web site hit counter Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider's Guide to Jeopardy! - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider's Guide to Jeopardy!

Availability: Ready to download

What is the smartest, most celebrated game show of all time? In this insider’s guide, discover the rich history of Jeopardy! — the beloved game show that has shaped our culture and entertained audiences for years. Jeopardy! is a lot of things: record-setting game show, beloved family tradition, and proving ground for many of North America’s best and brightest. Nearly four d What is the smartest, most celebrated game show of all time? In this insider’s guide, discover the rich history of Jeopardy! — the beloved game show that has shaped our culture and entertained audiences for years. Jeopardy! is a lot of things: record-setting game show, beloved family tradition, and proving ground for many of North America’s best and brightest. Nearly four decades into its current edition, Jeopardy! now finds itself facing unprecedented change.This is the chronicle of how the show became a cross-generational touchstone and where it’s going next. ANSWERS IN THE FORM OF QUESTIONS dives deep behind the scenes, with longtime host Alex Trebek talking about his life and legacy and the show’s producers and writers explaining how they put together the nightly game. Readers will travel to bar trivia showdowns with the show’s biggest winners and training sessions with trivia whizzes prepping for their shot onstage. And they’ll discover new tales of the show’s most notable moments-like the time the Clue Crew almost slid off a glacier-and learn how celebrity cameos and Saturday Night Live spoofs built a television mainstay. ANSWERS IN THE FORM OF QUESTIONS looks to the past — and the future — to explain what Jeopardy! really is: a tradition unlike any other.


Compare

What is the smartest, most celebrated game show of all time? In this insider’s guide, discover the rich history of Jeopardy! — the beloved game show that has shaped our culture and entertained audiences for years. Jeopardy! is a lot of things: record-setting game show, beloved family tradition, and proving ground for many of North America’s best and brightest. Nearly four d What is the smartest, most celebrated game show of all time? In this insider’s guide, discover the rich history of Jeopardy! — the beloved game show that has shaped our culture and entertained audiences for years. Jeopardy! is a lot of things: record-setting game show, beloved family tradition, and proving ground for many of North America’s best and brightest. Nearly four decades into its current edition, Jeopardy! now finds itself facing unprecedented change.This is the chronicle of how the show became a cross-generational touchstone and where it’s going next. ANSWERS IN THE FORM OF QUESTIONS dives deep behind the scenes, with longtime host Alex Trebek talking about his life and legacy and the show’s producers and writers explaining how they put together the nightly game. Readers will travel to bar trivia showdowns with the show’s biggest winners and training sessions with trivia whizzes prepping for their shot onstage. And they’ll discover new tales of the show’s most notable moments-like the time the Clue Crew almost slid off a glacier-and learn how celebrity cameos and Saturday Night Live spoofs built a television mainstay. ANSWERS IN THE FORM OF QUESTIONS looks to the past — and the future — to explain what Jeopardy! really is: a tradition unlike any other.

30 review for Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider's Guide to Jeopardy!

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carole

    Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Guide to Jeopardy! by Claire McNear is everything you ever wanted to know about Jeopardy and even some information you did not find interesting. The book is full of details of the popular game show behind the scenes and on the stage. Extensive information about past contestants: the biggest winner, the longest winning streak, the biggest loser, etc. Whether you are fan or not, there are many tidbits that make the book worth rea Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Guide to Jeopardy! by Claire McNear is everything you ever wanted to know about Jeopardy and even some information you did not find interesting. The book is full of details of the popular game show behind the scenes and on the stage. Extensive information about past contestants: the biggest winner, the longest winning streak, the biggest loser, etc. Whether you are fan or not, there are many tidbits that make the book worth reading. Recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jill S

    This book is everything I didn't know I wanted it to be. McNear hits the tone exactly right in her writing - witty, smart, curious, and reverent of a gameshow that means something to so many people. It's also particularly meaningful to read this the week of Alex Trebek's death; a fitting tribute to a man whose life work had an immeasurable impact. This book is everything I didn't know I wanted it to be. McNear hits the tone exactly right in her writing - witty, smart, curious, and reverent of a gameshow that means something to so many people. It's also particularly meaningful to read this the week of Alex Trebek's death; a fitting tribute to a man whose life work had an immeasurable impact.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    I loved reading this well researched and written book about a favorite of mine, Jeopardy! It was bittersweet that Alex Trebek died just before I started the book, and I hope he got a chance to read it as well before he passed away. I have watched this game show for most of my life and was lucky enough to be a contestant many years ago. For those who compete at home, those who want to be on the show, and the remarkable folks who actually win their games, this book, packed with insider information I loved reading this well researched and written book about a favorite of mine, Jeopardy! It was bittersweet that Alex Trebek died just before I started the book, and I hope he got a chance to read it as well before he passed away. I have watched this game show for most of my life and was lucky enough to be a contestant many years ago. For those who compete at home, those who want to be on the show, and the remarkable folks who actually win their games, this book, packed with insider information and many wonderful anecdotes, is a very enjoyable read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bandit

    I love Jeopardy. Completely and unreservedly. It isn’t just the best game show ever, it’s my favorite sport and by far the only one I’d consider worth watching. It has managed to stay on and stay relevant in a country that has grown increasingly anti intellectual without ever pandering to the unread unwashed or dolling itself up to compete with other hotter for a time but always inferior programs of similar nature. Jeopardy is smart, fun, good, unflashy and steady. Good qualities for a person or I love Jeopardy. Completely and unreservedly. It isn’t just the best game show ever, it’s my favorite sport and by far the only one I’d consider worth watching. It has managed to stay on and stay relevant in a country that has grown increasingly anti intellectual without ever pandering to the unread unwashed or dolling itself up to compete with other hotter for a time but always inferior programs of similar nature. Jeopardy is smart, fun, good, unflashy and steady. Good qualities for a person or a tv show. I’ve watched it, even read about it, in Jeopardy’s best for my money champion Jennings’ Brainiac and another book dedicated to quiz shows and trivia in general, but this was a text dedicated exclusively to the game itself, facts, trivia, stats, numbers and, of course, the people behind it all. The show isn’t just hosted to perfection, it also has a dedicated team that’s been around for ages and then there are the players, the brainiacs and the maniacs whose dedication and, at times, obsession, drives them to get on the show and compete. The eternal trivia pursuit, if you will. And it’s really inspiring to read about, because despite the fact that there is a significant amount of money involved, at its base the show is about knowing things and showing that knowledge proudly, which is kinda awesome. Actually, the money thing is real and a lot of the book is dedicated to it, the betting strategies, the wagers and all that, but it’s never been the attractor for me and frankly there isn’t that much money in it comparing to other shows and the level of difficulty in playing. It’s about the sheer pleasure of knowing the right answer…or, in this case, the right question. Anyone who’s ever played any sort of competitive trivia game, even a pub quiz, should be familiar with it. It’s fun. So basically I knew a fair amount about Jeopardy and figured this was going to be like a revisit of sorts, a tour of a museum you like but have been to, but no…this book actually had lots of new to me and fascinating information, from genuinely quirky things like the bizarrely significant role Weird Al has played in making Jeopardy 2.0 version go live to some genuinely entertaining Jeopardy facts and statistics to solution to elimination of Kids Jeopardy to mustache obituary. There are stories about the greatest champions, carbon based and AI. Stories about astoundingly determined aspirants and once upon a timers. Stories about an entire community of trivia loving individuals. And, of course, a speculation on what’s next, because it appears that after decades of consistency, the show will soon have a new producer, audience coordinator and possibly a new…no, can’t go there yet, too sad. Actually, I haven’t watched Jeopardy in a while and this book has made me miss it terribly, so right now I’ve no idea what’s going on with the show, but it has my absolutely best wishes and hopes for a bright continuously excellent future. This was a lovely read, educational and entertaining, much like its subject. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Allen Adams

    https://www.themaineedge.com/buzz/ans... This multi-generationally beloved game show has been on the air since 1984 in its current incarnation and is viewed by many as the current gold standard in the genre. What is “Jeopardy!” For millions of people, “Jeopardy!” is a staple, a shared syndicated moment of intellectual rigor and high financial stakes. A combination of encyclopedic trivia knowledge, quick reaction time and the … courage … of a gambler. For 22ish minutes a day, five days a week – “Jeo https://www.themaineedge.com/buzz/ans... This multi-generationally beloved game show has been on the air since 1984 in its current incarnation and is viewed by many as the current gold standard in the genre. What is “Jeopardy!” For millions of people, “Jeopardy!” is a staple, a shared syndicated moment of intellectual rigor and high financial stakes. A combination of encyclopedic trivia knowledge, quick reaction time and the … courage … of a gambler. For 22ish minutes a day, five days a week – “Jeopardy!” is there. Claire McNear has been writing about “Jeopardy!” for years. However, her new book “Answers in the Form of Questions: A Definitive History and Insider’s Guide to Jeopardy!” delves far deeper than she ever has gone before. Through a wealth of interviews – including over 100 contestants – and significant behind-the-scenes access, McNear offers up a closer examination of the beloved game show than any we’ve seen before. And count McNear among those who love the show. There’s simply no way that a charming, thoughtful paean such as this one could be composed by someone without a deep and abiding affection for the program. It is a love letter to one of the few remaining monocultural stalwarts, a show that appeals to viewers of all ages and backgrounds. We get the nuts and bolts stuff, of course. McNear takes us to the Sony soundstage in Culver City, giving readers a look at the logistics, introducing us to the myriad figures who make sure that the gears keep turning. We meet producers and clue writers, all while a picture is painted of what it means to be in that room. She also takes us into the audition process, laying out the circumstances with remarkable accuracy and a healthy dose of self-deprecation – she has to be talked into kinda-sorta participating due to her perceived trivia liabilities, but winds up enjoying herself (thanks in no small part to the relentless whirlwind of positive energy known as Maggie Speak). McNear also dives deep into the community that surrounds the show – particularly the robust alumni network that has bloomed via social media platforms – and takes us along as she visits a few other trivia touchstones, visiting the National Trivia Championships and making the obligatory pilgrimage to the legendary trivia night at O’Brien’s in Los Angeles. We’re walked through the training regimens – or lack thereof – undertaken by contestants who have gotten the call (or are simply awaiting a call they’re sure is coming). Tips and tricks from some of the greats are offered. Binging episodes, taking online quizzes on sites like Sporcle, buzzer simulators – there are lots of ways to prep. There’s also a great chapter about the math side of actual play, rife with game theory and noted strategies like the Forrest Bounce and the high-stakes attitude of recent steamroller James Holzhauer. McNear explores the cultural impact of the show as well. Weird Al’s auspiciously-timed parody “I Lost on Jeopardy,” a tune that was released mere months before the 1984 relaunch of the show. The legendary “Cheers” episode where Cliff Clavin went on the show. The recurring SNL sketch “Celebrity Jeopardy,” featuring Will Ferrell as host Alex Trebek. Speaking of Trebek, McNear speaks with him as well; while this chapter rings bittersweetly due to the host’s recent passing, there’s no question that McNear captures his essence. He so clearly adored his job, and that love for what he did was what made him the very best. Reading this section may well elicit both smiles and tears, but it is wonderfully indicative of who the man was and really brings to light the reasons so many feel such closeness to him. There have been efforts in the past to capture the breadth of the “Jeopardy!” experience, but none have even approached the level of success achieved by “Answers in the Form of Questions.” McNear is a dynamite writer, which certainly helps, but the key to this book’s particular excellence is her passion for the subject. You can’t write about anything with this kind of care without loving it; there’s a joie de vivre bubbling beneath the surface of every page. It’s worth noting that McNear does a phenomenal job of capturing the contestant experience, really giving us a soup-to-nuts examination of the process from test to audition to selection to taping. As someone who has been through that process, I can speak to its truth – a LOT of memories bubbled up as I read. And as a critic, I can speak to the quality of the writing – it engages in just the right ways. I’ve never read anyone who so thoroughly and accurately evokes the vibe of what it’s like to be on that stage, part of that scene. And sure, there’s plenty of stuff here from the big names. Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer – you can’t tell the story of “Jeopardy!” without them. But it’s the conversations with other contestants, the folks who just won a couple of games (or none at all) or who played in the pre-internet days, that really shine. Those people have had their lives changed by the show just like those who were made millionaires – mine certainly was. Perhaps not economically, but certainly emotionally. “Answers in the Form of Questions” is a fantastic read for anyone who loves “Jeopardy!” It is heartfelt and hilarious, a well-reported and deeply-researched plunge into the world of everybody’s favorite question-and-answer (sorry – answer-and question) show. And while the circumstances of the moment may render it somewhat bittersweet, those seeking comfort could well find some within these pages. This new book is an informative, entertaining and generally excellent look at the best game show in the world. What is “Answers in the Form of Questions.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dave Allen

