The Know-It-All

by alyssamora
Last updated 4 years ago

Language Arts
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The Know-It-All

Brief SummaryIn "The Know-It-All," A.J. Jacobs embarks on a journey to become the smartest man in the world by reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. By doing this, he would not only be accomplishing his father's attempt at reading it, but he would be redeeming himself of his lack of ability to fulfill a solid career after graduating college. From A-Z, A.J. flooded his mind with useless information in attempt to become a part of Mensa and also to succeed on the gameshow Jeopardy. A.J. also made sure that it was the authentic, leather-back set of volumes, making Operation Encyclopedia that much more complicated. Throughout his challenge, he encounters occassional moments between his wife Julie and his dad where he found the opportunity to appreciate what they have done, improving their relationships. In the end, he finishes reading 44 billion words with the mentality of knowing that his newfound knowledge isn't even much of an asset; that is was rather disappointing while ending a year-long project so abruptly. In his last words, he confesses to being glad that he read the Britannica, and that he felt content in knowing once again the joy of learning.

Intended Audience Appeal

The Know-It-All

By A.J. Jacobs

I believe that, considering the simplicity of the subject, this book doesn't have much of a targeted audience, making it available to all kinds of interested readers. I think it's a good selection for anyone who is interestred in biographies because A.J. does a good job in explaining his personal experiences in devouring those 33,000 pages of entries. I also think that this novel is very encouraging to its readers to follow their dreams and do their best in succeeding at what they set their heart to.

Interesting Points:- The author went to college, but he admited that it was almost a waste of time and money; said how he was smart while he was still in school, but as of now the knowledge he absorbed in college has died over the years making him feel kind of dumb. Operation Encyclopedia is kind of meant to relieve that guilt-A.J. states that if he can't know anything for sure about an idea, what does that say about his knowledge as a whole. This really demonstrates his passionate attitude towards this project of his; shows how persistent he is to absorb every name, location, or event that he comes across while reading Britannica

I personally found this book quite amusing, keeping in mind that A.J. Jacobs was doing this extraordinary project on the side of his real life. I also found a lot of insight as to why it is important for someone to achieve their life goals. I was encouraged to think for my future and consider the things that will make me a brighter individual; the fact that I was able to gain useful advice from a book makes me bound to pick up another book and learn more about the world. Now I encourage others to read this book whether for pleasure, or for inspiration. It is the account of "one man's humble quest to become the smartest person in the world," and his experiences are definitely worth knowing. This book is very unique, which was another trait that I liked, and its one-of-a-kind plot should intrigue its audience to learn about A.J.'s story and its an opportunity to learn about themselves.

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