Philip Parker Wins Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title

Posted on March 27, 2009

The winner for the Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title has been awarded to Professor Philip M. Parker for his book, The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-Milligram Containers of Fromage Frais. Fromage frais translates to "fresh cheese," which makes the title all the more odd.

The book is a worthy winner, beating off competition from Baboon Metaphysics, Curbside Consultation of the Colon and The Large Sieve and its Applications to take the prize, but Parker, who has described himself as "the most published author in the history of the planet", might just as easily have been nominated for his vast library of other books. If they had the necessary disposable income, who could resist the niche appeal of The 2007-2012 Outlook for Lemon-Flavoured Bottled Water in Japan, a snip at $495, or The 2007 Import and Export Market for Household Refrigerators in Czech Republic (just $112)?

Parker, a professor of management science at French business school Insead, achieves his prolific authorship thanks to his invention - and patenting - of a machine which writes books, creating them from internet and database searches in order to eliminate or substantially reduce "the costs associated with human labour, such as authors, editors, graphic artists, data analysts, translators, distributors and marketing personnel."

The Bookseller, which runs the prize contest, hasn't been able to track down the prolific professor to tell him that he's won. No doubt the professor -- who says he has written an astonishing 200,000 books with his invention -- is hard at work on his next masterpiece.

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