IGNORE THIS BOOK AT YOUR PERIL! Did you know that carrots cause blindness and bananas are radioactive? That too many candlelight dinners can cause cancer? And not only is bottled water a veritable petri dish of biohazards (so is tap water, by the way) but riding a bicycle might destroy your sex life? 'InEncyclopedia Paranoiaca,master satirists Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf have assembled an authoritative, disturbingly comprehensive, and utterly debilitating inventory of things poised to harm, maim, or kill you all of them based on actual research about the perils of everyday life. Painstakingly alphabetized, cross-referenced, and thoroughly sourced for easy reference, this book just might save your life. (Apologies in advance if it doesn't.) Beard and Cerf cite convincing evidence that everyday things we consider healthy eating leafy greens, flossing, washing our hands are actually harmful, and items we thought were innocuous drinking straws, flip-flops, neckties, skinny jeans pose life-threatening dangers. Did you know that nearly ten thousand people are sent to the emergency room each year because of escalator accidents, and, despite what you've heard, farmers' markets may actually be less safe than grocery stores? And if you're crossing your legs right now, you're definitely at serious risk. Hilarious,
National Lampoon luminaries Beard and Cerf have created a guide to all the common nightmares, with a few hundred new ones tossed in. Their alphabetized, intensively cross-referenced tome confirms the great truth of modern life: everything is bad for you. The list includes the big (global warming), the small (bed bugs), the innocuous (blueberries), the unusual (zombification), and the ubiquitous (sitting on the toilet). Life, it seems, is inevitably fatal, especially on a postindustrial globe filled with pesticides, radiation, superbugs, and random accidents. Despite its presentation of contemporary dangers, the book is charmingly old-fashioned, with a structure and format that pay tribute to the reference books that lined the shelves of academics and nerds before the Internet reshaped the personal library ("cybersex" earns an entry in an age when "over 15 million Americans are using cybersex in ways that are risky and showing signs of compulsivity"). In another nod to outmoded fashions, Beard and Cerf write with wit in this ironic take on a world where we live in constant fear of dairy products, lemon wedges, shopping carts, and vitamins. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Simon & Schuster
November 20, 2012
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