Pros:Great conversation starter, good for getting to know others, small paperback lets you take questions anywhere
Cons:Not good for those unwilling to be open-minded, some questions too intimate for talking with strangers
In the deep dark recesses of everybody's mind comes bizarre what-if questions that'll likely never be brought to the surface. Whenever I do get the nerve to ask those kind of questions, my friends give me a weird look and asks, "Where did that come from?" Well, now I can tell them it came from The Book of Questions.
When I first skimmed through the pages of this book in a store I found a question that unnerved me so much that I had to buy it. It read: "A cave-in occurs while you and a stranger are in a concrete room in a mine shaft.. entire mine is sealed and the air hole being drilled will not reach you for 30 hours.. taking sleeping pills will give enough oxygen to last 20 hours.. both of you can't survive.. you have a pistol. What do you do?"
I had been shopping with a friend, and answering this question let to a fascinating conversation about the price of life and how we felt toward strangers and loved ones. The Book of Questions is all about hypothetical situations where in the event of the impossible, how would you react? I've brought the book to parties and sometimes after I've read a question aloud, people would refuse to answer because they refused believe it would actually happen. This is why it is important these questions come from a real book, because when skeptics say, "There's no way it could really-" I throw up my hands and reply, "I'm just reading off the book, pretend there's nothing outside of this book."
Reading it alone will force you to face the inevitable events like your death and painful sacrifices for wealth, fame, or loved ones. But this book is most powerful when shared with others: it is not the questions themselves but the subjects they open to the conversation. It amazes me how long I've known some of my friends and still don't really know them by the way they answer some of these questions. It brings intimacy and growth to any relationship.
While I've gained tremendous insight on the morals and values of my family and friends because of this book, it probably wouldn't be wise to ask questions like, "How old were you when you first had sexual intercourse?" (Question 177, by the way) to a guy sitting next to you on the bus. However, this would insure an enlightening first date, or at least get you through the minutes before your waiter brings your meal..
The Book of Questions has definitely made me a better conversationalist and has virtually eliminated those awkward silences on the phone, because as the author Gregory Stock writes in the book: "Good questions don't lead to answers, they lead to more questions."
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