83 of 99 people found the following review helpful
Insightful and insipid,
This review is from: Thinking, Fast and Slow (Hardcover)
Let me start by declaring a bias: I love pop-science books. I'm fairly happy with the hard core scientific tomes too, but pop-science brings together two of my passions - science and literature, and hence I tend to view most such books through a favourable lens.
Fast & Slow started off fairly well, and Kahneman's writing felt lucid and thoughtful. The introductory chapters held promise of a book that would develop well and give me lots to think about, and provide some useful guidance in my everyday life. About halfway through the book, however, against my strong desire to go on, I gave up, and here's why: the book was going nowhere. It wasn't that it stopped being insightful - it was just that it seemed more like a collection of interesting examples than a collected, coherent development. Individually, the chapters did not feel unpleasant, and in fact contained a lot of knowledge and insight that I was unfamiliar with and found engrossing, but my objection is to putting all these chapters together as a book. Most books, outside of the text/ reference book variety, effectively become part of the greater body of literature, and should be viewed through that lens. I don't believe that books can be measured by different yardsticks on account of being clever, or being written by somebody famous or important, and consequently, I believe this book falls short.
So, despite my bias towards this genre, my recommendation would be to read it as a background book, or better still, as a series of articles over a long-ish period of time. You might save yourself some of the disappointment that way and be able to enjoy, and complete this book.