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With over a quarter million copies in print and six months on The New York Times bestseller list, The Darwin Awards shows that readers crave humor. And what better place to find it than in the stories of those human beings who improve the gene pool by removing themselves from it in a sublimely idiotic fashion.

Marvel at the thief who tries to steal live electrical wires. Gape at the lawnchair jockey who floats to a height of 16,000 feet suspended by helium balloons. And learn from the man who peers into a gasoline can using a cigarette lighter. All contend for Darwin Awards when their choices culminate in magnificent misadventures.

These tales of trial and awe-inspiring error-verified by the author and endorsed by website readers-illustrate the ongoing saga of survival of the fittest in all its selective glory. The Darwin Awards vividly portrays the finest examples of evolution in action, and shows us just how uncommon common sense can be.
Published: Penguin Group on Apr 30, 2002
ISBN: 9781101043448
List price: $12.99
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If you enjoy laughing at the stupidity of other people, then this book is for you. Some of these stories are hilarious. Others will have you shaking your head. All of them will leave you feeling glad you aren't related. The Darwin Awards contains over 180 stories in the following categories: * Darwin Awards: nominees lost their reproductive capacity by killing or sterilizing themselves, thereby removing themselves from the gene pool. * Honorable Mentions: survived their escapade but still illustrate the innovative spirit of Darwin Award candidates. * Urban Legends: these are cautionary fables with various versions circling the internet, but any resemblance to actual events is purely coincidental. * Personal Accounts: these were submitted by loyal readers and are plausible but generally unverified.Darwin Awards and Honorable Mentions are further divided into: * Confirmed by Darwin: indicates that a story was backed up by multiple submissions and more than one reputable media source. * Unconfirmed by Darwin: indicates fewer submissions and the unavailability of direct confirmation of media sources.This is a seriously funny book and I highly recommend it.read more
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The Darwin Awards commemorate ""individuals who ensure the long-term survival of our species by removing themselves from the gene pool in a sublimely idiotic fashion." The subtitle is "evolution in action." The description on the back cover asks you to "Marvel at the thief who tries to steal live electrical wires. Gape at the lawnchair jockey who floats to a height of 16,000 feet suspended by helium balloons." These purport to be true, verified stories: I guess that's why in the end I just can't find them funny. The book is filled with short notations explaining how these individuals overachieved, and are usually less than two pages each, often just a few paragraphs. Let me give you a flavor by sharing a short one with you:Silenced by the Lambs(28 January 1999, England) A flock of sheep charged a well-meaning British farmer's wife and pushed her over a cliff to her death. Betty, 67, was charged by dozens of sheep after she brought them a bale of hay on the back of a power bike. The sheep rushed forward and rammed the vehicle, knocking Betty and her bike over the edge of a vacant quarry near Durham. "I saw the sheep surround the bike. The next thing she was tumbling down the incline," a neighbor told reporters. Her husband is being comforted by friends.I guess I'm a party pooper, and I admit I've snickered at "Darwin Award" anecdotes told to me over instant messenger and email. But being told these are verified and realizing there was a real person (and this story doesn't make her sound all that stupid, just unlucky) takes all the fun out of it for me. I should add though, I'm really not a joke book person and this is very unlike my usual read. I read it because it was in the Humor Section of "The Ultimate Reading List" which I had been working through. Oh well, maybe Nora Ephron or Dave Barry will suit me better.read more
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Only mildly amusing with the exception of the story about the guy who flew in his lawn-chair, which had me in hysterics. Missed a trick in not making more of the Darwin Awards as an early example of humour on the internet - a book of silly stories drily told is not a keeper.read more
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If you enjoy laughing at the stupidity of other people, then this book is for you. Some of these stories are hilarious. Others will have you shaking your head. All of them will leave you feeling glad you aren't related. The Darwin Awards contains over 180 stories in the following categories: * Darwin Awards: nominees lost their reproductive capacity by killing or sterilizing themselves, thereby removing themselves from the gene pool. * Honorable Mentions: survived their escapade but still illustrate the innovative spirit of Darwin Award candidates. * Urban Legends: these are cautionary fables with various versions circling the internet, but any resemblance to actual events is purely coincidental. * Personal Accounts: these were submitted by loyal readers and are plausible but generally unverified.Darwin Awards and Honorable Mentions are further divided into: * Confirmed by Darwin: indicates that a story was backed up by multiple submissions and more than one reputable media source. * Unconfirmed by Darwin: indicates fewer submissions and the unavailability of direct confirmation of media sources.This is a seriously funny book and I highly recommend it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The Darwin Awards commemorate ""individuals who ensure the long-term survival of our species by removing themselves from the gene pool in a sublimely idiotic fashion." The subtitle is "evolution in action." The description on the back cover asks you to "Marvel at the thief who tries to steal live electrical wires. Gape at the lawnchair jockey who floats to a height of 16,000 feet suspended by helium balloons." These purport to be true, verified stories: I guess that's why in the end I just can't find them funny. The book is filled with short notations explaining how these individuals overachieved, and are usually less than two pages each, often just a few paragraphs. Let me give you a flavor by sharing a short one with you:Silenced by the Lambs(28 January 1999, England) A flock of sheep charged a well-meaning British farmer's wife and pushed her over a cliff to her death. Betty, 67, was charged by dozens of sheep after she brought them a bale of hay on the back of a power bike. The sheep rushed forward and rammed the vehicle, knocking Betty and her bike over the edge of a vacant quarry near Durham. "I saw the sheep surround the bike. The next thing she was tumbling down the incline," a neighbor told reporters. Her husband is being comforted by friends.I guess I'm a party pooper, and I admit I've snickered at "Darwin Award" anecdotes told to me over instant messenger and email. But being told these are verified and realizing there was a real person (and this story doesn't make her sound all that stupid, just unlucky) takes all the fun out of it for me. I should add though, I'm really not a joke book person and this is very unlike my usual read. I read it because it was in the Humor Section of "The Ultimate Reading List" which I had been working through. Oh well, maybe Nora Ephron or Dave Barry will suit me better.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Only mildly amusing with the exception of the story about the guy who flew in his lawn-chair, which had me in hysterics. Missed a trick in not making more of the Darwin Awards as an early example of humour on the internet - a book of silly stories drily told is not a keeper.
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Great bathroom reading :)
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By now a cultural icon, the Darwin Awards were created by Wendy Northcutt in 1993. This is the first book of an ongoing series, because there is really no end to human stupidity. This is the only one of the books I have ever read, and I found myself mostly annoyed at the color commentary. I can understand the impulse to fill empty space with pithy remarks, but really we are all just here for the gory details. All else is superfluous.Accordingly, I skipped almost all the chapter introductions, and I liked the book much better. I did feel a little bit guilty reading this. I suppose by definition this book is taking delight in others misfortune. Perhaps it is simply that God works in mysterious ways.
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I don't know why I have this one either. I'm pretty sure you can find all of this stuff online for free. I think this was a stocking stuffer or something.
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