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Fictoids is the perfect present to give anyone who has a major seizure
upon hearing or reading a bad pun because Bill Dutcher will slay
them. It is physically impossible to read this collection of fictional
factoids without groaning every second page, moaning out loud every
fourth page, and smiling most of the way through. This is a highly
original, quite funny, particularly punishing read where Dutcher
butchers the English language all in good fun.
Fictoids is one of those very rare self-published books that not
only looks like it was released by a major publisher but definitely
should have been released by a major publisher. This is a high-quality
production through and through, from the dust jacket for this hardcover
book, the quality of the paper, the typeface and layout, to the very
Family Circle and sometimes New Yorker occasional illustrations by
Jack Ziegler. All these production values support the very funny
fake factoids hysterian Dutcher has come up with to cover the last
two thousand years of what he thinks is human history.
Each Fictoids page consists of a sentence with no reprieve from
bad bon mots, il-literate alliterations, and versions of history
that will definitely make you giggle such as this one:
Pharaoh Amir Ziplok invented self-storage in 850 BC, then marketed
his invention through a clever pyramid scheme.”
Not all of this book is a pure fictoid. Some are pretty close to
reality such as:
of coasters plunged in gift shops all across the country in 1998,
as millions of Americans began using ubiquitous AOL CDs
The one weakness
with this collection of funny stuff is that Dutcher is not adverse
to a comma splice or two (see the above quotes). A
few more of Jack Ziegler’s illustrations would definitely have
been a bonus but that is mere quibbling.
Fictoids is a fun little book. It is very original, looks great,
and will probably make a great gift.