Band guy who always wants to be better at something.
This book delves into the history and evolution of language. It's nice to get the "how we got here", which is much more enlightening.
Chapter 1 got me hooked, and the subject is very related to my research. However the book is redundant if you have any idea about Naom Chomsky's work. My take on the book is that most of the research it talks about is not well designed and fails to accept the fact that computers are available.
I would have just referred listeners to accompanying material instead of reading long lists of words or examples that are included in many parts of the book.
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I'm 24% done and that's enough. I'm not learning a thing, it's very text-booky, and nowhere near as interesting as I hoped it would be.
I don't like to waste my money so I often plow through books even if I don't like them ... but this one was only 5$; not worth the effort!
Very informative and mostly interesting, but you must bear through some less interesting sections here and there as Pinker explains some important concepts.
I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.
I enjoyed this book, though some of the pieces of information or anecdotes weren't new to me. I liked how the author clearly laid out his arguments, though I didn't always need 15 examples of the phrase or concept he was explaining. The book was a pleasant listen and I was pleased that it was broader than a basic discussion of language. The author allowed himself to spend time explaining related concepts and instincts to put the language stuff in perspective.
My main concern with the book was that it was a bit dated in places, including one reference that was just ridiculous from a 2012 perspective (but not central to the story Pinker was trying to tell). The book was first written in 94, I think, but was updated more recently. The end of book addresses those dated items. It was nice to hear a short update on some of the affected topics, though it sounds like Pinker's general theories did not change. The dated bits were mostly just pop culture references, I think the science (or theory) holds up.
Although the narrator was excellent, I kept wondering what the written page might look like as Pinker gives many examples that are sometimes just subtly different.
I've not listened to this narrator before, but he does a superb job of making clear and comprehensible a dense work of explication.