Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ian Spector - The Truth About Chuck Norris: 400 Facts About the World Greatest Human

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

Every so often, I have the urge to look up Chuck Norris facts.  (He’s a pretty amazing guy.  Did you know that he makes onions cry?)  I’ve always wondered why Chuck Norris and where all of these ‘facts’ came from.  I’m not sure about the first part, but Ian Spector started the meme.  (Actually, the particular celebrity was put to a vote.  Chuck Norris was the winner.)  Spector created a site with a random fact generator and eventually saw fit to make a book.  I’ve known about the meme for a while.  I came across the book in a bag of books from my aunt.  I decided to look through it to see if I wanted to keep it.

At the risk of incurring a roundhouse kick from Mr. Norris, I may have to pass.  It’s not that the facts aren’t funny.  Many are.  There’s not going to be a lot of replay value, though.  I don’t think I’ll be reading the book a second time, especially considering that many of the facts are available online.  (Go to Google and look them up.  There’s even a Twitter account.)  I find that when I buy books like this, I often put them in a bookcase and forget about them.  Even when I come back to them, I may look at one or two and put it back.

Normally, I’d spend a few paragraphs about the plot, but there really is none.  It’s a series of mostly one-liners about how awesome Chuck Norris is.  One common theme is roundhouse kicks.  (One of the facts, in fact, is that he lives in a round house.)  Many are similar to The Most Interesting Man in the World ads.  (Chuck Norris can speak Braille.)

As you can tell, the ‘facts’ aren’t real.  They’re meant to be humorous.  I suppose that most of it comes from the fact that Chuck Norris has the name recognition, but not everyone loves him.  In fact, I’ve never met anyone that was a huge fan of his work.  I’ve heard him talk about the jokes and he doesn’t seem to mind the attention.  In this sense, he’s the perfect subject for the jokes.

If you’re wondering what kind of gift it would make, I’d advise caution.  Many of them are safe for general audiences.  There are a lot of goofy jokes, like Chuck Norris beating several tough animals by tying them together with an Anaconda.  There are some vulgar jokes.  Yes, there are penis jokes.  There are also four-letter words.  I might buy this book for one of my brothers or a friend, but definitely not my grandmother.  This is another case where the binary ‘recommend to a friend’ is difficult.  It’s the kind of gift that you’ll probably know whether or not they’ll like it.  I just don’t know that I’d ever buy it for myself. 

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