The Concise Guide to Sounding Smart at Parties
An Irreverent Compendium of Must-Know Info from Sputnik to Smallpox and Marie Curie to Mao
Banish awkward silences, boring weather talk, or (worst of all) the embarrassing conversation gaff with this pithy, hilarious guide to effortless party banter.
We’ve all been there. You’re at a party, surrounded by the most important people in your life. You’re cool. You’re casual. You’re witty and urbane. Until suddenly, quite unexpectedly, things take a turn for the worse when a subject thought to be common knowledge is lobbed your way. A hush falls over the room and every head seems to swivel expectantly in your direction.
[ART: SET THESE OFF IN A DIFFERENT COLOR?]
“Rasputin. Sure, Rasputin. The Russian guy, right? Who . . . who . . . whooooo was Russian.”
“Che Guevara? You mean the dancer?”
“Oh my God! Mao Tse-tung? They have the best chicken with cashews!”
The Concise Guide to Sounding Smart at Parties was written with just this moment in mind. In fourteen pain-free, laughter-filled chapters, authors David Matalon and Chris Woolsey brush away years of cobwebs on subjects as wide-ranging as the typical round of Jeopardy: war, science, politics, philosophy, the arts, business, literature, music, religion, and more.
Armed with The Concise Guide to Sounding Smart at Parties, you’ll know that Chicago Seven wasn’t a boy band, Martin Luther never fought for civil rights, and Franz Kafka isn’t German for “I have a bad cold.” You’ll be the smart one who’s the center of conversation—and nothing beats that feeling.
- Crown/Archetype, October 2006
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