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Book Reviews of The Areas of My Expertise

The Areas of My Expertise
The Areas of My Expertise
Author: John Hodgman
ISBN-13: 9780739466230
ISBN-10: 0739466232
Pages: 228
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.

3.4 stars, based on 11 ratings
Publisher: E. P. Dutton
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

10 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

BaileysBooks avatar reviewed The Areas of My Expertise on + 491 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
If you have a sense of humor and a thing for sarcasm, you should enjoy this book. However, this is not the sort of book you cozy up to and read in one sitting.

Hodgman is very witty and his book is good, but not one word of it is to be taken seriously. While there is nothing wrong with that, it gets tiresome to read page after page of meaningless hobo banter. I would have enjoyed this book much more if I would have read it in pieces, a little bit at a time, over several days or even several weeks. This particular kind of humor sits best in small doses. That is my take on it, at least.

Otherwise this is a very funny book full of completely useless information and something to the tune of 500+ hobo names. It makes for quite an interesting read. But don't take my word for it. The hobos told me what to say and I know enough about them to listen.
reviewed The Areas of My Expertise on
Helpful Score: 1
Delightfully ridiculous and hillarious. I lost it completely when I got to the list of hobo names.
classicana avatar reviewed The Areas of My Expertise on
Helpful Score: 1
Laugh out loud funny! For me this is not a sit down and read cover to cover - it's best taken in small doses. Leave it where you'll pass by several times a day, open it, read a page, chortle, snort, or laugh heartily, then go on about your day. The author's mind works in strange and wonderful ways!
jeffp avatar reviewed The Areas of My Expertise on + 201 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Not all that funny, sadly. Mildly amusing. YMMV, but I found it to be something I could set down any time, anywhere, without regret.
reviewed The Areas of My Expertise on
I like John Hodgman's Resident Expert bits on the Daily Show, and this book is a collection of those types of musings. As I understand it, it was this book that got him the spot on the Daily Show. The jokes can be hit-or-miss, depending on how obscure the references are. I think the book is a little overcrowded visually, but I guess that is how the almanacs that he is parodying are like. Overall, I think the book is worth a read, because some of the pieces, like the one on cons, are really hilarious.
bup avatar reviewed The Areas of My Expertise on + 164 more book reviews
While the format of the book makes it hard to get into, when somebody ordered this from me I had only a few days to read it, and I got into it. It helped that the power has been out most of today.

It's really funny! There's lots of good absurdist humor with good improv-style justification, context and backstory that makes much of it seem almost believable. Yet stupidly funny.

Some of the best stuff is in the 55 dramatic situations (based on the 4 categories of stories many of us learned as students, but with 'a stranger comes to town' added on with 'a town springs up around a stranger,' and many of the 'man versus nature scenarios' laugh-out-loud funny - 'volcanoes come to town,' 'Saint Bernards arrive first as rescuers, but later reveal themselves to be evil captors.'

Another very strong part is the state trivia section (if Alaska were superimposed on the lower 48, it would stretch from Texas to Manhattan, and DESTROY ALL BENEATH IT).

Also, finally, I'm pretty sure the guy has read my mind. Or we have similar senses of humor.
reviewed The Areas of My Expertise on + 36 more book reviews
A freaky book of oddities real and imaginary. Since I like my fiction to be distinguishable from my non-fiction, this book was not for me. But, I can see that it would have amusement potential for others who aren't as rigid as I am.
jrw avatar reviewed The Areas of My Expertise on + 33 more book reviews
AREAS is entertaining but dangerous in the wrong hands. One has to know some choice bits of trivia to "get" the jokes, play on words, or satire. While Hodgman proclaims repeatedly that you should not take anything he writes seriously, some will no doubt confuse his fiction with reality.
reviewed The Areas of My Expertise on + 29 more book reviews
The title is actually The Areas of my Expertise. The listing mistakenly says "Areads."
reviewed The Areas of My Expertise on
I got this book as a gift. If you are a John Hodgman fan (The Daily Show, those Mac vs. p.c. commercials), I think you'll like it.
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