Distinctive, unusual, difficult, but spectacularly entertaining, this quiz book is to other pub quizzes what Trivial Pursuit was to Ludo, what TheHitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is like to the Rhyl phone directory, and what the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is like compared to a kid’s scooter. Loads better.
David Quantick works regularly with Armando Iannucci, including on the new HBO series, Avenue 5. He won an Emmy as part of the writing team on Veep, a BAFTA for Harry Hill’s TV Burp and a Writers’ Guild Award for The Thick of It. For over fifteen years, David has also hosted his own very popular quizzes at festivals, events, pubs, clubs, cinemas and in tents: the quizzes range is broad and the questions are tricky. They’re not about statistics, there’s no sport, the picture rounds are conceptual, and there’s sometimes a round called ‘Martin Amis Character or Blur Song’. Each quiz is funny and entertaining even if you don’t know the answers. The quizzes are informative and opinionated. In some ways, they’re like stand-up with questions. This is a book based on David’s excellent live quizzes.
David Quantick is a novelist (All My Colours, Night Train), broadcaster (Radio 2’s The Blagger’s Guide, Front Row, Loose Ends), music journalist (NME, Q, Uncut) and comedy writer, who hosts quizzes in his spare time. For years, David’s quizzes have attracted paying customers who like to be enraged and entertained by quizzes described by many people as ‘quite difficult’.
But they are quizzes. Quite difficult quizzes that tax the brain and make it go in directions it didn’t know it could. That’s not to say the questions are fiendishly scientific and packed with questions about dates and the periodic table. They’re about books and music, movies and actors, strange events and interesting quotes. You don’t leave a Quantick quiz knowing how many times Spurs have won the League, but you may know how many Shirleys have sung a Bond theme or how George V made the front page of The Times.
The effectiveness of David’s quizzes is down to their unusual variety and almost stream-of-consciousness leaps and bounds of factual imagination. There’s not even much point in cheating, because the answers often require mental agility as well as just knowing where Calais is (it’s in France, but it wasn’t always, even when it was).
David’s quiz book includes twenty-five main quizzes, four Christmas quizzes and four specialist quizzes, so thirty-three quizzes in total. Entertaining in its own right, this is also a conceptual yet very practical guide to staging excellent quizzes of your own.