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Freakonomics

A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Narrated by: Stephen J. Dubner
Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
4 out of 5 stars (272 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Assume nothing, question everything. 

This is the message at the heart of Freakonomics, Levitt and Dubner's rule-breaking, iconoclastic book about crack dealers, cheating teachers and bizarre baby names that turned everyone's view of the world upside-down and became an international multi-million-copy-selling phenomenon.  

©2005 Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (P)2005 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Prepare to be dazzled." (Malcolm Gladwell)

"A sensation...you'll be stimulated, provoked and entertained. Of how many books can that be said?" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Has you chuckling one minute and gasping in amazement the next." (Wall Street Journal)

What members say

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Well presented and fun - buy it now!

I've bought 20 or so audiobooks now, and this one is my favourite by a long way. Part of its appeal is the excellent content: yes, it's about economics, but you won't hear complicated algorithms or boring spreadsheets being discussed. Instead, Freakonomics points out problems - 'how can we find out whether teachers fudge the numbers on their students exams?' or 'if drug dealers make so much money, why do most of them with their mothers?' - then discusses how the problem was solved using a mixture of cunning, inspiration and skill.

You find yourself laughing at the weird and wonderful results the authors found, because it's truly fascinating stuff. Of course, it also helps that it's very well-presented (an excellent reading, sparky music, fun chapter breaks that focus on people as well as problems, etc), which means this is one of the very few 'must buy' audiobooks out there. I just hope there'll be a sequel soon!

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Crazy statistics

Great examples of how statistical analysis can be used in more obscure situations not just macro-economics!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Micro economics for all

Brings micro economics to life and makes statistical analysis interesting and entertaining plus thought provoking. Very American in its orientation. Although 3 stars, a must.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Extremely enjoyable!

Well-written, pacey account of some of Leavitt's research and interests. A little of everything is here: whether it is uncovering how teachers can (and sometimes do) fiddle test scores, or studying how drug gangs operate internally. Not so much a study of economics as a window on the motivations that drive society at the start of the twenty-first century. Very thought-provoking.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Fun - yes, it's economics......

One of those popular science books that comes along now and again and threatens to change the way you look at life for ever but falls a little short of that. The kids really enjoyed it and perhaps that's where this book really belongs in the 'I was a teenage Noam Chomsky' section - or perhaps that's really where Noam Chomsky belongs.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking and inspiring

This book is like having an in depth debate about the complexities of life with a best mate. The fact that there really insn't a theme apart from getting you to think is even more exciting. A thoroughly enjoyable listen particulary on those long motorway drives.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great book

Great book full of anecdotes, amazing ideas and brilliant solutions useful for most people. I'd highly recommend a listen.

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different way of thinking and game changer

this book makes one thing new ways of measure danger, people's perceptions about other people.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Kate Jay

Very engaging read and straightforward to follow. Gives a new dimension and perspective to issues of today. Having listened to this book, I'm much more sceptical about statistics which are quoted in the media and ideas that have become the 'conventional wisdom'. I would have like more explanation of the methods and the listener might apply in their own life or work. Not everything in the book works being read out - on a couple of occasions when the narrator was reading out lists I switched off.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Regret I've bought it

I read review before I bought the book and also audio MP3. I regret that I've bought it. The author/s try to intrepret their story statistically. It's not a book that I want to waste my time on. It may be suitable for leisure reading but not something edifying.

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Profile Image for Stephan
  • Stephan
  • 28-01-20

Very Interesting Listening

A quirky and interesting view on how the world works.

I read this book after discovery the treasure trove of hundreds of freakonomics podcasts. And it delivered with more of the same, clever research about arbitrary topics that keeps you interested.