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.
Ever since I came across one of Foer's magazine articles some years back, I've been looking forward to this book. I expected it would delve deeply into the science of memory. After all, Foer is consistently billed as a science journalist, and we live in an era when neurobiology is making great progress. I expected the memory contest thing to be a useful hook to frame the whole thing. Well, it turns out the memory contest is the dominant topic of the book. The science is little more than a rehashed version of things you will find in other neurobiology books floating around. In fact, we may be dangerously close to having all the science writers just rehashing each others' books--the same stories, anecdotes, and studies seem to come up in each of them.
I was disappointed there wasn't more science in here. Foer states early on that we really don't know that much about memory. I still would have liked to see more about what researchers have attempted, even if it hasn't led to results. Foer also spends quite a bit of time on the memory prodigies of our time. Again, I would have liked to see him spend more time with the researchers who have studied these people.
As for the memory contest, it turns out to be just as nerdy a subculture as you would imagine it to be. That's not giving anything away. It reads a whole lot more like a personal account of the author's adventures with these so-called "mental athletes" than like a journalistic inquiry into "the art and science of remembering everything."
The book is more about memorization than about memory. It's interesting but not what I expected.
I have had very little exposure to the world of memory competitions so found the subject new and interesting, though a bit overdramatic at times.
I wasn't surprised. You most likely won't be either. It's a book about memory- it isn't like we're talking about Rocky or Hoosiers here, despite the authors attempts to make it so.
Nope. Couldn't even tell you who Mike Chamberlain is, but the performance was neither outstanding or atrocious- a good thing in my eyes.
I saw this book at an airport kiosk and bought the audio version in haste (never drink and audiobook-purchase). This wouldn't be a bad book to listen to on the beach or if you need to find a book that you and your spouse can enjoy together. You really won't learn much in the way of techniques, but it did spark my interest to do a bit of (very short-lived) research on the subject. If I ever see this on ESPN-25, I'll admittedly change the channel unless the only other option is Jersey Shore.
One of the top books. This book within stories of memory growth, points out specific memory techniques and the techniques history. I have already began using them.
The perfect voice for the book.
Excitement and laughing. At the amazing points it made. There are some things I never realized. I learned from this book.
I would listen to this book again just to remember how to better remember.
It was fascinating hearing about individuals who had wonderful memories as a gift as well as those who learned to master the skill. The story contrasted with individuals memories which were impaired. It was extremely interesting to follow his discovery of memory and his master of it.
My favorite scene is building a memory castle and learning how to make my own memories.
This book was excellent on many levels. Great historical facts, great questions, interesting interviews, introduction to the science of memory and a very interesting personal story woven through the whole book. I would love to sit down and chew the fat with this author.
I think the highest praise you can give a book like this is that I got so wrapped up in the process of learning to memorize things that I wanted to go out and learn the techniques myself. I really enjoyed the look into the memory competition community and the story of the author's path of breaking into it.
Note - this book does not teach you how to memorize things. It does explain some fundamental techniques in the process of telling the story, but it's not a tutorial. There are many textbooks on memory techniques.
This book has nothing to do with either Moonwalking or with Einstein. Cool title, sure, but in no way a clue as to the subject matter. I most enjoyed this book when I was learning little tidbits about history. There were times when I had the impression that the author had gathered way more research material than he knew what to do with. Some listeners may feel that the author wanders a little, to find ways to share all those fun facts. Looking back from the end, though, my overall impression is of an interesting and engaging personal story of one man's experiential journey into the fringe world of mental athletes. A recommended read.
For me, the book really never really gets to the point. There are too many stories about characters that never really come to life. Glimpses into these gifted people that only leave you with their quirks.Many times through the book, I was just bored and waiting for something interesting.
Concentrate more on the techniques and less on himself.
Needs better editing. Maybe it reads as a book better than a listening experience.
Participatory journalism at its best, Joshua Foer (brother to novelist Jonathan Safran Foer) explores the world of mnemonists (memory experts to you and me) who can quickly memorize long lists of numbers, words, passages of poetry and more. Foer goes from covering the U.S. Memory Championships for a magazine article to competing in it, and along the way explores how memory works, what tricks and techniques mnemonists use, what role memory plays in our lives and many more little side passages that were always fascinating and interesting.
This book is just fascinating. It held my attention throughout and had me mourning its end. After listening, I was compelled to try building a memory palace of my own … and damn if it didn’t work! More than 9 months after getting a list of 15 random words from Mr. Jenners and BB, I can still remember the list IN ORDER. If you’re looking for an interesting, amusing and educational non-fiction book, this would be an excellent choice.
ABOUT THE NARRATION
Mike Chamberlain was the narrator, and his voice was the perfect fit for Foer’s book and personality. (His voice had a bit of a nerdy flavor to it that seemed appropriate.) Because the book is written in the first person, his narration made the book really come alive. In my mind, Joshua Foer talks exactly like Mike Chamberlain—whether he likes it or not.
More details of how he did his training
Not unless he gives more details of his training (his memory chart)
KL 7 --> boring
We all know he won US Championship which is really Great, but it be more interesting if he give us the details of his steps by steps of his training. Since he is not training any more, it be nice to following his training charts.