QI Book of the Dead by John Mitchinson and John Lloyd

QI: The Book of the Dead

As you would expect, the QI Book of the Dead is about famous dead people. The subjects of the book range from Leonardo da Vinci to Karl Marx, Genghis Khan to Henry Ford. As with the QI Book of Animal Ignorance, the authors have moved away from random snippets of information. You won’t find anything like, “England’s King Henry I died after eating too many lampreys.” Instead, this book is split into chapters, each one looking at a small group of deceased noteables.

The authors of the QI Book of the Dead came up with an interesting way of grouping the dead people in each chapter. Rather than going down the obvious route of doing one chapter on writers, another on scientists, and so on, they decided to look for similarities in the lives of the people they were writing about. So one chapter includes Leonardo da Vinci, Sigmund Freud and Lord Byron, amongst others. Another covers John Harvey Kellogg, Howard Hughes and Henry Ford, to name just three. Not everybody mentioned in the Book of the Dead is well-known, but everybody in a single chapter has the same connection to everybody else in that chapter. In some cases, the connection is surprising.

I find the QI books more interesting when they get away from disconnected facts. If you like less-known facts about famous people, you may well enjoy this book.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *