Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Shaun Williamson - 'A Matter of Facts: One Man's Journey into the Nation's Quiz Obsession' - New Book

Whether you have seen him pop up on countless Celebrity Quiz Shows, or indeed noticed his appearances on the UK Quizzing Circuit, it is safe to say that Shaun Williamson (yes...Ill say it....Barry from EastEnders) is a very keen quizzer. In October he launches 'A Matter of Facts: One Man's Journey into the Nation's Quiz Obsession' and I have been lucky enough to get my hands on an advance copy which I have spent the last few dew days reading. 

There have been a fair few attempts in recent years to try and capture the British Quiz Obsession and Shaun brings to the table a book chronicling a year-long quest to improve his rankings in the World Quiz Championships. The book recounts Shaun’s attempts at Grand Prix quizzing events as he tries to improve his scores, and he takes us on the journey by going through questions he got wrong, his triumphs and his failings. People who have been the Grand Prix Quiz Events before will relate to the struggle and for those who haven’t it will give you an insight into what happens on the first Saturday of every month between the nation’s most keen quizzers. 

In between the question analysis and tales of quizzing adventures, including a run at the Kent Championships and tales of on-board cruise quizzes, Shaun likes to throw in plentiful facts here and there to keep the reader engaged and I certainly learned a thing or two! Shaun explores the wider world of quizzing too, including interviews with Ian Bayley and David Stainer, two of the biggest names on the Quiz circuit. 

I won’t spoil too much but he also looks at various elements of how he can improve his results in other ways than just practising quiz questions. The interview with the World Memory Champion is a particular highlight. The book serves (probably secondary so) as an autobiography covering Shauns’ various pursuits from Bluecoats to EastEnders and beyond. The autobiographical elements are mixed in with the quizzing aspects making it a diverse and engaging read. 

 Overall, for anyone with even a remote interest in quizzing, then this is one of the finest books of its kind. Similar books about the world of quizzing have been written, but this takes a unique approach and is written by someone who has actively quizzed most of his life, competes in events to this date (evident by his presence at last weekends British Quiz Championships) and has a clear passion for playing quizzes! 

 The book is released on October 1st (see link below). You won’t regret buying it!


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