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A word of warning before you open this book, only read one Riddle at a time otherwise who knows what is likely to happen.  In this wonderful, maddening, fascinating collection of Riddles you will find the unexpected, the enchanting, the intensely frustrating and infinitely ponderable. The one thing you will not find at any one point is boredom.

 Just why anyone would want to collect such a remarkable curious collection of words and turn them into a book is also worth pondering but thankfully David Astle has gone ahead and followed this remarkable career, if you can call it that, of the humble and not so humble, word game beloved of many children and adults alike.

But what goes into making a Riddle; much, much, more than you would ever consider. Also consider while you are contemplating other things ,that Riddles have been around for thousands of years, from Pompeii to modern school yards and all places in between, over generations and yet more generations.

Riddles are found in all languages and cultures, but why were they created; to what is their purpose. A political statement, a word game or puzzle, a means of transferring information in secret, a way of teaching facts that may otherwise be considered as not worth learning or simply to tease the brain?

Who really knows? All that is really important is that they are and have been a component of our lives and language for a long time. Along the way they have also created some laughs and mind blowing puzzles to be solved over time and space and cultures. Effectively Riddles are universal!

But I digress, as the 101 puzzles, of course there has to be101 of them, are purposely selected to encourage you to ‘refurbish your mind’, clear out the cobwebs or give the book to a friend to drive them as nuts as you have ended up after  reading this book!

The other side of the story is that through the power of Riddles you can travel the world, revisit history, get an insight into the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon as she tried to hoodwink him, Homer the Poet, was also a great one for creating enigmas, and Oedipus was also up there coated in irony. Yes. Riddles are also ironic, but do tell, where the Chicken who crosses the road does, or not, come into it…….

Riddles are there for all occasions. If you enjoy a challenge, want to truthfully stretch your mind or simply love a good puzzle, do definitely make sure someone gives you a copy of this fascinating book for Christmas. They will definitely make your day! If they don’t or you simply can’t wait that long go get one yourself!


AuthorDavid Astle
PublisherAllen & Unwin