    RIP Alex Trebek. Man, fuck 2020. This is an incredibly detailed, observant, thoughtful and funny (sometimes very!) book. Super-duper behind-the-scenes, maybe even more detailed than the average reader might want or expect, and maybe kind of inside baseball-y (like the chapter on wagering and game theory and stuff), but that's what you want from the exploration of a sub-culture. I'm a big fan of Ken Jennings' Brainiac from WAY back, and this one is even more dialed-in in its Jeopardy!-specificity RIP Alex Trebek. Man, fuck 2020. This is an incredibly detailed, observant, thoughtful and funny (sometimes very!) book. Super-duper behind-the-scenes, maybe even more detailed than the average reader might want or expect, and maybe kind of inside baseball-y (like the chapter on wagering and game theory and stuff), but that's what you want from the exploration of a sub-culture. I'm a big fan of Ken Jennings' Brainiac from WAY back, and this one is even more dialed-in in its Jeopardy!-specificity. And even thought it came out before Alex Trebek's passing, it's still very current, reflecting on the GOAT Tournament and the All-Stars games from last year, the divisive but compelling phenomenon that is James Holzhauer, the recent retirement of the longtime executive producer (who knew?), etc. I'm a trivia nut, even a trivia obsessive at times, but something less than a Jeopardy! super-fan. I don't watch it every night like clockwork, and even though I DVR it I tend to go weeks without watching. I tried out in 2007 as a 22 year old graduate student - not much of an appealing backstory there - but would like to audition again and would really like the chance to be on the show and win some money though! This book has lots of helpful information for aspiring contestants like me in terms of research, strategy, books, etc., and the descriptions of Trivia Nationals in Vegas and the bar in Santa Monica that welcomes all these Jeopardy! alums for trivia night were strangely exciting! Highly recommended for J! super-fans and those occupying the several tiers of fandom below that one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This next week is one that I'm not looking forward to. It is to be the final airing of original Alex Trebek hosted shows of Jeopardy!. I've watched Jeopardy! most of my life starting with the Art Fleming version in 1964. I have always wanted to be on Jeopardy! (and in a perverse manner, I succeeded and I claim to have been on more episodes than Ken Jennings. I've passed the test at least 3 times, but, alas... This book is a behind the scenes look at what makes Jeopardy!. It includes a lot of visi This next week is one that I'm not looking forward to. It is to be the final airing of original Alex Trebek hosted shows of Jeopardy!. I've watched Jeopardy! most of my life starting with the Art Fleming version in 1964. I have always wanted to be on Jeopardy! (and in a perverse manner, I succeeded and I claim to have been on more episodes than Ken Jennings. I've passed the test at least 3 times, but, alas... This book is a behind the scenes look at what makes Jeopardy!. It includes a lot of visits with former Jeopardy! champions (most whose names I recognized) and staff. McNear has a whimsical way of writing that occasionally had me re-reading a sentence for comprehension. Still, a lot of interesting material - especially about the lengths Jeopardy!wannabes go to prepare for their appearances (study game theory, wagering, buzzer/light play, category statistics). I wish the author had included a bibliography at the end since she referred to books previously written about the show or by champions. I didn't write them down as I came to them, so I'll have to go back and scan for titles. Nevertheless, if you love Jeopardy! as much as I do, you'll enjoy this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    Any fan of Jeopardy will absolutely love this book. An excellent overview of the show’s creation, contestants, strategy, tournaments, and most famous moments. McNear writes in a fun and engaging style. The book is never dry, even when she writes about the more complex elements of betting strategy. She interviews plenty of Jeopardy’s best contestants including Brad Ritter, Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, Buzzy Cohen, Roger Craig, and more. Her interview with Alex Trebek is made even more poignant Any fan of Jeopardy will absolutely love this book. An excellent overview of the show’s creation, contestants, strategy, tournaments, and most famous moments. McNear writes in a fun and engaging style. The book is never dry, even when she writes about the more complex elements of betting strategy. She interviews plenty of Jeopardy’s best contestants including Brad Ritter, Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, Buzzy Cohen, Roger Craig, and more. Her interview with Alex Trebek is made even more poignant since his passing. Highly recommend this book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julian Hattem

    Couldn't love this book more. A great read for any Jeopardy! fan as well as the casual viewer for whom this weird TV show has somehow been a constant but unexpected source of joy and entertainment. Couldn't love this book more. A great read for any Jeopardy! fan as well as the casual viewer for whom this weird TV show has somehow been a constant but unexpected source of joy and entertainment.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Monnie

    Category: Entertainment Clue: A trip down memory lane Answer: What is a book about Jeopardy!, my all-time favorite TV game show? Fact is, my husband and I rarely miss it (for the record - and the benefit of various friends and family who might wonder what happened to us from 7:30 to 8 on a weeknight - if the phone rings when we're watching we refuse to answer). You see, we go all the way back to the 1964 debut of the show with Art Fleming as the host and Don Pardo as the announcer. The current ver Category: Entertainment Clue: A trip down memory lane Answer: What is a book about Jeopardy!, my all-time favorite TV game show? Fact is, my husband and I rarely miss it (for the record - and the benefit of various friends and family who might wonder what happened to us from 7:30 to 8 on a weeknight - if the phone rings when we're watching we refuse to answer). You see, we go all the way back to the 1964 debut of the show with Art Fleming as the host and Don Pardo as the announcer. The current version is far more popular with viewers, with host Alex Trebek bounding on stage at the exuberant introduction of announcer Johnny Gilbert. Neither is exactly a spring chicken; Gilbert is well into his 90s (and still, IMHO, doing a bang-up job). Despite being ecstatic over getting the chance, thanks to the publisher, to read and review a pre-release copy of this book, I figured I would already know most of what's in it. To some extent, I was right. But truth is, I learned a lot - most notably about such things as the importance of mastering buzzer ring-in timing, the process of becoming a contestant (don't for one second think it comes easy, or cheap) and what really happens behind the scenes. On top of that come insights from former champions - almost all of whom are familiar to those of us who watch religiously. From handlebar-mustached New York cop Frank Spangenberg to quirky bartender Austin Rogers to somewhat more conventional Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings and the phenomenal James Holzhauer, they're all in here - offering tidbits about their strategies and experiences. There's even a chapter on the show's very active Alumni Chapter and how Weird Al Yankovic influenced the show's revival (say WHAT)? I wish I could reveal some of the details, but doing so would spoil it for others so I'll keep them to myself, recommend that you read the book for yourself and end with this: Category: Adjectives Clue: Word that best describes this book Answer: What is delightful?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Matt Layman

