Two years, 75 games, 2, correct answers, and over $ million in winnings later, Ken Jennings emerged as trivia’s undisputed king. Brainiac traces his rise. One day back in , Ken Jennings and his college buddy Earl did what hundreds of thousands of people had done before: they auditioned for Jeopardy! Two. Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs. Ken Jennings, Author. Villard $ (p) ISBN.

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Since its inception, contestants on the popular television game show, Jeopardy!

No idea what took me so long with Brainiac. One day back inKen Jennings and his college buddy Earl did what hundreds of thousands of people had done before: And I want to quote Ken once more.

He is relentlessly chipper and wholesome, and his sense of humor has all the edge of a soft foam ball. Uproarious, silly, engaging, and erudite, this book is an irresistible celebration of nostalgia, curiosity, and nerdy obsession—in a word, trivia.

The list is endless.

Knowledge was what connected us, and now it distinguishes us. I rued the day that Jeopardy decided to take the 5-game limit away. Ken also tells, for the first time, the year story of the rise of trivia, from the coffeehouses of 17th-century London to the Trivial Pursuit and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire fads of recent years.

Brainiac by Ken Jennings | : Books

A graduate of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, he worked as a computer programmer until becoming an unlikely celebrity due to his unprecedented record-breaking streak on the television quiz show Jeopardy!

There are parts to skim more quickly than others certainly, but overall, I really enjoyed. Did brainac know that opossums have 13 nipples? He discusses the process of writing trivia questions and the quest to separate the clever stumper from the useless fact. Feb 24, Denise Spicer rated it it was amazing. I just have a lot of what Dave Barry calls “brain sludge.


Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs

It was so fun to answer the questions that were scattered throughout the book. Jennings shows a pleasantly nerdy sense of humor throughout. We also meet a trivia writer fallen on hard times after a bad court case with the makers of the ‘Trivial Pursuits’ games.

Returning to his childhood love of trivia, Jennings looks up Fred Worth, jennins of The Trivia Encyclopediaand gets his take on how the makers of Trivial Pursuit ripped off his book to create questions for the game and how SCOTUS decided that trivia is outside of the bounds of copyright law.

Aug 08, Diane rated it it was amazing. Jacobs author of The Know-It-Allmost questions led to long discussions of how we learned, remembered, or deciphered the answer and its place in the big picture of life. He spent the next year criss-crossing the country, trading questions and answers with America’s most die-hard trivia subcultures. Jennongs, there was a lot of fill.

The chapters are generally short and contain a number of trivia questions throughout with answers following the chapter. So you may be thinking “Why the hell would I want to read a book about this guy bragging about his conquest? Ultimate Tournament of Champions. Alas, they never called me; probably just as well, as the fall of was when I had my Colon Cancer Surgery, which would have distracted my game-playing abilities.

Is being good at trivia a mark of intelligence? To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Interesting, quick read by Ken Jennings describing his historic run on Jeopardy! That whole bright-eyed gee-whiz cornball attitude is something those of us who’ve lived around them know very well, though Jennings seems to not be playacting at it like some of them do.


The book ends with a trivia timeline for readers who might enjoy this tidy reference list. Jun 08, C rated it liked it. To schedule a speaking engagement, please contact American Program Bureau at www. He’s not the best of writers stylistically, but he pretty much admits that, and to tell the truth, he’s probably not as bad as he thinks someone without much practice in writing is. Jennings of course prefers when games are locked–that is when you have more than double your competitors at time of final jeopardy.

May contain a little less about the how-to a would be Jeopardy!

It is then that the true research begins, research that extends far beyond an evening with Google or an afternoon in bariniac library. He takes us through the roots of trivia, through the Quiz Bowl Scandals of the s, through the development of Quiz Bowls, Trivial Pursuit, and various other trivia related topics Stevens Point, Wisconsin hosts an annual Trivia Contest, run by the local radio station, featuring fifty-four hours of trivia, with eight trivia questions every hourthrough the question of whether knowing weird stuff is an indication of intelligence, and finally, to the end of his own streak of good luck on Jeopardy!.

There were some very interesting parts. Ken once had 17 locked games in a row. As hinted on by the book’s polysyllabic subtitle, Brainiacaside from telling Jennings’s rags-to-riches story, deals with another story that is slightly more interesting: