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Summary

How many times have you checked your phone today? Why are messaging apps, email and social media so hard to resist? How come we always end up watching another episode?

In recent years, media and technology have perfected the lucrative art of gaining and holding our attention. This extraordinary feat has changed the behaviour of billions of people, and especially the young: by current medical standards, we are experiencing an unprecedented global pandemic of addiction. But what exactly is an addiction? And what, if anything, might we do about it?

From cliff-hangers to earworms, from religion to pornography, and from the awesome allure of the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood app to the unexpected benefits of the 'butt-brush effect', Irresistible blends fascinating stories with ingenious science to explain how and why we all got hooked. Revealing the surprising causes and sometimes bizarre nature of addiction, this book will equip you with the tools and understanding you need to navigate our irresistible new world.

©2017 Adam Alter (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"Truly addictive." (Malcolm Gladwell)
"Brilliant." (Susan Cain)
"Essential." (Charles Duhigg)

What listeners say about Irresistible

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

We are all addicted to something - and somebody else gets paid for it

Important book for everyone to listen to or read about how addiction can creep up on us in the modern world and how someone is normally profiting from it.

Although the material is not new or original, book is written and read well.

It's not against tech and modern digital life but makes case for us remembering it is just a tool available to us humans

3 people found this helpful

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Fascinating listen

Very engaging. Well written. Good performance in terms of the reading. The examples and the arguments had me paying attention all the way through.

1 person found this helpful

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scary as hell

once you start understanding how you are being sucked into the world of addiction with your smartphone or computer games you play, you will rethink a lot of things.

highly recommended book!

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Brilliant book

Brilliant book, well written and the information is many many years before it's time.
well done!!
I highly recommend this book .
Voice is very pleasant 🙂

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Very Insightful (and terrifying)

Great listen and really rings true in places. Very insightful and terrifying in places when you spot your own behaviour.

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Glad the author read the book

Excellent book made just better by the fact the author read it. All books should be read by their authors.

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Interesting but frustrating

I'm finding this book frustrating. There's tons of very interesting material in there. But the story jumps around constantly between vaguely related historical anecdotes, interviews and studies. I wish it had more focus, depth and rigour.

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Really makes you think

Really makes you think about those leisure activities that you thought benign, innocuous and harmless. In many cases they are except when they become irresistibly addictive.

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I'm screwed

Addicted...lost cause? Hopefully not. Will be using Russell Brand's Recovery to tackle this problem. Otherwise my life flashing before my eyes at the end will be 2D!!!

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Thought provoking

There were certain chapters in this book that had me really interested and focused. However, there were a few chapters in which I could have given up. Overall I am glad I listened, I particularly found the psychological impacts of tech use really interesting, especially when talking about iPads, Social skills and consequences kids using loads of tech will have. Overall I wanted more of this, more discussions about how Instagram, constant filtering etc is having on people’s mental health.