    This book was fantastic, start to finish. A real page-turner if you’re a fan of the show Jeopardy. This book includes basically everything you’d want to know: behind-the-scenes of the show itself, contestants’ preparation, a history of the program, interviews with Alex Trebek and some of the show’s most well-known contestants, the show’s alumni network and more. It is interesting, informative, fun and funny. It is just a terrific piece of journalism and a thoroughly enjoyable walk through the gre This book was fantastic, start to finish. A real page-turner if you’re a fan of the show Jeopardy. This book includes basically everything you’d want to know: behind-the-scenes of the show itself, contestants’ preparation, a history of the program, interviews with Alex Trebek and some of the show’s most well-known contestants, the show’s alumni network and more. It is interesting, informative, fun and funny. It is just a terrific piece of journalism and a thoroughly enjoyable walk through the great big world of Jeopardy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    After nearly four decades, Jeopardy is a game show that has found its way into almost every heart and home. Especially with the recently passed host, Alex Trebek whose familiar face and household name felt almost like part of the family. This book goes in depth & behind the scenes with this record setting game that has shaped our culture and entertained us for endless hours.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kevidently

    I've read - or tried to read - books about Jeopardy! before. Ken Jennings' Brainiac was a highlight and made me like Jennings more than I had on his initial run of shows. I read Alex Trebek's book last year, which was far more breezy and light than I'd thought it would be. I've tried to read Bob Harris' Prisoner of Trebekistan, but I couldn't really get into it. So here we come to Claire McNear, the first person to write a book on Jeopardy! (at least to my knowledge) without having actually appea I've read - or tried to read - books about Jeopardy! before. Ken Jennings' Brainiac was a highlight and made me like Jennings more than I had on his initial run of shows. I read Alex Trebek's book last year, which was far more breezy and light than I'd thought it would be. I've tried to read Bob Harris' Prisoner of Trebekistan, but I couldn't really get into it. So here we come to Claire McNear, the first person to write a book on Jeopardy! (at least to my knowledge) without having actually appeared on the show. I don't know if the distance is a quality that makes a book like this work, but I'm not sure it hurts. What we get with Answers in the Form of Questions is somewhere in between Trebek's and Jennings' books - fairly light, with just enough meat on its bones to satisfy Jeopardy! die-hards. When I was coming up as a reader, one of my favorite books about a subject I loved was The Stephen King Companion. It looked at highlights of King's career, offered some sidebars, made the whole phenomenon more accessible and approachable. That's pretty much what McNear does here. There's a sweeping overview of the show's history, how pop culture responded to it (current Jeopardy! might not exist without "Weird Al" Yankovic, WHAT), a little about Trebek, a lot about contestants - former, hopeful, and superstar alike. Because McNear is an endearing writer, this is a comfortable book about a comfortable show. And because it was completed before both the pandemic and Trebek's death, so it's also a time capsule. Things may change for Jeopardy! in the coming years, but this book captures a time and a mindset about the show during Trebek's run. Recommended.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    A fun look back at a classic show!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    3.5 Stars

  16. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    Excellent Christmas present from Alex. Brb gotta go study my presidents and geography.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Red Heaven

    A good, breezy book containing possibly everything you'd want to know about the game show. A good, breezy book containing possibly everything you'd want to know about the game show.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katelynn

    This book made me realize how naïve I've been thinking I could actually make it on Jeopardy! one day. This book made me realize how naïve I've been thinking I could actually make it on Jeopardy! one day.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kai

    Yeah I mean you probably are only looking at this book if you like jeopardy enough to read this book. Clear, light, fun, well-researched dive into the depths of the best show on TV.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shelly Seward

    I still can’t believe I was in the middle of this eARC when I heard that Alex Trebek had passed away. He was the epitome of class and hard work. He taped Jeopardy! shows up until just ten days before he died. If you are a Jeopardy! fan like me then you know how much it hurts. This book is for fans of Jeopardy! and gives a look behind the scenes and history of the show to things I never knew. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it. Thank you to NetGalley and HBG Canada for an eARC i I still can’t believe I was in the middle of this eARC when I heard that Alex Trebek had passed away. He was the epitome of class and hard work. He taped Jeopardy! shows up until just ten days before he died. If you are a Jeopardy! fan like me then you know how much it hurts. This book is for fans of Jeopardy! and gives a look behind the scenes and history of the show to things I never knew. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it. Thank you to NetGalley and HBG Canada for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    Entertaining, insightful, and fun! Answers in the Form of Questions is an informative, behind-the-scenes look into the game show Jeopardy and all the ins and outs that have made it one of the most popular shows on tv for the past three-and-half decades. The writing is detailed and descriptive. And the novel is an enlightening tale about all the intricate details, rules, preparations, and skills needed to create, run and win at this nightly, challenging game of knowledge. Overall, I found Answers in Entertaining, insightful, and fun! Answers in the Form of Questions is an informative, behind-the-scenes look into the game show Jeopardy and all the ins and outs that have made it one of the most popular shows on tv for the past three-and-half decades. The writing is detailed and descriptive. And the novel is an enlightening tale about all the intricate details, rules, preparations, and skills needed to create, run and win at this nightly, challenging game of knowledge. Overall, I found Answers in the Form of Questions to be a fascinating, light, well-researched novel by McNear that uses in-depth interviews with the creators, writers, contestants, and its infamous host, Alex Trebek to showcase why this show is one of the most beloved, successful trivia shows of all time. Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Montague

