short stories really aren't my genre of choice. But still, it's Patrick Ness, so definitely worth reading :)
May 12, 2010 Paula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Patrick Ness of ‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’ and ‘The Ask and Answer’ fame second book, a collection of stories, which are very individual.

An interesting collection of stories, an insight into how great a writer Patrick Ness is.
Aug 23, 2015 Blair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An clever and witty collection of short stories. Some are touching, some are quite macabre, but all are very inventive and keep you engaged. Some, which I found particularly fun, took historical fact and came up with some very original and interesting ideas to explain how the fact came to be.
May 27, 2014 Sonja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love Ness' books. Adore them. I love his short stories, they're all brilliant and very different from other short stories I've read so far. And don't get me started on his writing. Pure brilliance.
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Patrick Ness, an award-winning novelist, has written for England’s Radio 4 and Sunday Telegraph and is a literary critic for The Guardian. He has written many books, including the Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Crash of Hennington, Topics About Which I Know Nothing, and A Monster Calls.

He has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Co
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