Ken Jennings

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Published reviews

Ken is the author of Because I Said So!, Maphead, Brainiac, and Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac.

Published reviews

Postby Ken Jennings » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:49 am

Post 'em as you see 'em!

Publishers Weekly and Kirkus: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/bookse ... 1400064457
BookPage: http://www.bookpage.com/0609bp/nonfiction/brainiac.html
Village Voice: http://www.villagevoice.com/books/0635, ... 88,10.html (more a summary than a review, oddly)
Salt Lake Tribune: http://www.shns.com/shns/g_index2.cfm?a ... E-07-13-06 (more preview than review)
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Re: Published reviews

Postby KillerTomato » Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:25 pm

Ken Jennings wrote:Post 'em as you see 'em!

Publishers Weekly and Kirkus: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/bookse ... 1400064457
BookPage: http://www.bookpage.com/0609bp/nonfiction/brainiac.html
Village Voice: http://www.villagevoice.com/books/0635, ... 88,10.html (more a summary than a review, oddly)
Salt Lake Tribune: http://www.shns.com/shns/g_index2.cfm?a ... E-07-13-06 (more preview than review)




I don't have a link, and I'm sure you'll read this when your copy of EW comes, but both you and Bob Harris got a good review (B+) in Entertainment Weekly. Congrats!
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Postby Ken Jennings » Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:15 pm

Yep, it's not on-line yet or I'd link. I assume that means we both merited a B+, not that somehow our books combine to form a single B+-worthy work of literature.

Mini-mention in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/books/nwbooks.shtml
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Postby KillerTomato » Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:43 pm

Ken Jennings wrote:Yep, it's not on-line yet or I'd link. I assume that means we both merited a B+, not that somehow our books combine to form a single B+-worthy work of literature.



To quote again from the article:

"And so, again in Jeopardy! form: 'An honest grade for both books.' What is B+?"

Then again, I guess you could read that either way! :D
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Postby Lilly » Sat Sep 09, 2006 4:41 am

I love how all the reviews try to do the "Jeopardy question/answer" thing, but most of them get it wrong.

We'll take software engineers for $200, Alex. "Despite the fact that he made a living programming computers, what engineer managed to write a funny and engaging book?" The answer, of course, is Jennings himself
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Postby Ken Jennings » Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:10 am

Newark Star-Ledger: http://www.nj.com/living/ledger/index.s ... thispage=1 (Again, not really a review, but they have some nice things to say about the book. They also get a fact from the book wrong in the very first sentence! (Should have checked the footnotes, Star-Ledger!)
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Postby gvonk » Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:19 pm

Ken Jennings wrote:Newark Star-Ledger: http://www.nj.com/living/ledger/index.s ... thispage=1 (Again, not really a review, but they have some nice things to say about the book. They also get a fact from the book wrong in the very first sentence! (Should have checked the footnotes, Star-Ledger!)


Heh, I was just about to come post about this one... Sure, they have some nice things to say about Brainiac, but what's up with the second page of the review?

Unlike Ken Jennings, Alfred Matthew Yankovic of Lynwood, Calif., didn't get a single answer right on "Jeopardy!"

At least, that's how it's portrayed in "I Lost On Jeopardy," a 1984 single from "Weird Al" Yankovic.

"I was there to match my intellect on national TV

"Against a plumber and an architect, both with a Ph.D.

"I was tense, I was nervous, I guess it just wasn't my night.

"Art Fleming gave the answers

"Oh, but I couldn't get the questions right-ight-ight."

Sung to the tune of Greg Kihn's 1983 hit "Jeopardy," Yankovic's parody came from his LP, " 'Weird Al' Yankovic in 3-D."