    I don't know if this is a definitive history of Jeopardy! but it is certainly a well written and enjoyable read. I was tempted to do a question and answer format for this review but lacked the talent and desire for success. I like most people who would deign to read a book about the subject matter am an avid Jeopardy! watcher. As such, I approve this book wholeheartedly. McNear, who I have been reading online for years, does justice to this American institution that is soon entering its 37th yea I don't know if this is a definitive history of Jeopardy! but it is certainly a well written and enjoyable read. I was tempted to do a question and answer format for this review but lacked the talent and desire for success. I like most people who would deign to read a book about the subject matter am an avid Jeopardy! watcher. As such, I approve this book wholeheartedly. McNear, who I have been reading online for years, does justice to this American institution that is soon entering its 37th year of existence. She is able to strike a fair balance between information and education; while making the contestants of the show the stars; much like Alex Trebek was able to do for so many years. My favorite aspect of this delightful book is the ruminations of the various contestants. Whether it is the consummate champion Ken Jennings the rogue Austin Rogers or various sundry persons we are given a bird's eye view of the proceedings. We learn that the experiential merit of becoming a member of the Jeopardy family far outweighs any of the monetary gain. Almost to a person, the challenges of proving to yourself that you have the mettle to achieve trivia noteworthiness is the goal. Another aspect that I enjoyed was learning how the Jeopardy! sausage is made. Of course, Alex Trebek is a huge part of Jeopardy! and the reverence he had among not only contestants but co-workers was a large reason for Jeopardy's success. I was more fascinated in learning about the bureaucrats of the machine. McNear provided an excellent account on how contestants are picked and the various people who make the game so seamless. Whether, it was producer Maggie Speak, whose welcoming personality calmed the nerve of many of introvert or senior coordinator Corina Nusu who relaxed everyone with a rendition of "Sweet Caroline", we learned about some truly remarkable people. Though McNear typically adhered to the Dick Schaap style of interview, focusing on the subject sometimes she veered off and turned the focus to herself. It is a nice anecdote, to visit a random bar near Los Angeles which showcases some of the most brilliant trivia masterminds but it was unnecessary to make her part of it. Self-deprecation is a good quality to have but you saying you could never score high enough on the Jeopardy! quiz multiple times grated on my nerves. Overall, much like Jeopardy! itself I thoroughly enjoyed this book. McNear was meticulous in her interviews and I really enjoyed learning about past participants. There was not much grandstanding or braggadocio, even in the grand champions. Jeopardy! has hit on a formula, which has sustained itself for over 36 years and pulls on average 9 million viewers. It is a timeless gameshow that often brings families together and perhaps even some of the more contentious ones, apart. It has left an indelible mark on American culture and I for one am more knowledgeable and happier because of it. This book is a fitting tribute to an excellent, groundbreaking show.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chad Hopkins

    As an avid fan of Jeopardy, this was a fantastic read! Equally entertaining and informative, this is likely to be a textbook/study guide of sorts for future Jeopardy hopefuls (like myself). I’ll revisit this often and recommend it to others without hesitation! @chadlikesbooks on Insta!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Donna Boyd

    Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book prior to publication. I am a long time Jeopardy fan and I loved Answers in the Form of Questions by Claire McNear but I think this book will appeal to just about anyone. McNear takes the reader behind the scenes of Jeopardy and gives us a fascinating glimpse into the history of the show, how the show is put together and the ways Jeopardy has become a part of our culture. Jeopardy premiered in Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book prior to publication. I am a long time Jeopardy fan and I loved Answers in the Form of Questions by Claire McNear but I think this book will appeal to just about anyone. McNear takes the reader behind the scenes of Jeopardy and gives us a fascinating glimpse into the history of the show, how the show is put together and the ways Jeopardy has become a part of our culture. Jeopardy premiered in 1964 with Art Fleming as host and enjoyed 12 years of success but it was when Alex Trebek became host in 1984 that the show really began to become a cultural phenomenon, even becoming a very popular recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live. I highly recommend this book. Read it and discover all sorts of interesting trivia about the show and the contestants that just might come in handy in a trivia contest one day.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Miller

