Skip to content

Bears Can’t Run Downhill

and 200 Other Dubious Pub Facts Explained

A bear not being able to run downhill


The Mail on Sunday

“This should settle a few pub arguments once and for all”

The Daily Star

Ever wondered whether a swan can break a man’s arm? Or fretted about Marilyn Monroe having six toes? Are you still troubled as to whether Bob Holness played the sax on “Baker Street”?

If so, you’ve probably spent far too much time in the pub, conversing with a mate on the wrong end of four pints of lager. We’ve all heard them: half-baked theories, spurious rumours and barely believable “pub facts”. Maybe you’ve even tried to palm a few off yourself, telling complete strangers that NASA invented the DustBuster, and how there’s only one cash machine in the whole of Albania…

To separate the fact from the fiction and the believable from the bogus, Bears Can’t Run Downhill stumbles to the rescue! Written in a style as entertaining as it is enlightening, the book debunks and explains 201 common claims and popular misconceptions. It’s the ideal stocking filler for the quiz fanatic, the trivia buff and the man in the pub – or his wife or girlfriend who wants to get the upper hand once and for all. Here is the definitive reference book, all you will ever need (until the sequel at least), of well-known “facts”, whether true or apocryphal.

Want to see what it’s like? View some sample pages (PDF format, 71 kB)
Want an idea of the weird and wonderful stuff it covers? View the index (PDF format, 86 kB)

  • Publication date: Thursday 7 September 2006
  • Published by: Ebury Press, a division of Penguin Random House
  • Format: Hardback (178 x 126 mm), 288 pages, with excellent illustrations by Sarah Nayler throughout (such as those on this page)
  • EAN/ISBN-13: 9780091912550 (old ISBN format: 0091912555)
  • Warning: May cause offence to anyone who owns a pet tarantula

The hardback is available from various resellers on, and other Amazon sites, as well as and Abebooks. Currently there is no Kindle/e-book edition.

Someone pondering a bear not being able to run downhill

Here’s a review from October 2006 of Bears Can’t Run Downhill from the Good Book Guide (a publication which made it into the second decade of the twenty-first century, before the Internet properly caught up with it).

Another establishment which closed its doors in the same year, 2015, was Zoo magazine. I don’t think the whole “lad mag” culture has been sorely missed, but I still have a soft spot for Zoo because they gave me four out of five stars in their Five Best New Books round-up (9 February 2007).

Illustrations on this page copyright © Sarah Nayler 2006.