Title: Joined-Up Thinking
Author: Stevyn Colgan
Page Count/Review Word Count: 254
I first heard about Stevyn Colgan after a friend suggested that I should invite him to be a speaker at the writers’ group that I’m organising. He’s a local writer who’s attained a certain level of success, winning praise from Stephen Fry and Q.I. creators John Lloyd and John Mitchinson – in fact, Colgan went on to become an Elf on the show, a term that’s used to describe their researchers.
Because of this, I already knew quite a lot of the facts that Colgan includes in the book – many of them were recycled and used within the show, and I’ve watched every episode multiple times. That said, it didn’t really matter, because Colgan’s point here is that everything’s connected – he’s effectively using the six degrees of separation with facts.
For example, he may begin by explaining how to hypnotise a chicken, then relate that to chicken nuggets, then relate that to the gold rush, then relate that to the song Gold by Spandau Ballet, and then it might transpire that the lead singer for Spandau Ballet (Tony Hadley) keeps pet chickens.
Now, that’s a hypothetical example, and Colgan is much better at making links than I am, but it does illustrate how the book is laid out. In fact, every single chapter, including the final chapter which houses the acknowledgements and dedications, is written in a loop. Must’ve been challenging to plan, but it’s well-executed.