With "new science" in the title, I was expecting more from this book. Although a few research studies are mentioned here and there this is more of a philosophical discussion resolving around an essentialist theory of pleasure than something based on scientific research. The author frequently cites works of fiction (e.g. Shakespeare) and passages from the bible to support his arguments. He also often resorts to hearsay with statements such as "some say that..." for support. The book also contains outdated information, for example that female estrus is hidden from males to promote pair bonding, which has since been dis-proven in laboratory tests that indicate that males can detect estrus. Generally his presentation of conventional model of human sexuality and inequality is outdated.
Not great. Narration was bland. Info was at times repetitive. I agree with the reviewers that note the topic is more about essentialism than pleasure.
Ok. I definitely left the book more informed than I was before reading.
The first chapter introduces some cool concepts but none are developed throughout the book. the remainder of the book is just philosophical contemplation citing the same examples as Thinking Fast and Slow or any of Dan Ariely's works .
Slow, droll, had high hopes for this one, but couldn't finish the audiobook.
The repetition was too monotonous
don't waste your credit
I had high hopes for this book, but I was greatly disappointed. The author adopts a gimmick based on an extended metaphor of "essentialism" that forces the subject manner into a convoluted discussion that distorts the science of developmental psychology.
I found "How Pleasure Works" by Paul Bloom very disappointing. First of all, the title does not cover the content at all. The book should have been called "The essentials of Essentialism", as that it what the author discusses over and over again (would have been OK to get the main ideas of that in 30 minutes). There are very few new ideas in the book, and the author does not seem to fully comprehend (or give credit to) Plato's ideas, group selection in evolutionary biology, or "confirmation bias" (Kahneman).
I tried listening to the book, and got about halfway through before aborting my mission. What put me off (besides the misleading title and the author missing the point on some key ideas) is that he seems to be obsessed with the topic of cannibalism (hoping to sell more books with stories of blood and violence?) and inserts Biblical quotes at random that do not add anything to the story whatsoever.
I recommend that you turn to much more valuable books on evolutionary biology and/or behavioral economics if you want to learn How Pleasure Works!
The book has an interesting story about fake Vermeer paintings sold to Goering but besides that is a common place. The ironic and patronizing tone is contradictory with the known information.
Who would have thought a long commute to work could yield so much fun?
Paul Bloom, No
Jeremy Johnson, Perhaps
Bloom would have had to eliminate many assumptions and significantly dropped continuous Bible references for me to consider this an informative article.
I was entertained by this book for the first two hours. Although it was not what I had hoped, it touched on a variety of topics that could have been thoroughly examined objectively.
I call this book "disappointing" because I expected objectivity based on the credentials of the author. I did not expect each example to lead into a persuasive argument substantiated by Bible verses.
I liked the book and the topic, but the narration is really annoying and hard to get past. If you can keep your focus off the narration and on the substance of the text, it is an interesting book.