I used to be sorta blind. But now I can sorta see. (Bill Callahan)
This is a truly wonderful book.
It is funny, yet clear. It breaks up complicated ideas, and makes them understandable- with the clever use of ridiculous analogies and preposterous scenarios.
My only gripe is this- why didn't Tim Harford read it himself? I love his delivery in 'More or Less'- his radio show on Radio 4. He has great comic timing, and is a wizard at the straight faced presentation of the absurd. Cameron Stewart was not bad, but Tim H would have excelled, and I couldn't help subconsciously translating the lines spoken by the CS into TH's voice.
But if that's my only complaint, then you haven't got much to worry about. Do yourself a favour- get this, and be entertained and educated at the same time.
I'm giving it four stars because I think it's a four star book. I didn't enjoy it as much as that, but I think that that is more a measure of me than of the book.
Now I know I'm not thick, and I work in a profession where a basic working knowledge of the mind is part of the territory. But many parts of the book were beyond me. That's not to say they weren't well written- they were. And it's not to say that they weren't valid and important- they were. They were just hard concepts that needed concentration- and it was hard for me to remain focussed.
It's not a book to get if you are new to the field; and not a book to listen to while you are in the car (as I tried to do). If you lose the thread it's hard to pick it back up again. But after much rewinding of sections, I got to the end. I feel like it has done me good, and I may give it another listen after a few months of rewarding myself to easier digested ear-candy!
Not a life changer, but a very informative step into another person's world.
It didn't teach me as much about the techniques as I had expected, but it compensated by giving a glimpse into a community that are as single minded and focused as any I could imagine. It got me looking up some the players in the book on YouTube- Richard Turner in particular is astonishingly talented and skilled. The amount of sheer graft behind the tricks is something I wasn't aware of before the book, and has given me a whole new level of respect for the magician.
The reader was fine- but not exceptional. The style of the writing was a bit clunky, but made up for this with sheer enthusiasm!
Glad I read (listened to) it.