Tuesday, July 06, 2010

More Guy Lit: The Big Book of Gross Stuff by Bart King

"This book is about gross stuff," Bart King admits in his introduction to The Big Book of Gross Stuff(Gibbs-Smith, 2010), "and that's a tricky subject! Because there's an invisible line between 'hilariously funny' and 'going too far,' and just to make it more interesting, that invisible line is different from person to person. I have taken special steps to ensure that I myself am not in any way gross, so that during the writing of this book, I stopped manufacturing 1) mucus, 2) dandruff, 3)tweets from my Twitter."

For families with boys around, tolerance for the gross aspects of the natural world is practically required, and there is plenty of humorous fodder here for those readers. There's a "Gross Quiz" to find out just how truly gross you are, lists of life's little moments divided into Distasteful, Disgustingly Offensive, and Revoltingly Disgusting, and a "Your Maturity Level Meter," (A: You have always gotten along better with adults than kids; B. You are as mature as most people your age; and C. Hee-hee-heee. "Mature" rhymes with "manure.")

There's a great vocabulary list of "words that sound gross but aren't" (e.g., goulash, eumorphous, and scrod), and an, um, engrossing list of "The World's Most Disgusting Jobs." In addition to more than you ever wanted to know about boogers and belly-button lint, Bart also takes on deep subjects like birth, diapers, and death, and in a hilarious section on "The Stream of Life," you can wade right in to what he admits is "more than I ever wanted to know about, er, urinary products."

A sense of humor is required for this book, but luckily, getting an offbeat appreciation of the gross is a built-in part of the maturational process for 'tweener kids. The Big Book of Gross Stuff, and its companion The Big Book of Boy Stuff, provide a multitude of "Hey-listen-to-this" weird science factoids and and plenty of belly laughs for those readers who sometimes like to dip into some wacky, but educational, summertime reading.



  • Hello! Well, here I am, three years older, and none the wiser. I've got a new book coming out in 2014—THE BIG BOOK OF SUPERHEROES.

    Please let me know if you'd like to take a gander, and I'll have the publisher send one along.

    All the best,
    Bart King

    By Blogger Bart King, at 5:31 PM  

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