Good book overall, and a rock solid premise with which I already agreed so I am a little biased.
The only real issue is that he doesn't treat some of his research with a critical enough eye. He repeats a good deal of research made popular in a number of other books on behavioral economics and pop psychology even though that research isn't really that solid.
Science writer Ed Yong recently made a splash by pointing out that one of the cited bits of research in this book is not replicable. This is a basic tenet of scientific research that even an attentive high school student understands. If your experiment cannot be replicated, it's not valid. Yale psych prof John Bargh is the author of a study on priming where various test subjects were supposedly tested on one thing, when in fact they were being "primed" to think (or not think) of the elderly, and the old. Supposedly the test subjects who were exposed to the "old" words and images would subsequently walk and move slower after such priming.
Only problem is that no one has been able to replicate the study.
Now of course this is a review about the book "Wait" and not about Professor Bargh, but the larger point is that the author apparently did his research, not by looking at actual research but by reading other popularized books on research. Bargh's study is the most glaring, but the author makes a habit of citing a number of such questionable studies.
Which is unfortunate because his basic premise is solid, but he has treated his subject in a rather sloppy manner. Still worth reading, but it falls short of being as excellent of a book as the subject really warranted.
Good read. It was very similar to another book of the same type but not so much as to be problematic. And nutty HOA types are common to several books of the genre and really, for the kind of message that these books are trying to tell, the annoying HOA zealot neighbor is the perfect foil.
It's also good in that it leads to a second book quite well. My only interest in these stories is the fall and immediate aftermath. The "life goes on" scenario of new civilizations etc is more sic-fi than I'm typically interested in and a series that nicely puts this "fall & aftermath" in two books is about the perfect fit.
Pretty good book that lays out some food for thought about end of the world type of situations.
Although it's a Christian book, it doesn't get too Pollyanna-ish. Non-Christians could read it and enjoy it nonetheless, but those with an anti-Christian bias wouldn't like it.
Great book. Balanced with lots of facts and short on any kind of preachy message.
And who knew Bronson Pinchot was such a great narrator. Really. He made Hewitt's mildly dry humor really very funny. When I see Pinchot's name listed in the future, it will be a definite selling point.
The author makes some powerful observations and in the abstract is spot on. I could only give the book three stars however due to the book's extremely subjective nature. He takes his many good points and then muddies the water badly with his personal narrative on one political party, global warming, et cetera.
A better book to get one started on this overall topic would be Shop Class as Soulcraft by Michael Crawford. It's non-political and makes more objective points as to how culture has changed under the influence of technology and easy credit.
Negative reviews tend to give more info than positive reviews so I bought this with some reservation due to some of the seemingly reasonable negative reviews.
However, they were completely and totally wrong. It's a really cool book. Period.
Some of the scenarios may seem far fetched, but in context to the genre itself, they're not far fetched at all. (Read some ancient history for a fuller context.)
There's some high spots that were okay, but it really rambles too much on side subjects. The zombie scenario is meant to be cute I guess, but it's not as clever as I think he meant it to be.
Pretty decent. The NPR, quasi-left wing views of the protagonist and his wife seem to offset the overall nature of the book. Even the flaws of the main character are constructed to build the story and teach an indirect lesson for end of the world scenarios. Even the fact that it's technically not an end of the world story, but merely a really bad time for humanity seems to make the point of a lesson for a prepared mindset.
Well, not for everyone, but for those who are at least a little disturbed by the disposable culture we now live in, it's a must read. Not as good "Shop Class as Soulcraft" though to be fair, the author isn't trying to write the same book so perhaps it's just different.
Easier to read than Pirsig's "Zen" and definitely more to the point, it belongs on the same as shelf as these two books as well Richard Sennett, David Pye et al.
It's not a substitute for the stoics themselves, nor other well known figures who have used their obstacles as footholds, but if a person is young or otherwise not well read in such areas, this could be a good introduction. (I skipped the epilogue with the other author who's name I don't remember. He's a self-help guy, kind of smarmy and fake, but don't let that dissuade the would-be reader.)
I confess that I thought the author might just be trying to ride on Gary Taubes' coat tails, and was a little skeptical, but she covered a lot of details that Taubes didn't and really delved into some of the more interesting facts behind the political wrangling over the various kinds of oils, etc.
It's a must read for anyone that is truly interested in the facts and detailed history of how the current public health situation became so badly disorientated.
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