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The Shallows Audiobook

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of The Big Switch returns with an explosive look at technology’s effect on the mind.

“Is Google making us stupid?” When Nicholas Carr posed that question in an Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: as we enjoy the Internet’s bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?

Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration yet published of the Internet’s intellectual and cultural consequences. Weaving insights from philosophy, neuroscience, and history into a rich narrative, The Shallows explains how the Internet is rerouting our neural pathways, replacing the subtle mind of the book reader with the distracted mind of the screen watcher. A gripping story of human transformation played out against a backdrop of technological upheaval, The Shallows will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.

©2010 Nicholas Carr (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Neuroscience and technology buffs, librarians, and Internet users will find this truly compelling.” (Library Journal)

“Cogent, urgent, and well worth reading.” (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (659 )
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4.1 (461 )
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Performance
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  •  
    gorazd 03-26-16
    gorazd 03-26-16
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    "Good book"

    Good story, thats what I needed to listen to. I will probably need to read it again to Understand it fully

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darya 03-02-16
    Darya 03-02-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Loved the book!"

    The was an enlightening read. Well-rounded research into the cognitive consequences that computer addiction entails. Excellently written and narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica E Seals 12-16-15
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    "Long winded and non scientific"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Because I like learning history and trivia


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    A fiction


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    Very long winded. It goes on and on about obvious and trivial details. Might be more interesting in 10 years to a generation who more removed from life before the internet

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geneva 10-10-15
    Geneva 10-10-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "old man yells at the cloud"
    What disappointed you about The Shallows?

    I was hoping for something deeper and less reactionary, maybe something about how young people are developing with the technology, perhaps from a less outsider-feeling perspective. Instead it was very concerned with the loss of reading. Understandable, but given undue emphasis. The book is, ironically, pretty shallow an analysis of the impact the internet has had on our thinking.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Paul Michael Garcia’s performances?

    Perhaps his affect would be less grating when used in a book that is less hoity-toity.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom (which I'm sure the author would take to indicate my internet-ruined brain. And perhaps it is, but it doesn't make the book any more compelling or fresh).


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kelly 02-25-15
    kelly 02-25-15
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    "Informational and important but sometimes boring"

    This book is very informative and about some really relevant and important things we should be paying attention to in our media driven culture. However, some of the chapters main ideas or arguments are somewhat repetitive and the digressions and stories can bore you at times. Overall, really thoughtful and informative book. Good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stevie 01-12-15
    stevie 01-12-15
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    "Very good book"

    Narrator needs to review foreign words vice butchering them, and watch his intonation errors. Story is compelling and convincingly written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matteo Barcelona, Spain 06-09-13
    Matteo Barcelona, Spain 06-09-13 Member Since 2013
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    "So Shallow I couldent finish"

    I imagined a book like this would be based on research. I've only read 50% of the book because it was so Shallow I couldent go on, but so far all of autors arguments wore "Because me and my friends can't read more then one page, then it means the whole world can't read more then one page". Sorry, I read a book per week and although I think internet is making us more shallow and read less, I was hopping to encounter some solid research, instead this books seams a description on how the autor and his friends are behaving, which is not very usefull in my opinion.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlotte A. Hu San Antonio, TX, United States 05-23-13
    Charlotte A. Hu San Antonio, TX, United States 05-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "I Disagree: Not Only Elites, More People Read Now"

    First, as appropriate self-disclosure, I should note that the title and description of this book turned me off because I'm a technophile. However, I read books that I feel viscerally opposed to precisely because I feel opposed to them. I don't want my brain to get too narrow.

    Even though I disagree with the concepts presented in this book, I'm giving it 4 stars because I think it adds a valid argument to the overall discussion on the impact of the Internet and it's impact.

    That said, my initial response to a lot of his points was that they were valid. Some of the points in this book are valid. The increasing "drinking from a fire hydrant" feeling of information overload is undeniably real. The problem with this book is that he compares our current life to the "good ol' days" when people read more deeply, wrote more deeply, etc. And even he notes that those were the rich elite. In fact, in the good ol' days, most of the world was illiterate.

    My cousin is a construction work and my brother installs security cameras for a living. Both claim they hated high school and neither could tolerate much more formal education. My brother choked down some university courses because he was able earn GI Bill beer money as a result.

    Still, decades ago, my conversations with them lacked depth and range. Today, my brother is well versed on a wide variety of science, technology, politics, global events. I'm amazed at the conversations I have with both of them and with other family members who eschewed formal education.

    Not only is technology bringing people with little interest in deep reading into the fold, its expanding the reach and range for those of us with an interest in everything. I've always loved to read, but years ago, I had to dedicate a week or two to a good book. Now, with my audible.com empowered iPod, I can consume a book in a day or two. This one included.

    Japanese are surprisingly well-read; at least Tokyoites, owing to the hours they spend in commute on the Metro system. I learned to love my iPod when I was commuting by bus and metro in DC. I don't need a seat. I don't need to focus on bouncing words on a page to read. My iPod keeps dumping ideas into my brain as I step up onto the bus, touch my smart card to pay for the bus, walk down the stairs into the metro, pass through the turnstiles. My reading hours have been expanded to any time when I'm driving, walking, even exercising.

    Sorry, the end result I see is more people with more data in their brains, processing more information and mulling it over in conversations. The world isn't getting more shallow, but it might getting "flat" er. Today, literacy rates throughout the world are climbing, access to a range of information. Globally, it's a good thing on the whole. I'm sure the intellectual elite are still reading just as deeply as ever before.

    Thanks for the idea, though.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Piper Ashby, MA United States 06-25-12
    J. Piper Ashby, MA United States 06-25-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Confirming what many of us have feared"

    An exhaustive study...with plenty of backup and research. I'll admit that I'd already felt the way we live today - essentially in sound bites and rapid fire "subject heading" attention spans,was changing the say we think. I'm a 52 year old male who has been a multi-tasker most of my life, and the internet has aided in that - to no end. While I feel much more efficient and productive (and knowledgeable) , I now realize most of it is pretty superficial and the list of 'mostly or half finished' projects grows daily... It's time to get a grip. There is a lot to keep the listener engaged but it's a long book...and at times found myself drifting - perhaps another victim of that brain modification! (Joke, sorta)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike 04-05-12
    Mike 04-05-12
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    "Listen with an open mind."

    The premise of this book is using the internet seems to be changing our brain makeup, not necessarily for the better or worst.

    Some parts were a bit drawn out, but overall I quite enjoyed listening to this book. First, the author goes through great pains to setup and create a comprehensive environment to explain his theory, and then goes on with supportive arguments, research, and citations. Of course some references seem to be cherry picked to support the author's point of view, but the fact these papers exist at all in creditable research should give pause to reflect on.

    The biggest opponent I found to this book is the preconceived notions from the readers themselves before they start reading. It seems people either agree, or disagree, quite strongly with what is presented here with little basis on facts to support their subjective opinions.

    I found the narration to be excellent, and recommend this book for those interrested.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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