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Superhuman

Narrated by: Richard Lyddon
Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Summary

This is a book about what it feels like to be exceptional - and what it takes to get there. Why can some people achieve greatness when others can't, no matter how hard they try? What are the secrets of long life and happiness? Just how much potential does our species have?

In this inspirational book, New Scientist Managing Editor Rowan Hooper takes us on a tour of the peaks of human achievement. We sit down with some of the world's finest minds, from a Nobel-prize winning scientist to a double Booker-prize winning author; we meet people whose power of focus has been the difference between a world record and death; we learn from international opera stars; we go back in time with memory champions, and we explore the transcendent experience of ultrarunners. We meet people who have rebounded from near-death, those who have demonstrated exceptional bravery, and those who have found happiness in the most unexpected ways.

Drawing on interviews with a wide range of superhumans as well as those who study them, Hooper assesses the science of peak potential, reviewing the role of genetics alongside the famed 10,000 hours of practice.

For anyone who ever felt that they might be able to do something extraordinary in life, for those who simply want to succeed, and for anyone interested in incredible human stories, Superhuman is a must-read.

     

©2018 Rowan Hooper (P)2018 Little, Brown Book Group

Critic reviews

"Fascinating, timely and very well put together...The range of human activities, and abilities, covered in Rowan Hooper's study is astonishing and inspiring. It's a reminder of the incomparable adaptability that evolution has brought about in the human body and mind, and I found myself frequently wondering: what else are we capable of? How much further can we reach? And not least: how can we make sure the human race survives long enough for all our potential to unfold? The whole study is enthralling." (Philip Pullman)

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An very interesting & entertaining read

When I heard about this book - and you first see the cover - you maybe fooled into thinking its all about people that are able to go to the extremes in physical sport. It is so not this! This book looks at why some people appear to have 'super powers' and others don't. It tackles the questions around each subject (chapters) on say intellect, sleep, or happiness by interviewing various people and highlighting how they use their 'powers' - I am finding this intensely entertaining, informative and intellectual read. I spend a lot of time saying, 'oh wow' out loud whilst listening to this!

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Excellent listen.

Well read, interesting book. A good listen for anyone interested in what makes us who we are and the incredible things human beings are capable of.

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  • Kerryn
  • 01-05-19

Parts better than whole

His facts and interviews are not easily linked with his argument. Hard to kind of see the point using those examples.