Funny and weird Books which became popular with the online reviews on retailers.
1. How to Avoid Huge Ships
The Oddest Book Candidate:
Another winner of the Bookseller Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year (yes, thats an actual, real award), How to Avoid Huge Ships by Captain John W Trimmer was originally self published but, thirty-plus years later, has become a firm favorite with Amazon reviewers with over 500 reviews. The cult status of the book has led to triple digit prices from sellers too.
Obviously most of the landlubber reviewers are unlikely to need the wisdom of the good Captain on avoiding oncoming freighters and other large seagoing vessels, but their opinions on when they have found the book useful are worth a good chuckle or two.
The book has even resulted in a cheeky tribute ebook, “How to Avoid Large Shits”, no doubt a big hit with people who have trouble with dog poop in the street.
Some of the funnier comments from the Amazon reviews included :
- “… as inspirational as it is informational. After reading them I haven’t been hit by anything bigger than a diesel bus.”
- “This book really is one of the best huge ship avoidance references I’ve come across, not just for the effective methods it teaches as to avoiding huge ships, but also for exploding some of the huge ship avoidance myths that many of us take for granted.”
- “Captain Trimmer’s tome “How to Avoid Huge Ships” is filled from cover-to-cover with the kind of wisdom that only years of salt spray can crust onto a man. However, most helpful was his summary and its very succinctness and intuitive nature, may in fact, hurt his book sales. “Stay on land” (page 111, paragraph 3)”
2. Knitting With Dog Hair book
Although the listing for this book on Amazon has the slightly worrying blurb “Learn to recycle Rover into beautiful garments and accessories” the authors are thankfully only talking about collecting your dogs hair while you groom it, and nothing more sinister.
The contents show the book comes complete with coverage of such essential topics as collecting your pets hair, preparing it for spinning and then spinning the yarn, and even – if you’re not happy with your dogs natural colour – dyeing it and with a list of projects to complete such as “Golden Retriever Scarf”.
Naturally, the somewhat unconventional strategy of (seriously) using your dogs hair to knit into a nice warm jacket or whatever, has gotten a few reviews from people who have mined the subject for its comic potential.
As the subtitle for the book says, “Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know and Love Than From A Sheep You’ll Never Meet” – a sentiment with which most sheep might agree with, along with the occasional reader who is the possessor of a unique, hand made Golden Retriever Scarf.
Some of the funniest comments from the Amazon reviews included :
- “My cool vest gets a lot of looks… and a lot of shocks when I say it’s 50% Yorkie! Paired with my Chocolate Lab trousers and Dachsund socks, I’m the talk of the “fashion” town these days!”
- “I love this book. I made an afghan from my afghan.”
- “Thinking myself clever, I shaved my dog, then knitted him a sweater using his own fur.”
3. The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America
The sheer absurdity of a book seemingly devoted to abandoned shopping carts in “Eastern North America” has attracted quite a few wits giving their opinions on the work on Amazon.
Filled with photographs of carts ditched in random places from woodland to roadsides, alongside a classification system for the different “types” of carts, it promises to be a “A Guide to Field Identification”.
Not having read the book, just the reviews (life is too short for spending time learning more about the varieties of shopping trolleys sadly cast aside), hopefully it’s a work of satire and not a serious treatise, although with such devotion to the project, the author would be taking the art of leg pulling to a whole new level.
On the other hand, who knows, maybe the author has been spending the last 10 years toiling away at companion volumes to expand on the original books coverage to the rest of the North American continent.
Some of the funnier reviews from the Amazon included :
- “I would love to rate this particular treatise as highly as I did the author’s previous works: “Potato Science – An Ethical Discourse” was particularly well written” (A. Flynn)
- “easily one of the top four reference guides for shopping carts available on the market today.” (Mitch)
- “This is the single wittiest book I have read since ‘Pooh Gets Stuck’ (though to be sure that title’s frisson may yet prove unintentional).” (Mark Twin)
4. A million random digits book
The idea that someone would produce a book that is nothing but a collection of random numbers seems quite bizarre nowadays, and has led to a bevy of humorous reviews.
However, originally, this book had a serious purpose.
Random numbers are used in many applications such as gambling, computer simulations, cryptography, statistics and so on.
Back in the 50’s when this book was first published it wasn’t as easy to purchase random number generators so it made sense, and it was used as a reference work for many years.
Some of the comments from the Amazon reviews included :
- “If you like this book, I highly recommend that you read it in the original binary.”
- “While the printed version is good, I would have expected the publisher to have an audiobook version as well.”
- “The bulk of each page seems random enough. However at the lower left and lower right of alternate pages, the number is found to increment directly.”