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Worst Ideas Ever: A Celebration of Embarrassment
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Worst Ideas Ever: A Celebration of Embarrassment

2.82  ·  Rating details ·  325 ratings  ·  69 reviews
From memorable disasters such as New Coke, the XFL, and Tiger Woods’ marriage to less-remembered failures such as Yugo, Cop Rock, and Microsoft’s BOB, Worst Ideas Ever revisits history’s biggest blunders. Whether it’s a pop culture failure the likes of Dennis Miller’s disastrous run on Monday Night Football, a political one such as John Edwards’ odd decision to run for pre ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 8th 2011 by Skyhorse
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Average rating 2.82  · 
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 ·  325 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Feb 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
This feels more like a series of poorly-written blog posts hastily cobbled together than a professionally published book. It fails on multiple levels. At the most basic, there appears to have been no copy-editing: the book is full of poor sentence structure, bad grammar, etc. On top of that there seems to have been no research — many of the accounts are full of factual errors that even five minutes on Wikipedia would uncovered.

But most disappointing is the complete absence of any attempt to und
Aug 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
hahahaha I can't stop laughing at what a weird book this was. But I'd still give it a solid 2.5.

Despite its poor editing (random word mistakes and periodic poor grammar), I enjoyed listening to the book while I cleaned the house. It was kind of like a road trip with your uncle -- the one with the great memory who likes to grumble about stuff...the one who has all the little factoids about hilariously lame things that happened in the past and makes you say, "Oh yeah! I totally forgot that Rush L
Terrible Book Club
May 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
This is essentially a long-form and bound Buzzfeed listicle. There are no behind-the-scenes interviews or analysis of why bad ideas are allowed to get as far as they do, or any insight into the creative process that made them seem like a good idea. A lot of the ideas are common cultural touchstones, like New Coke or Jar Jar Binks. There are SOME things you might not have known about depending on what you followed in the 80s-2000s, but ultimately, if the authors themselves admit in the book they' ...more
Ryan Troll
Jun 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
We listened to this during a car ride to visit the in-laws, and it was exactly what we needed. Something lightweight, enjoyable, that multiple people could discuss together. The wife and I could both remember some of these, and agreed - what were they thinking? Others, we did not remember, and of course, some we didn't care about.

All in all, it was an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. I don't think I could just sit down and read this, but sharing it was others made it the perfect audiobook for
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
It was OK, but I would've liked to hear some deeper digging into each topic. Although I guess it just wasn't that sort of book, I would've liked to hear both sides of each story a little more. It was a lighted sort of read though, more "point and laugh" sort of thing rather than any insight into each. Not that I wasn't amused, I was, but would've liked fewer stories in more detail than so many superfluously.
Matthew Cirilli
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is a lot of fun but is marred by an absurd number of grammatical/mechanical errors. Thankfully, I only payed bargain price for it.
Blake Petit
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, humor
Mildly entertaining, but far too many entries were matters of taste rather than inarguable failures, and the editing on this book is terrible -- typos and punctuation errors galore.
BJ Rose
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
I got this for a bargain price, and it sounded like it should be a humorous read, but I was underwhelmed - I guess just like many of the Worst Ideas Ever!
Ana Mark
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Clicking random article on Wikipedia is just as much educating and entertaining.
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Occasionally funny
Jul 13, 2020 rated it liked it
It was a fun quick listen.
Sep 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining and fun to look back on other mistakes.
Apr 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: history, humor
This wasn't just a bad book about bad ideas, it was a complete waste of time. A cursory - very simplistic - overview of surface level pop culture "bad ideas" from the past forty years. To younger people, there might be some basic stories they might find interesting enough to Google to get a real description of the events, but to anyone older who at all follows the culture, there's nothing here that is informative.

In fact, there's information that's flat out wrong. I know something about video g
Ray Campbell
Mar 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2014
Silly. Kline explores American pop culture and provides his editorial opinions on "bad decisions. While much of this is entertaining, there is virtually nothing of substance here. Each chapter has a theme ranging from sports and politics to marketing campaigns and products. No one thought New Coke was a good idea. saying that it was a bad idea in a book about bad ideas is a brief walk down memory lane, but Kline doesn't go beyond that.

I was particularly baffled by his chapter on sports. He focus
Dee Eisel
Dec 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
One of the things my Shadow self does is to tell me no one but me ever makes huge mistakes, no one but me ever humiliates themselves in public. I grabbed this book in Scribd to shut that voice up. It didn't work, but I did learn a bit more about why this kind of public humiliation happens, and that it can, in fact, be survived - but the idea might not make it.

Kline and Tomaszewski talk about New Coke, the XFL, the affairs (literally) of a certain former South Carolina governor and the presidenti
Bought this for $.99 during an Audible sale. It was sort of an interesting flyover take on failed things like technology & marketing (and Prohibition), but ultimately left me feeling like "hey, I should go read something more detailed about that subject!" instead of feeling like I'd learned something new. And some of the segments were just judgemental & snarky (like the celebrity baby names section) and really turned me off the whole thing. So all-in-all not something I'd recommend, unless you'r ...more
Vincent Wood
Mar 31, 2014 rated it liked it
The one primary thought that went through my mind throughout reading this book was how hindsight is the only sight in which we can see perfectly, or as the cliche goes hindsight is 20/20. Now that the events and the products have come and gone, we can look back and laugh at the sheer stupidity of the idiots who made the dumb moves. Of course these ideas may have had some real sound logic behind them when they were made. Even so, this book is a good nostalgia look at the past and we always love t ...more
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
The best thing about this book is that it's short.

