Sunday, September 2, 2012

The History of the World According to Facebook

Title:  The History of the World According to Facebook
Author:  Wylie Overstreet
Publication Information:  HarperCollins Publishers. 2011. 153 pages.

Book Source:  I got this book because it seemed like the type of book you could pick up and put down easily and read in short bursts. It also seemed like it would be funny. I got the book through PaperbackSwap.

Favorite Quote:  "I sincerely hope you enjoy this book. You may find it educational, you may find it amusing, or you may find it on the back of a toilet while pooping, in which case you're not going anywhere for a while. Might as well flip through."

The History of the World According to Facebook requires both an understanding of history and an irreverent sense of humor. As the title suggests, the book presents history from the beginning of time to present day (or present day a couple of years ago) in status updates and comments. What a record of history might have been if Facebook had always existed, and if everyone and everything posted on Facebook.

As a reader, you have to have some knowledge of history. The status updates and comments are funny if you understand what they refer to. For example:
  • The update is "The Sun is now friends with Earth and 7 other planets." Pluto's comment, "Not cool."
  • The update is "Helen of Troy changed her current city to Troy." Menelaus's comment, "Did your acct. get hacked babe?"
  • The update is "Princess Peach is at Another Castle with King Koopa." Mario's response, "You've got to be kidding me."
I found myself looking up references when I did not quite get something, and then going, "Now I get it!"

As a reader, you also have to have a sense of humor and the ability to not be easily offended. The books tackles history - political, religious, ethnic, economic, and cultural. Many of the issues are very serious, but are presented in a humorous, irreverent fashion. If that is likely to offend your sensibilities, this is not the book for you.

I found the book amusing, and easy to pick up and put down. And as someone who has books in every room of the house, this one did find a home somewhere where the writer suggested.

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