At the end of each announcement Radar made over the camp P.A. in M*A*S*H*, he said “That is All.” So ends nearly everything John Hodgman does. At the end of each judgement on The Judge John Hodgman Podcast he says the same thing. I’ve recently finished reading his third installment in his COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE, That Is All. The book predicts the collapse and destruction of our world in the COMING GLOBAL SUPERPOCALYPSE, complete with a day-by-day depiction of the last year of the world. It’s also chock-full of facts, both fictional and hilarious.
It’s definitely a book that’s better if you read the two previous installments (Areas of My Expertise and More Information Than You Require), though the almanac format of the books means you need not read the entire book nor read the previous installments to understand this one. That said, this book’s narrative thread of the end of the world is both hilarious and amazing, and rewards a more continuous kind of reading than the previous books did. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will mention that this book includes:
- A discussion of sports and how to play them, so that you can be prepared to join one of the sports-themed cannibal gangs that will rule the world after the old ones rise.
- A continuous and amazing integration of Lovecraftian mythology at the hoary heart of the end of the world. In the tradition of long lists of various names, this book includes a list of 700 ANCIENT AND UNSPEAKABLE ONES.
- You will learn about the Dogstorm, a millions-large herd of dogs that sweeps across post-apocalyptic America, destroying everything in its wake.
- The book shows John Hodgman to have developed into a deranged millionaire since he became a best-selling author and pitch man. The photos and descriptions of his various luxuries are hilarious.
- Finally, the closing story, which purports to be an essay about his decision to leave the literary agent business, is both compelling and very interesting. It strongly suggests that should John Hodgman decide to write a novel, it will be both hilarious and amazing. It’s the first bit of writing I’ve seen from him that works really well on other registers than nerd/ humor/ intelligent.
Really good, especially if you liked the other ones.
Also, here’s this: