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Moonwalking with Einstein

The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (224 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer's part-memoir, part-guide on mastering your memory. Read by Mike Chamberlain. On average, people squander forty days annually trying to remember things they’ve forgotten. Joshua Foer used to be one of those people. But after a year of training, he found himself in the finals of the U.S. Memory Championship. He also discovered a truth we too often forget: In every way, we are the sum of our memories. In Moonwalking with Einstein Foer draws on cutting-edge research, the cultural history of memory and the techniques of 'mental atheletes' to transform our understanding of human remembering. He learns the ancient methods used by Cicero and Medieval scholars.

He meets amnesiacs, neuroscientists and savants - including a man who claims to have memorized more than nine thousand books. In doing so, he reveals the hidden impact of memory on our lives, and shows how we can all dramatically improve our memories. At a time when electronic devices have all but rendered our individual memories obsolete, Foer's book is a quest to resurrect the gift we all possess, but that too often slips our minds.

©2011 Joshua Foer (P)2011 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A marvelous overview of one of the most essential aspects of what makes us human - our memory ... Witty and engaging." (Dan Ariely)
"Memory...makes us who we are...passionate and deeply engrossing ...The more we challenge ourselves, the greater our capacity. It's a fact that every teacher, parent and student would do well to learn. The lesson is unforgettable." ( Washington Post)
"Captivating ... Engaging ... Mr. Foer writes in these pages with fresh enthusiasm. His narrative is smart and funny." ( Michiko Kakutani New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • ilkka
  • Turku, Finland
  • 03-11-13

The holy grail has been found

What did you love best about Moonwalking with Einstein?

A very well written book. Extremely useful and fascinating topic in an easy-to-digest format. I couldn't recommend more. I actually started applying the techniques I learned from this book in my medical studies and honestly feel like I've made enormous progress.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Interesting, informative stuff that happened.

Would you try another book from Joshua Foer and/or Mike Chamberlain?

This blog style book sprinkled with some science and facts is good pop intelligentia waffle and can be helpful to fill in the gaps of studying something like memory learning but I am not sure Joshua Foer has another book like this in him. Not sure if I would read any other book by him.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Mike Chamberlain?

Mike Chamberlain is easy to listen to but far from the best and I would not write home to mother about his style. Business like, pedestrian, american is the best way to describe his narration. His English accents are bad. Still he gave it a go and nothing stood out so bad to make you drop your iPod and run away with your ears bleeding. He's okay.

Do you think Moonwalking with Einstein needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Perhaps Joshua should take the next step and learn a new skill for the brain like decision making, analitical thinking or learning a language in record time. Something to test the mechanics rather than just top up the grey matter. Would be interesting to see his take on exploring more about what the brain is capable.

Any additional comments?

I learned much from this book. I enjoyed it as light intelligentia entertainment. It will not make you a genius but clear up some of your self improvement wish list or at least help you remember it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A stroll through a very interesting experiment

If you're looking for a quick guide to the secrets of memory techniques, this isn't it. Its not supposed to be.

Joshua extensively delves into the world of memory as a whole and has very neatly wrapped into the timeline of his experiment to improve his memory.

I feel he did a great job to expose what it really takes to get to where he was and demystified the topic quite well. There is enough info to start the practice of memory techniques but with the realisation that it's going to take effort to get good at it.

I enjoyed the book and Mike Chamberlain has a very informative and documentary like tone of voice which made it easy to breeze through the book.

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Good story ,but the conclussion seemd forced.

i loved it.It is an very interesting thing to read.
i Hope that is clearing some things up.

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A good book.

A good book have already recommended to my friends and family.Will be able to corelate time and memories now :)

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completely engaging and gripping tale!

read this as had recently become obsessed with learning memory techniques and this book was on the experts "must read" list. A wonderful and gripping tale regardless of whether you are interested in mnemonics or not! highly recommend

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Worth every second of listening.

This book has changed the way in which I view memory. My mindfulness begins today...

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The sharpening of one's memory

Fascinating and informative! Every scholar should be made aware of the positive impact of memorizing.

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  • blessan
  • tamil nadu,india
  • 10-24-17

Must read for High school students

This book is must read for all high school students.This book helps lists out various memory techniques which would be very helpful in school exams.

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Disappointment

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It's clear that the author has spent considerable time researching the history of techniques around memory and mentions countless aspects. But I'm now at hour 6 and all I've heard was history... One brief intro to the memory palace technique and explanations of mnemonics. I've even started listening to it on 1.5x speed... hope the final hours of the book brings actual useable content.

Did Moonwalking with Einstein inspire you to do anything?

Yes, to read other books on the subject of memory

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  • Philip
  • 08-08-12

A very interesting listen

This book follows Joshua Foer through his journey from average guy to memory champ challenger, and while it skims over the various memory methods, if you want to use them, you have to research the information yourself

What is amazing is the amount of people in the memory game who limit themselves to certain types, while Josh, in a year, manages to out-do the "professionals" who have been doing it for years, let alone the "memory freaks" (or false ones) who just have remarkable minds, or don't

If you're interested in your mind and how to expand it, then this is an interesting listen, but it won't teach you, it will just set you on the way, and show you about the memory championships

The narrator is good, almost making you think that it's the voice of Josh Foer, which makes it all the more interesting - a very well read book, and I can't wait to listen to more ready by Mike Chamberlain!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Wicked Wolfie
  • 01-28-16

Not quite what I was expecting

Would you listen to Moonwalking with Einstein again? Why?

probably not

Any additional comments?

I was expecting a guide on memory techniques but this is more of one man's story of learning the techniques himself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jason
  • 09-24-13

A good relaxed read

This is a good book which touches on some of the techniques used for memory training but mainly follows the author through being a memory novice to competing in the US memory championship. Its not a memory training aid but a relaxed, light hearted take on the people who commit themselves to memorising infeasible amounts of data, and the so called savants who can do this effortlessly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tucker
  • 12-28-12

Enlightening!!

if you are interested in how your mind and memory works i would recommend this book, well structured and informative and certainly gets you thinking

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • SeaEagle1453
  • 06-02-14

An interesting view into memory

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I enjoyed it greatly. It is an interesting take on memory from the point of view of the non- specialist. It provides a view of the subject and the community of specialist competitors

Who was your favorite character and why?

It is pretty much autobiographical so that Josh is the main vehicle for the narrative.

Have you listened to any of Mike Chamberlain’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No but I think he does an excellent job on this book.

Any additional comments?

This is not an instruction book on how to develop your memory but an insight into the subject written in a clear way by a journalist who explores the path of memory enhancement from the inside.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • john miller
  • 04-15-13

Seriously memorable!

A journalist covers a memory contest and decides to go in for one himself, getting hooked, in the process on the art and science of memory-training. A fascinating book which explores the subject of memory and memory training from its early history. The most exciting thing is that it demystifies feats of memory and makes you realise that, with a little effort and perseverance, you could manage to remember massively more than you do at the moment!

Mike Chamberlains reading contributes a faint hint of Woody Allen about the whole thing, particularly when it comes to the tradition of memory experts in resorting to bawdy humour to get things to stick in their minds.

A highly diverging and entertaining – as well as instructive book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Emmanuel Smith
  • 04-07-13

changed my view on life

there are a few books which at first glance you think to yourself.. "really, another self help book?". with this book you could not be more wrong, or at least... i couldn't. i found my self very surprised at the level of interest in mnemonics this book has ignited within me. the story was told through a very engaging narrative, with which i constantly found myself chuckling aloud.. and at one point even, shedding tears. yes i admit it, i cried. at a certain point in this book i came across a realization about the absence of memory that was sadder than anything i could imagine. but alas, i fear i have already said too much. now.. go forth and listen to one of the books that i'm proud to call my favorites.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 04-04-12

Worth a read

This is a great story with an interesting end but there are a few little annoyances I had with the Audiobook. The narrators American accent I found to be a bit annoying especially when describing places in England (of which he names a few) - pronouncing Derby as 'duhby'; and there were a few periods of what seemed to be getting the word count up by citing psychology research of which is vaguely relevant, yet not that interesting.
Overall I would be lying if I said I wasn't entertained by this book and I did finish it with a smile on my face, but may I suggest Surely You Must Be Joking Mr Feynman for more balanced, science based inspirational non fiction(!)

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Jez
  • 10-16-19

Not impressed

Authors book was of little value & a waste of time. Don't be fooled by the high rated reviews !

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  • Mr Amara Sesay
  • 10-10-19

Best audiobook I have listened to in a long while.

Loved it. well written, very balanced views and extremely entertaining.

a great listen for anyone wanting to delve deeper in the mechanics of memory and the reality of how the brain works.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-12-17

fantastic

Extremely informative book. Shares with you the technique to the memory palace and 2 weeks after hearing that shopping list, i still can imagine every stop along my palace. but like all techniques they only work and develop if you keep practicing them until you can use then quickly on almost all day to day activities.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-08-18

Incredibly Interesting

Really enjoyed this audio book. A fascinating tale that was incredibly well written through the lense of a journalist. Really enjoyed the narration , the story as well as the in depth research into memory.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jack M.
  • 06-21-19

enjoyable

Interesting little story and intro to MA community. good that it didn't turn into a self help book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-17-19

great way to make you fall in love with memory

This book follows the journey of a journalist through his training to be a memory champion. it is a really easy book to get though. It has a wide range stories, well thought out background information and research. This is not a strict how to book. Though you could probably use parts of it like that.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-15-17

This is easy listening and thoroughly enjoyable

I purchased Moonwalking with Einstein expecting a 50/50 mix of a biography and 'how to', but it was much more about the journey Josh went through, while barely scratching the surface of how to train your memory.
Josh explained the framework on how to better your memory, and provided a lot of helpful leads to follow, but this is I'm no way a self help book.

Moonwalking with Einstein was engaging from start to finish, from Josh's first encounter with the competitive memory circuit to meeting the 'talented tenth', but also very easy to listen to.

I've listened to this 3 times in the last month and each time I loved it. I would recommend this to anyone.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • MK
  • 05-16-17

brilliant

Well narrated, great content and very insightful. enjoyed the dance between Josh's story and the interesting information

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  • Brian
  • 01-12-16

Interesting and Easy to listen too

very interesting topic, was legible at double speed so relatively quick. not a self improvement book, but a cheerful coverage of memory athletes