I advice a core group of musicians and people whose livelihood depend on music to view this book as compulsory. Orchestral composers and conductors, program directors and any student of music all should add this book to their cart and buy it NOW! The information this book contains is simply too foundational and new to pass up.
As a critique of the book, there are two general ways in which I perceive this book. First, it is a very intricate review of how our brains process music. I have a general interest in the neurology of psychology and Daniel Levitin proves to be very informative, thus making his book interesting to me. On the flip side of this (my second perception), the presentation is dry. It reminds me of the book "Getting to Yes" (Fisher, Ury & Patton) in that it is good information delivered in nearly monolithically by a narrator. I feel like I am having information downloaded into my thinking brain while my emotional brain is ignoring everything said. Where as Stephen Covey's "The 8th Habit" is read by Stephen Covey, himself, with complete sincerity and from his heart, "This is Your Brain on Music" is tough to listen to considering the intricate details and monotone narrator.
Last, considering the topic, music, I think Levitin had a perfect opportunity to go much further using this audio book as a tool. While there are simple examples of music to support points that Levintin is making, not once when he mentions an actual song does he then play the actual recording of the song on the audio tape. Yes, there are legal recording ownership rights that Levintin would have to negotiate in order to play song recordings on this audio book, but it would have enhanced the book tremendously. Additionally, when speaking about tone and tambour, examples rapidly inserted at the referenced points in the book would have helped. To be fair, I should mention that I am the executive producer of a radio program; I am sensitive to these quality issues.
I wondered what my friends would think if I told them I read this book. There are pretty much two answers: First- The men usually tell me they already know ALL about this sort of thing. On the other hand, women are absolutely impressed and want to know more. It's weird because their reactions are WAY more positive than I could have imagined. Not only are they curious about what I now know, they want a copy of the book for themselves. The men; they still don't get it (but I do!).
Once the listener of She Comes First gets past the author's nonchalant tone of speaking about such a difficult subject, there is so much to learn. I think everything is in this book- somewhere, which brings me to my only problem. I've listened to parts of this book 5 times, and I still can't find a great point in the book in which I can quickly review what I've learned (like on my way to my girlfriend's house). It seems that much of the information is spread throughout the book, so it takes time to pick up the finer points.
The information is in depth; from talking about discussions about transmissible diseases, to the female scent, whether cunalingus is okay while she is menstruating, to how sexual tension plays into the bedroom starting before being undressed and etc. I considered myself to be somewhat advanced and I more than quadrupled what I know about a woman; in fact, I would bet I now know more about a woman than she typically knows about herself!
This book is a must buy for any true man. The women in your life will thank you in ways that make you feel as though you were the last man on earth!
If you get this audio book, if you want to skip to the good part, start the book at the 3-hr 2-min mark and get a taste. Then go back from the start and enjoy.
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