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Ask the Past: Pertinent and Impertinent Advice From Yesteryear (Unabridged)

by Elizabeth P. Archibald

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Chock-full of advice that's stood the test of time, Ask the Past is the tongue-in-cheek compilation of hilarious and true answers to life's questions, drawn from actual antique sourcebooks by a historian and bibliophile. Based on the popular blog, Ask the Past offers absolutely serious yet now uproariously funny advice culled by Yale University-trained historian Archibald from the rare books she's uncovered in her research. Whether it's 18th-century tips for ridding your abode of bedbugs (sprinkle bed with gunpowder and let smolder) or a 16th-century guide on how to score (do not pass gas), Ask the Past is a wildly entertaining take on classic advice books, a postmillennial Miss Manners for the overeducated, overread, and overly ironic. Ask the Past is the perfect gift full of tips, tricks, and curiosities that no one can resist.

Customer Reviews

Stars Overall 5 Narration 5 Story 5

AudioBook Review: Stars Overall 5 Narration 5 Story 5

Ever wonder if the ‘rules’ or advice given to your grandmother was different from that given to her grandmother? How have rules for behaving in school changed? What about getting rid of that pesky hangover or how to talk to the new cute neighbor, remove a stain, or perhaps even how to tell a joke? This is the book for you.

Advice, information and humor all mix together to bring this series of facts from useful to ridiculous from the actual pamphlets and books that were ‘al the rage’ of their day. Adding to the delight in some of the proclamations is the authors ‘translation’ of the advice – often snarky, always funny and completely spot on. It feels wrong to me to call this non-fiction: but the clear explanation of how these facts and advice were culled from actual works, but I don’t think that the original authors ever thought they would be so much fun!
Narration for this little gem is provided by Graeme Malcolm and Elizabeth Archibald in a wonderfully unique style. Malcolm with his solid broadcaster’s voice, clear diction and rather ‘take charge’ tone dispenses the actual advice. This is then followed by Archibald presenting her ‘asides and translations’, and it honestly is a toss-up which is funnier. This is, hands down, the funniest collection of advice and etiquette I have ever encountered.

I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Elizabeth P. Archibald, Ask the Past: Pertinent and Impertinent Advice From Yesteryear (Unabridged)
View in iTunes $22.95
  • Narrator: Graeme Malcolm, Elizabeth Archibald
  • Published: 2015
  • Category: Nonfiction
  • Provider: Hachette Audio
  • Presented by

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