Genre: Non-fiction, humor
Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“They say the more you know, the more you don’t know.”
Karl Pilkington’s third book, follow-up to bestselling The World of Karl Pilkington and Happyslapped by a Jellyfish, is a voyage through some of the most curious facts and fictions about our world. Drawing on what little he learned during his days of education, Karl explores the world of knowledge through a school curriculum, with chapters devoted to biology, history, art, and English, among others, each topic approached with Karl’s inimitable combination of innocent wonder and down-to-earth wisdom. Full color throughout, the book is illustrated with Karl’s hand-drawn cartoons and comic strips and it features e-mail contributions from a host of celebrities and experts who Karl has quizzed to further his knowledge.
I watched Karl Pilkington before I read any of his books. There was a time when I used to get settled on the sofa and watch The Ricky Gervais Show. Cartoon versions of Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington together in a studio recording a radio show. Their stories are turned into hilarious animated sketches, and although some of them were a bit naughty or sweary, I loved watching the show. If you want a flavour of it, watch a scene that focuses on reading out Karl’s diary. As a diary writer myself, I found this especially funny! You can watch it here.
The first Karl Pilkington books I read was An Idiot Abroad. I’d heard good things about the version made for TV, and I remembered finding his diary funny, so I gave it a go. It wasn’t memorable, but it was funny! But we’re not here to review that one, we’re here because of the neat little hardback that is Karlology. I bought it because my future brother-in-law LOVES Karl Pilkington, and I knew he didn’t have this one. But before I gave it to him, I read it myself. Even before I’d started reading it front to back, I was reading snippets out to my mum, and we ended up in floods of tears from laughing so much. The thing is, this book isn’t so much a look inside Karl’s mind as it is a comedic tour around London, from the perspective of a guy like Karl, and with insights from a man with his mindset and his unique and hilarious way of thinking.
Every so often, my family and I go down to London for the weekend, so what was most enjoyable about this book was the fact that Karl visits various London attractions, and writes about it. It’s sort of like An Idiot Abroad if we were to rename it An Idiot in London. He visits places such as London Zoo, the Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, and many more.
It’s also not what I’d call a novel. It’s like one of those hardback fact books you can buy, with illustrations, pictures, factoids and quotes. It’s an easy and funny read that is appealing to the eye. The quotes are called ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ and are contributions from other famous people. They work well to accompany Karl’s thought process and writing. There are even extracts from his diary, which pleased me very much!
Overall, if you are a Karl Pilkington fan, then why haven’t you read this?
If you aren’t a fan, and you want to know what Karl Pilkington is like, then pick up this book and see what you think. I’m certain you’ll laugh.
Link to the book on Goodreads: