While the cover shows Marilyn Monroe, JFK, and 9-11, the bulk of the book is devoted to historically important but generally dull conspiracy theories of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The first part of the book seems legit, as it tries to demonstrate that conspiracy theories have been around forever. But soon it bogs down in the long, drawn-out discussions of ones we've never heard of, while the well-known 20th century ones seem to get passing discussion.
Good if you want history, not so good if you want the curiosity which is modern conspiracy theories. Perhaps the author is out to get us....... ;)
The fundamental premise is flawed; he tries to propose a theory that explains numerous phenomena using a single model, which rarely works. The author spends the better part of the first hour skewering academics, economists, doctors, etc. While some of his complaints are legit, I didn't drop $15 to hear someone rant about this stuff.
"This audio book has been broken into parts to make the download faster...." But nothing could make the middle of this book any faster. From a good fast start it wallows through a sagging middle where the most minute details seem to be worth lines and lines of discussion. This book goes in my list of "2xers"---those books that you have to bump up to 2x speed in the middle to get to the end.
Won't read him again.
The book felt lazy. Rather than actually try to live out the various things that might make him "the healthiest man alive" as he claimed to want, he just ran around interviewing people with fringe ideas. In some cases, he tried stuff just to try it: had his teeth whitened BEFORE going home to do a simple Google search that convinced him it was an unhealthy thing to to. As he found things that he was convinced did work, he quickly abandoned them in favor of the next thing on the buffet. It's not a book about trying to be the healthiest man alive--it's a book about trying all the various things that might make you healthier, but with very little effort actually put into becoming more healthy. It's like trying to be healthier by watching the people at the gym or reading a nutrition book.
First time I've ever gotten back on Audible and looked for a way to get a refund. Reminded me powerfully of Andy Rooney, who started each piece with "Did you ever wonder why..." and went on to ramble around about the topic for several minutes without ever actually saying anything.
I rated this 3 stars---the first half was easily 5 stars, a well-researched and written analysis of happiness and what does/does not make it. Part 2 was worth 1 star, a seemingly endless retelling of all the woes of current American society and choices. Ironically some of the prescriptions do not even appear to make economic sense. While I do agree with some of the author's points, if I wanted a political discourse on economics I would have bought another book. Will listen to part 1 again; will delete part 2.
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