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Brett

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  • Brain Bugs

  • How the Brain’s Flaws Shape Our Lives
  • By: Dean Buonomano
  • Narrated by: William Hughes
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 292
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 236
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 239

With its trillions of connections, the human brain is more beautiful and complex than anything we could ever build, but it’s far from perfect: our memory is unreliable; we can’t multiply large sums in our heads; advertising manipulates our judgment; we tend to distrust people who are different from us; supernatural beliefs and superstitions are hard to shake; we prefer instant gratification to long-term gain; and what we presume to be rational decisions are often anything but.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Superficial, but mostly correct

  • By Sean on 09-03-11

Not for the casual curious listener

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-22-11

I saw and heard a couple interviews with this author which made the book sound interesting, but after listening, I can not recommend it. The only audience that might find it truly interesting is a first or second year college student considering psychology or neurology- it seems to read like a very general cliffs notes of past studies in these fields.

After slogging through the early chapters of studies, facts, and details, I expected to be rewarded with some practical examples of brain bugs in modern society and how to defeat them. Instead, all the book seemed to do was sum up with "the human brain hasn't evolved, so some tasks aren't easy, and, uh, that's that."

I've never been inspired to write a negative review of a book until now. I don't disagree with the author; I just feel like the book read like a wikipedia entry- there are some background facts and figures and there are a couple juicy ideas that some contributor started writing about, but then became bored and let them die on the page. The interviews with the author had me really excited to read the book, but he left the fun and excitement out of the actual text for some reason.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • The War for Late Night

  • When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy
  • By: Bill Carter
  • Narrated by: Sean Kenin
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 610
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 446
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 447

When NBC decided to move Jay Leno into prime time to make room for Conan O'Brien to host the Tonight show - a job he had been promised five years earlier - skeptics anticipated a train wreck for the ages. It took, in fact, only a few months for the dire predictions to come true. Leno's show, panned by critics, dragged down the ratings - and the profits - of NBC's affiliates, while ratings for Conan's new Tonight show plummeted to the lowest levels in history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story

  • By Roy on 11-24-10

Very entertaining book, excellently narrated

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-16-11

I heard the author on Sound of Young America talking about the book and was interested, but listening to this book far more entertaining than I ever imagined. I rarely watch late night TV, but getting this inside view of how the different characters interact and the demands of the business was very interesting. The author had so much inside information, I would have believed this was a novel. The story he weaved together was very compelling and hard to put down.

The book is excellently narrated. The fact that there are parts of comedy routines in the book made for some good chuckles, but the narrator did such a great job (not trying to do impressions, but just giving a subtle indication who is speaking) that the book is even better as a result.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful