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Buzz: The Science and Lore of Alcohol and Caffeine

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140268454
ISBN-10: 0140268456
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Editorial Reviews

Review

A stimulating little tome about the world's favorite mind-altering substances. -- Entertainment Weekly

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140268456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140268454
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,416,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Eric Breitenstein on August 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Buzz" by Stephen Braun is one of the best science books I've read in a while. Mr. Braun destroyes popular myths about society's most popular drugs, and he replaces those myths with facts and evidence. Often those facts are just as interesting as the myths!
The book is witty and full of insight and advice about caffeine and alcohol. A must read for people curious about the two most popular drugs on the planet.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Although I know somewhat more than the average person about both substances, This book gave me new information presented in an interesting style. I would recommend it highly both to the casual reader and to educational programs for medical and substance abuse communities.
And, the guy has a sense of humor!!
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Format: Paperback
I think the marketing department at Penguin really undersold this book. The blurb makes it sound like some kind of trivia-hunt, whereas in reality it's much more than that. The science in it is really good. The writer is extremely funny, and uses humour alongside painfully clear descriptions of the different neurotransmitters involved and how they work. He probably could have thrown in a few more tables and diagrams for variety; but by the end of the book, you can't fail to understand these things, and they are worth knowing.

I would say that the book is weakly conceived and poorly structured. Basically, the first half is about alcohol ,the second half is about caffeine. That's it - it's almost like two separate books stuck together. The material is clear and interesting, if a bit old by now. It just lacks a sense of direction. On the plus side it shows he is not grinding any kind of axe or spinning you his theory, just cleaving to a standard interpretation of the literature on what the effects of these drugs are.

Don't expect much discussion of the sociology, history or politics. This is not the book for that. But I think the writer succeeds really well at what he sets out to do, which is communicate the science, so I'll give it 5 stars.
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By Jacob Karle on October 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
Buzz by Stephen Braun was an informative overview of the science, history, and culture of alcohol and caffeine. It was also fairly dated for a science, nonfiction read, but that rarely detracted from the quality of its information. Still, there are probably some better sources out by now, 2014.
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