    Having been a huge Jeopardy fan for years, no way was I going to miss reading this. It is a great 'insider' look at the 'journey' people must take to become a contestant, the inner workings of the show, how the show came into being, and all sorts of various bits of info and facts having to do with the show, behind the scenes, and how it all works. Also what some of the big winners did after. Jeopardy fans will really enjoy it! (At least, this one did!) Having been a huge Jeopardy fan for years, no way was I going to miss reading this. It is a great 'insider' look at the 'journey' people must take to become a contestant, the inner workings of the show, how the show came into being, and all sorts of various bits of info and facts having to do with the show, behind the scenes, and how it all works. Also what some of the big winners did after. Jeopardy fans will really enjoy it! (At least, this one did!)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Schultz

    Quiz fans, pop culture mavens, and those that want an inside look into one of the most beloved and enduring quiz shows of its time. Answer: Who are the people that should read this book? OK--so maybe that's an awkward way to open this review. But I couldn't resist! From the history of Jeopardy, to the impressive preparations contestants (and would-be contestants) take to have a chance at cracking a Daily Double, and more, this will definitely entertain Jeopardy's many fans. Librarians and bookse Quiz fans, pop culture mavens, and those that want an inside look into one of the most beloved and enduring quiz shows of its time. Answer: Who are the people that should read this book? OK--so maybe that's an awkward way to open this review. But I couldn't resist! From the history of Jeopardy, to the impressive preparations contestants (and would-be contestants) take to have a chance at cracking a Daily Double, and more, this will definitely entertain Jeopardy's many fans. Librarians and booksellers: Who doesn't love Jeopardy? This should do well. Many thanks to Twelve and Edelweiss for a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Fascinating and entertaining!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    This book did a good job for me in introducing a world in which I am but a peripheral figure [1], namely the world of trivia competitions and small dollar prizes for those who know trivia and the possibility of entering into larger prize shows like Jeopardy where the general high degree of knowledge of the clues by people means that buzzers and category strategy has a much higher degree of importance. The title of the book gives a reasonably accurate introduction to its contents, in that part of This book did a good job for me in introducing a world in which I am but a peripheral figure [1], namely the world of trivia competitions and small dollar prizes for those who know trivia and the possibility of entering into larger prize shows like Jeopardy where the general high degree of knowledge of the clues by people means that buzzers and category strategy has a much higher degree of importance. The title of the book gives a reasonably accurate introduction to its contents, in that part of this book focuses on the history of Jeopardy within the Quiz show genre and how it is that the show has progressed through time while maintaining its place as a mainstay within the popular consciousness, while the other part of the book provides an inside look into how the game works and how it is that the world of Jeopardy is in fact a very small world where people on the show often have past history while also maintaining in contact with each other after their time on the show. If you want to find out about Jeopardy, this show will certainly provide you with information and insight that you did not know, and I found it to be deeply interesting at least. This book, the author's first, is eight chapters long and is about 250 pages in length. The book begins with a foreword by Jeopardy wunderkind Ken Jennings. After that comes an introduction into the state of Jeopardy as of the book's writing, before the death of Alex Trebek which will force some changes into the show. After this the author begins the main section of the book by discussing news about the show as well as the show's biggest loser (1). After this comes a look at knowing the material or not, with a discussion of Ken Jennings, the skulduggery between contestants and tournaments (), as well as a discussion of Alex Trebek as well as the Clue Crew (3). After this comes a look at training, including buzzer management from James Holzhauer, history of contestants knowing nothing about sports, and the best and worst games of Jeopardy ever (4). a look at Jeopardy in pop culture from Weird Al to Cliff Clavin to SNL's celebrity Jeopardy to the feud with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (5). After this there is a look at the Forrest bounce, game theory, and true daily doubles (6), a discussion of the Jeopardy alumni network (7), and a look at what's next for the show (8), after which the book ends with acknowledgements. Indeed, a large part of the author's intent appears to be in discussing Jeopardy as a nerdy competition in athleticism while reminding the reader that more than simple trivial knowledge goes into being a contestant on the show. There is a lot of worth in the way that the book discusses how Jeopardy managed to thrive in the aftermath of the Quiz Show scandal where there was the simple decision to give the answers at the front and make the contestant guess the question that connects to the answer. Similarly, the author points out that recent trends in Jeopardy have emphasized more aggressive strategies in choosing categories in order to sniff out daily doubles to increase one's winnings, and that this sometimes has gone against the entertainment of the show, which has often involved humorous patterns within the categories themselves. A fan of the show will likely be familiar with many of the names that the author brings up and if one is not interested in the show, then this is the sort of book that one would not be likely to read anyway. An audience for a book like this is rather self-selecting anyway, and those who do have even a passing interest in the show will be intrigued by such things as betting strategy and the nearly perfect game of Jeopardy where the three players combined to get all but one of the questions right. [1] See, for example: https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Todd

