Friday, 13 October 2006


This is a great book to read but I wouldn't go quite so far as the front cover blurb "Non-stop fun" or on the back cover: "Dazzling ... a delight".

The Tractor book had on its reverse, "An extraordinary read ... nothing short of amazing. A rare treat, all too easy to gulp down in one greedy sitting".

As it happens I very much enjoyed both books (buy 1 get 1 ½ priced at WH Smith!) but I wonder about the cover reviews they add to books. Such outrageously over the top comments (proabably taken out of context) that leads one to perhaps have higher expectations of the contents than one might ordinarily expect. Perhaps even leading to dissapointment for some readers?

On the other hand, I wonder if quite so many copies would be sold if they didn't put such sensational reviews on the covers? It feels almost deceptive to me. Luckily, on this occasion for me, these books turn out to be good reads but I would be less than impressed if I had been duped by the sensationalism.

My latest book, Emotional rollercoaster, a journey through the science of feelings has a rather more fitting review on it's cover: "An entertaining, informed guide to the responses that drive and colour our lives". I think that is already a far more balanced comment but then this book was tucked up on the 3rd floor and not on the best seller shelves.

Anyway, Freakonomics. It was a fascinating look at economics in terms of number crunching but applied to everyday life social situations. One of the authors took a lot of flack a few years ago for his research which suggested that the massive drop in crime in the US was due to the legalisation of abortion back in the early 70s rather than any crime measures put into place. So that by the time the late 1990s came there just wasn't the numbers of teenaged youth. What made his research so distasteful was his pointing the finger at single, unmarried mothers from low income and mainly Black families that produced the most criminals. And who would make the most use of the low-cost legal abortions. Having been a single parent on a low income of course that raises my hackles but, in the book, he does take it carefully and I didn't get the feeling he was being judgemental as well as he acknowledges the myriad of issues involved.

Other subjects he looks at includes "Why do drug dealers still live with their moms" and "How is the Klu Klu Klan like a group of estate agents" and others. Overall the whole book was thought provoking, funny in places and worth reading. It makes one look at the world, or rather question it, from a different viewpoint.

Original Comments:

Milt Bogs said...
That is a very nice template you've got there Gran.
"Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?" sounds interesting.
Friday, October 13, 2006 1:54:00 PM
Atyllah said...
Deceptive? Book blurbs? No, Doris dear, it's just marketing! ;-)
Saturday, October 14, 2006 9:01:00 AM

ella m. said...
I liked most of Freakonomics....until the last chapter. While the rest of the book was firmly steeped in research, the chapter on the connection between baby names and status contains way too much anecdotal fluff (inclusing an old urban legend) for my liking.

I'm glad to see you are feeling a little better, as you sounded very stressed and depleted a few posts ago.
Saturday, October 14, 2006 8:28:00 PM

Gerald Ford said...
"Klu Klu Klan like a group of estate agents"

Didn't you know?

Actually neither did I. ;P

Hm, I will have to screen my next real estate agent by asking what they do in their spare time (like to dress in costumes, take part in community events, etc).

None of that for me, thanks.
Sunday, October 15, 2006 1:23:00 AM

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