Alright, it wasn't chaos but I was so determined to understand where Daniel Gilbert wanted to take me that I went out and also bought the book as a guide to follow along while listening because the audiobook was a jumble of ideas, maps, models, data and concepts for me. I don't reccommend buying the hard copy book as well, it's just that I have a very stubborn streak when it comes to understanding what I invest my time and attention in, and, also, I never give up. The book is not about getting to happiness, but in a way it can take you to a point where you could see that getting to happiness is a wasted and unimportant effort anyway. Yeah, I know, it doesn't make sense, but it's the kind of book that becomes one piece of the larger puzzle in a quest to understand ourselves. Not a self help book by any means and I enjoyed it but not in the conventional sense of entertainment but more so in an ideas-retraining session. It was work for me and I consider myself a fairly erudite chap.
Daniel Gilbert is an incredibly entertaining writer and surprisingly fine reader too. I found myself snorting at his many wisecracks interspersed in a truly riveting guided tour of the mind. Where the book fell apart, for me, was in the second half, where Gilbert offers up a series of hypotheticals that, he contends, show how easily people are self deceived about what will make them happy. "If you're like most people, you imagined ___ " is a formulation he uses time and again, whether it's imagining a plate of spaghetti or fathoming the happiness of a falsely convicted man on the gallows. I began to feel like a rather exceptional person when my initial reaction to these hypotheticals wasn't at all typical. After a while, I concluded that Gilbert is just plain over-reaching iin his zeal to prove his point. The neuroscience is fascinating, but the pop psychology falls short.
A terrific reader! Perfect timing, delightful nuances.
Not really, the information is interesting but it doesn't lead to many conclusions.
The problem is that 90% of the information is about what does not work, what make our mind a misleading tool, what won't work....but nothing about what does work.
He read too fast, you don't really have time to absorb the information.
Not for me
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
Having been annoyed for so many years by people who were convinced they knew what they wanted, and thought I should know what I wanted as well, I was delighted to find a book that showed how lousy we are at predicting what will make us happy. I also finally understood why I owned so many things that were of so little interest to me now. An excellent book on some of the most intriguing current research on human psychology as it relates to happiness.
I greatly enjoyed this book. It was a very good match for me at the time, as I listened to it during my car commute to work, while I was deciding on whether to pursue a new career path and what would make me happy. The insights into human behaviour really hit the mark. Every point is well explained, with lots of examples of psychological studies, and yet the book never drags on. The author uses a great depth of vocabulary and wit, and his reading is very well done.
Warning - this is not a self-help book, more of a entertaining treatise into human thinking processes, and the many ways in which we mistakenly predict what will make us happy.
This book isn't a Self-Help book and it doesn't contain blueprints to make your life happier. However, it does an amazing job of explaining how we make decisions and how those decisions affect our happiness. Every point Gilbert makes is supports by psychological studies that lend credence to his ideas and illustrate the points he is trying to make. I'm recommending this book to all my friends and family and to you, too.
One of if not the most entertaining, creative, informative and funny books I have ever read X3. The humor in ths book is very clever. I have given this book to numerous family, friends and coworkers. The people who read it...and understood it...also got it and loved it. I will reread (listen) to this one over and over...I learn something new everytime. (or I remember it...it is full of info)
Well written. Lots of great anecdotes and insights into how the human brain deceives us all. Don't expect any great wisdom regarding how to be happy though - the author builds up his well thought out arguments as if working his way to some great crescendo or secret that never unfolds. Perhaps that's the point.
Lots of thought-provoking info in this book, though I found the author's pomposity kind of grating. Still, it's a cheap way to get a really stimulating undergraduate psychology course.
This book was an okay listen - but it contained nothing terribly new or profound. At least it is well written and narrated.