Synopsis via Goodreads:
When Tony Perrottet heard that Napoleon’s “baguette” had been stolen by his disgruntled doctor a few days after the Emperor’s death, he rushed out to New Jersey. Why? Because that’s where an eccentric American collector who had purchased Napoleon’s member at a Parisian auction now kept the actual relic in an old suitcase under his bed.
The story of Napoleon’s privates triggered Perrottet’s quest to research other such exotic sagas from history, to discover the actual evidence behind the most famous age-old mysteries: Did Churchill really send condoms of a surprising size to Stalin? Were champagne glasses really molded upon Marie Antoinette’s breasts? What was JFK’s real secret service? What were Casanova’s best pickup lines? Napoleon’s Privates is filled with offbeat, riotously entertaining anecdotes that are guaranteed to amaze, shock, and enliven any dinner party.
This one was a Christmas gift, but not a CBR5 gift exchange one, so Alli is totally off the hook for this one. A friend got it for me as a joke, and I laughed almost uncontrollably when I unwrapped it. She thought she was giving me something that was going to collect dust on a shelf until it got passed around; I started reading it as a palate cleanser pretty quickly after receiving it.
Napoleon’s Privates is set up like many a popular history book you’ve seen at your local book peddler. It’s a series of very short stories, with resources of information listed at the end of each 2-4 page entry, about various topics loosely hung around a central topic. This book’s central topic: the taboo goings on of our erogenous zones. And some other just regular taboo things as well.
There were some things I already knew (the history of the condom) and some things which had previously escaped my notice (apparently there’s a theory running around that President Lincoln was gay) and lots of things that will certainly come up, as promised, at any dinner party I might attend. Because I have those kind of friends.
So, if you’re looking for something to read quickly and fill you with well researched tidbits, I say give this one a read.
This book was read and reviewed as part of the charitable Cannonball Read.