Singularly goofy and madcap. Crazy frothings of a madman. Pure fantasy. Amusing at times and entirely skimmable. Hodgman is at his best listing the top 700 hobo names (Salad Fork Ron, Beef-or-Chicken Bob Nubbins) with detail on the extensive hobo wars and symbols, prohibition-era euphemisms for alcohol and the fact-based “Were you aware of it” sections such as:
“The famous Cole Porter tune ‘I’m in, you’re in’ was actually Porter’s typically wry response to the urine-drinking craze of the 1920s.”
“Before it was common to wear a wristwatch, Americans had to either purchase the correct time at a time parlor or, if they lived in a rural area, wait until the time peddler came to town.”
Scan the table of contents and if anything in there makes you laugh, read it.
sub=An almanac of complete world knowledge compiled with instructive annotation and arranged in useful order by me, John Hodgman, a professional writer, in the areas of my expertise which include matters historical – matters literary – matters cryptozoological – hobo matters – food, drink & cheese (a kind of food) – squirrels & lobsters & eels – haircuts – utopia – what will happen in the future – and most other subjects