Does a Bear Sh*t in the Woods?: book review

Does a Bear Sh*t in the Woods? , by Caroline Taggart. Publisher: Plume (July 2011). Humor. Paperback, 160 pages.

Rhetorical questions aren’t meant to be answered but what would happen if someone did answer them? And not just answer the questions but put some research and thought into the process. This is what London-based Caroline Taggart effectively and humorously does in Does a Bear Sh*t in the Woods? Taggart divides the questions by categories such as health/safety, finance/business, geography/science, and sex/romance.

Some examples.

Is it me or is it hot in here? “If you are a woman aged between forty-five and sixty, chances are it’s you. You’re having a hot flash.”

Where have you been all my life? “How long have you got? And indeed how old are you, compared to me, so at what point in my life would you like me to start?”

Where does the time go? “Scientists at the University of Alberta in Canada conduced research that proved—to their satisfaction at least—that our view of how much time has passed is closely connected to how engrossed we have been in whatever we have been doing.”

Am I made of money? “Almost certainly not.”

Do they know it’s Christmas? “They probably know, but do they care?” The song of this title, written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1984, was recorded by a host of stars under the Band Aid banner, an aid of the victims of the famine then devastating Ethiopia.” [Catchy song. Still is and I’ve answered this question in the same manner]

Is this a dagger which I see before me? “No, it’s a book. Or, if you’re Macbeth, it may be a figment of the imagination.”

How do you do? “According to the etiquette books, this is not a question at all, it is a courteous but otherwise meaningless form of worlds used on greeting another person.”

This is a short book with a dry humor. It’s the type of book to flip through here and there. Answers to the rhetorical questions come from literature, law, politics, history, science and pop culture. A book to leave out for others to enjoy.

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