Complete And Utter Zebu: The Shocking Lies We’re Told Every Day – Simon Rose and Steve Caplin

Zebu I’ve noted this is not a crime book (in the usual fictional blog-throughput sense), but you may care to differ when you read the content and think about crime.  With a sub-title of “The Shocking Lies We’re Told Every Day”, Complete and Utter Zebu will leave you wondering if legal action ought to be taken.  It will also make you laugh and if it arrives in your house for Christmas, expect to hear cries of “Well, I never knew that! Did you know…” and have your attention diverted from the sprouts as someone regales a little story from within.  And if you read the zebu story on which the title is based, you may start to look at that turkey in a different light (wondering if you knew enough about where it came from).

Complete and Utter Zebu is perfect for this time of year because it’s the typical festive book of short articles with something to capture everyone’s attention and it’s also highly topical, managing to take in some very recent scandals.


Kicking off with the “zebu” of the title (how your “British steak” on the menu may actually be the zebu ox, now bred in South America), other delights (or blood pressure raisers) include:
• the prevalence of photoshopping in the media and advertising images you see
• the truth about the EU’s controls over food safety
• the truth about “misspeaking”
• whether road humps really save lives
• the wickedness to be found on wiki
• embarrassing quotes that come back to haunt in the “I wish I hadn’t said that” series
• the pointlessness of a consultation process (to be ignored if the London congestion charge)
• the inconsistencies of those consistency comparison price labels in the supermarkets
• how the “right” height is achieved to match the stature of the owner’s ego on the world stage
• MPs’ expense claims.

We also have the Great British honesty in insurance claims.  Here’s one:

Home owners returned home to find their carpet covered in white paint after their labrador managed to dip his tail in a tray of white emulsion.

And of course, the London Tube announcements could not be left out.  Here’s one of those (and my favourite):

“Hello this is David speaking.  I am the captain of your train and we will be departing shortly.  We will be cruising at an altitude of approximately zero feet and our scheduled arrival time in Morden is 3:15 pm.  The temperature in Morden is approximately 15 degrees Celsius, and Morden is in the same time zone as Mill Hill East, so there’s no need to adjust your watches.”

You can find out more about the book here.

Suitable for teenagers upwards.

With thanks to Old Street Publishing Ltd. for the copy.