{clicks}

Ohhh, now I see. This is one of those roundups where the writer brings together several related vignettes and offers a little audience participation. It's not Six Degrees of Ken Jennings, but I guess it makes more sense now.
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Postby Tugkov » Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:48 am

Where you get it???
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Postby Ken Jennings » Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:28 am

Rocky Mountain News:
http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/b ... 88,00.html

"A great, fun circus of a book!" Very flattering review.
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Postby Ruminator » Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:01 am

About.com: http://bestsellers.about.com/od/memoirs ... niac_r.htm

Time.com : http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 44,00.html
"Except the weird thing is, Jennings is actually a very charming, insightful writer. "
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Postby Ken Jennings » Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:36 pm

Seattle Weekly: http://seattleweekly.com/arts/0638/trivia.php

I know the WSJ ran a review last week, but it's behind their pay firewall. Anybody with access want to, um, "excerpt" it for me?
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Postby _Robin_ » Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:08 pm

I am asuming you have a Seattle library card. If so, you can get the full text of the WSJ review (and many others) at home for free through the ProQuest National Newspapers database. Here is the link:

http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1128328121&sid=1&Fmt=3&clientId=11206&RQT=309&VName=PQD
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Postby Ken Jennings » Fri Sep 22, 2006 5:41 am

Salon: http://www.salon.com/books/review/2006/ ... ex_np.html
Unusually thoughtful review.
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Postby Ken Jennings » Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:28 am

The New York Times review is the first I've seen that's, on the balance, more snarky than positive.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/22/books ... ger.t.html

The reviewer seems disappointed that I would write essentially, "a long feature article on trivia" rather than offer backstage dish on Jeopardy! Because, boy, backstage game show gossip--what a book that would make! Oh well.

This, on the other hand is fascinating: a look at Brainiac (and, therefore, the world of American trivia) through the eyes of a British quiz veteran:
http://thequizblogger.blogspot.com/2006 ... rious.html
Last edited by Ken Jennings on Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Vorotyntsev » Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:35 am

Ken Jennings wrote:The New York Times review is the first I've seen that's, on the balance, more snarky than positive.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/22/books ... ger.t.html

The reviewer seems disappointed that I would right, essentially, "a long feature article on trivia" rather than offer backstage dish on Jeopardy! Because, boy, backstage game show gossip--what a book that would make! Oh well.

This, on the other hand is fascinating: a look at Brainiac (and, therefore, the world of American trivia) through the eyes of a British quiz veteran:
http://thequizblogger.blogspot.com/2006 ... rious.html


I preferred your personal stories over the general trivia tales. I would have been happy with you describing what happened on each Jepardy show. To each his own, I guess.
"Jamming gaydar is not a federal responsibility."
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Postby Lilly » Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:20 pm

Ken Jennings wrote:The New York Times review is the first I've seen that's, on the balance, more snarky than positive.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/22/books ... ger.t.html

The reviewer seems disappointed that I would write essentially, "a long feature article on trivia" rather than offer backstage dish on Jeopardy! Because, boy, backstage game show gossip--what a book that would make! Oh well


That NYTimes review was kind of weird. It's not like you titled the book A Look Behind the Scenes of Jeopardy! and then wrote about trivia instead!! The book is about trivia, not Jeopardy. (Although I'm sure everyone enjoys the stories about the Jeopardy experience.)
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Postby TomK » Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:18 am

At least the Times is being consistent -- I if remember, Ms. Stanley didn't care much for you while you were on the show, either, also in the realm of "the only view more snarky than positive."

I'm not much for the whole "flyover contry" theory, but anecdotes like these do keep the beast alive.
"You've committed one of the classic blunders. The first, of course, is never get involved in a land war in Asia."
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Postby Ken Jennings » Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:52 am

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Postby Lilly » Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:58 pm

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Postby Ken Jennings » Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:43 pm

The reviewer herself emailed me this one, which struck me as a little odd. Wonder if she does that with the bad reviews too. Philadelphia Inquirer:
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/ente ... 920432.htm

Toronto Sun:
http://torontosun.com/Entertainment/Oth ... 7-sun.html

(In answer to something in that review: I tried for months to get an interview with the Trivial Pursuit founders, but their gatekeeper at Horn Abbot warned me that they hated interviews, and the one guy who seemed semi-willing never would actually call.)
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