It's really just a list of failures followed by snarky comments about each one. It would have been a better book if it had focused on fewer failures and then took a closer look at each one - how the idea came about, how it was implemented, when those responsible realized it was a failure, what they did about it, and what they learned from it. But it's not that and feels like a missed opportunity. Instead, it's just a book pointing and laughing at
John Orman
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Many of those bad ideas have been forgotten about, but are now resurrected--

New Coke
Edible Underwear
Krispy Kreme Burgers
Segway--can't hold luggage, no way to secure, and the company owner was killed when he drove over a cliff in one!

Jar Jar Binks
Joey, spinoff from Friends TV show
Jay Leno on TV at 10 pm
Battlefield Earth movie
Michael Jordan, baseball star
Dennis Miller announcing on Monday Night Football
"Mission Accomplished" way back on 5/1/2003, with much Iraq action still to come!
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was a quick audiobook, and while funny, spent entirely too much time of sports, which I only vaguely sort of remembered. However, the funniest, worst idea, laugh-out-loud'est moment of all was as follows, re: John Edwards and his run for the presidency amidst the scandal of cheating on his (much beloved by the public) wife who was at the time battling terminal lung cancer:

"...cheating on her becomes akin to drowning a sack of kittens in front of a group of little girls, and then shooting th
Ryk Stanton
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
On the plus side, it was only 99 cents on Audible one day.

The person who wrote this book comes across as one of those overly critical pompous asses you avoid at parties who thinks he has broken new ground with his perspective and who finds his own humor endlessly witty and wise.

So, you know who you are out there, if you like critical people's wit, check this book out. It was worth the 99 cents, just for the nostalgia, but I doubt I'll re-listen to this. I wish it was a book so I could give it aw
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I funny trip down the memory lane of humorous failures. Most of these ideas seemed like a good idea at the time, while for a select few my response was "what the heck were they thinking?". It was a fun book, though there were a few errors, mostly involving the authors' slamming of zepplins (erroneously labeled as blimps) and the Hindenburg in particular, in which they were mostly wrong in their assessment. Read for fun not for research.
Ryan Hill
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was a weird book of ramblings from a blogger. That kind of sounds like a jab (sort of is) but it was at least entertaining and interesting. I was not familiar with Daniel Kline before this was on sale on Audible, but it a like listening to someone bitch that had done quite a bit of research. I guess that is possibly the best thing that can be said. If you find yourself without any other books to read or just want something kind of mindless... then give this book a quick read.
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At times funny, at times sarcastic, I enjoyed listening to the Audible version of this book! It starts off with really wacko ideas from well-known manufacturers, then graduates to mistakes made in the entertainment industry and by politicians, and ends with names of famous actors' children. This book made me laugh at some points, especially with the more publicized "ideas" (mistakes) of the rich and famous.
Oct 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
It would be too heavy-handed of a pun to say that this book makes the list. It is not, however, to say that the author's thanking their editor in the acknowledgements wasn't list worthy (Yes, I'm that dork that reads the acknowledgements. Even of the books of which I do not like.). Seriously? There was so many mistakes, I was getting too pissy to pay attention to my trashy reading. Thwarted, once again, by the Books-a-Million bargain page. Bastards.
Sam Motes
Mar 06, 2014 rated it liked it
A quick look at everything from Jordan leaving Basket Ball in his prime to try his luck in a sport he never had excelled in, to New Coke, to Governor Sanford's mythical hike on the Appalachian trail. The quick hitting format doesn't go very deep into the reasoning behind the in hind sight bad decisions but still it is a an interesting look at very public example where reason has failed big.
While on the whole this book was mildly amusing, I really wish it had delved into the why behind each of the bad ideas. Without context and with the benefit of hindsight, yes, these weren't incredibly bright ideas, but there was no explanations of why the decisions were made in the first place or in many cases why they went so horribly wrong.
Kent Winward
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Ok, maybe this book wasn't the Worst Idea ever, but it was more a celebration of pop culture faux pas rather than really bad ideas. Ok, some of the ideas were bad from the outset, like the in-car phonograph, but others were simply people trying and failing. Pratfalls can be funny, but after awhile the humor wears out.
Mar 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was not exactly what it advertises to be...some parts work, but it way too sports heavy (about a third of the book seemed to be poor draft decisions), and most of the rest of the topics were less "worst ideas" as much as "things that didn't quite work out." I would only suggest reading the first quarter and then call it a day.
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
While I like the idea of this book a lot, and the two authors have a good sense of humor, this book is damn near unreadable. I don't know of they had an editor, or if the editor was shitfaced at work everyday, but there are basic grammar errors and sentence structure issues a third grader could point out. I have read fanfics by my friends that have had less problems of this variety.
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