Friday, April 29, 2011

211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do

211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do by Tom Cutler

This was a book given to me last Christmas. It's not a novel. It's literally what it claims to be. Tom Cutler assembled a list of 211 site gags, parlor tricks, and questionably useful skills that a person might want to know how to do. It has the appearance of a book that was written for young or adolescent boys. It's not. It's written for boys trapped in men's bodies. Here's a sampling of some of the chapters:

How to use your watch as a compass
How to analyze a handshake
How to survive a week with just one set of clothes
How to appear more intelligent than you are
How to judge a woman's bra size at a glance
How to walk across red-hot coals
How to drive a nail into a plank with your bare hand
Paranormal spoon bending
How to weigh your own head
A beginner's guide to calculating time of death
How to shear a sheep
How to escape from a straightjacket
How to take your underpants off without removing your pants

A lot of the chapters were quite interesting and I've tried several of them with a surprising rate of success. But quite a few of the chapters were snoozers. The author either thinks he's funnier than he actually is or he overestimates the entertainment value of some of his knowledge. My recommendation in reading the book would be to read the chapters selectively based on level of interest.

At the end of each chapter, he includes a random and trivial bit of information. Sometimes those are the highlight of the chapter. My favorite was "Eunuchs don't go bald."

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

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