    Claire McNear’s history of “Jeopardy!”, “Answers in the Form of Questions,” is about what you’d expect: amiable and breezy, optimistic and self-deprecating, with a few nice insights but also few surprises. (Here’s where I offer my disclosure: I know several of the people interviewed for the book and I was a contestant on “Jeopardy!” back in the show’s pre-Ken Jennings, pre-unlimited-wins era, back when it was five victories and out. I didn’t even get that far, losing on a Wednesday airing to even Claire McNear’s history of “Jeopardy!”, “Answers in the Form of Questions,” is about what you’d expect: amiable and breezy, optimistic and self-deprecating, with a few nice insights but also few surprises. (Here’s where I offer my disclosure: I know several of the people interviewed for the book and I was a contestant on “Jeopardy!” back in the show’s pre-Ken Jennings, pre-unlimited-wins era, back when it was five victories and out. I didn’t even get that far, losing on a Wednesday airing to eventual five-time champ Leah Greenwald. I received his-and-her gold Helbros watches – still sitting in the bottom of a trunk – a mammoth weight machine, which was sold for cash as I had no room for it in my grad school housing, and such still-entertaining parting gifts as a large can of Pledge and a case of Pepsodent. My grad school friends made out well … if they liked toothpaste.) McNear runs through all the background: How Merv Griffin, thinking about game-show possibilities after the quiz-show scandals knocked most of them off the air, seized on an idea of his wife’s to give the answers, not the questions; how the show, then and now, is considered the gold standard of knowledge TV games; how a Canadian news anchor and music-show host, Alex Trebek, followed in the staccato footsteps of the sainted Art Fleming and made himself synonymous with the show. It’s also material that most fans are already aware of. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) McNear is at her best in following some “Jeopardy!” hopefuls at a national trivia tournament in Las Vegas where the “J!” test will be given. Some of her characters have taken – and even passed – the test several times, only to never get the call to the Big Show. Not that it’s a cakewalk; she estimates there are just a few hundred slots each season, but thousands of qualifiers, even given the difficulty of the 50-question test. Back when I tried out, in 1987, it was somewhat simpler – in those pre-Internet days, you pretty much had to take the test at the studio in Los Angeles, so I booked some time on a spring trip, managed to pass, and figured I had a good chance to get on since I wasn’t from southern California. I guessed right … though I still had to come up with plane fare and lodging on my own, as “Jeopardy!”, then and now, doesn’t provide those perks. I stayed in the guest room of one of my mother’s friend’s parents in West Hollywood, and I may be the only out-of-towner who got to the show on the Sunset Boulevard Metro bus. (I also called my mother from a pay phone across the street after my loss.) McNear also offers some nice capsule profiles of folks like Maggie Speak, the show’s longtime contestant coordinator (recently retired); the great Frank Spangenberg, the 6-foot-6 New York transit cop who held the record for “Jeopardy!” five-day winnings; and Watson, the IBM artificial intelligence who beat Jennings and fellow legend Brad Rutter. She’s less successful with the reticent Trebek, who is charming and much more good-humored than he appeared on the show, but still not the most revealing interview. In addition, the author discusses celebrity references, including the show’s appearances on “Cheers” and “Saturday Night Live”; “Jeopardy!” gear, such as the buzzers (some people have made their own); and the light around the “Jeopardy!” board, unseen by home viewers, that let the players know they can buzz in. And, in perhaps her most interesting scoop, she reveals that the show, which had a couple ill-fated revival attempts after the daytime version was canceled, may not have returned at all had it not been for Weird Al Yankovic’s “I Lost on Jeopardy!” video. Apparently, the video's release and frequent airing on MTV came just as the new version of the show was in its early stages. One quibble: McNear maintains the show was an instant hit, but I recall the Trebek "Jeopardy!" getting crummy time slots in major cities and not becoming an assured audience draw until it was routinely teamed with its higher-rated stablemate, "Wheel of Fortune." All in all, “Answers in the Form of Questions” is a pleasant read. If you’re looking for real minutia about the show, it’ll probably have to wait for a James Andrew Miller expose or a Mark Lewisohn deep dig, but if you want to learn a little and have a good time doing it, McNear’s book is the answer to your ques – uh, wish. Be sure to devour it with a little Rice-a-Roni.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year full of anxiety and dread. This book was a vacation from all that for me. Jeopardy! has been a smooth running machine and playground for smart folks for decades and McNear writes with the easy joy the show creates in many of its viewers. Answers in the Form of Questions isn't high art or "important" or feel like the literary equivalent of eating your vegetables. Instead this book is a low stakes island away from my troubles that I couldn't need more right 2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year full of anxiety and dread. This book was a vacation from all that for me. Jeopardy! has been a smooth running machine and playground for smart folks for decades and McNear writes with the easy joy the show creates in many of its viewers. Answers in the Form of Questions isn't high art or "important" or feel like the literary equivalent of eating your vegetables. Instead this book is a low stakes island away from my troubles that I couldn't need more right now.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.