Robert Anwood
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Review

This is a review of Emus Can't Walk Backwards from the UK's Guardian newspaper by Steven Poole (10 November 2007). There is also an online version of the article on the Guardian website, showing it in context with the reviews of A Left-Handed History of the World by Ed Wright and King Arthur by Christopher Hibbert.

Scan of review from the Guardian newspaper

Speaking of possibly apocryphal tales, this is a book that hunts them down with a sword of truthiness. The headings themselves can have their own absurdist poetry: Slugs Have Four Noses (true); There Are No Wasps In Thailand (false, but why would anyone make such a claim in the first place?); Dan Brown Writes Upside Down (true, which explains a lot); Francis Bacon Died After Stuffing a Chicken With Snow (true); and If There Was a Bathtub Big Enough to Hold It, Saturn Would Float. This last claim prompts the author to indulge in a virtuoso display of pedantic scientific reasoning, arriving at a resounding refutation of a marvellously pointless idea. Indeed, throughout the book, Anwood assiduously subverts the novelty-book format with his humour and sincere curiosity. When not arguing in pubs, he also runs a website (gearchange.org) which documents pointless key changes in popular songs. This, too, is a contribution to human knowledge.