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Customer Review

53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Droll, thought-provoking psychological exercise, November 11, 2008
This review is from: Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You (Hardcover)
Sam Gosling's book is an anti-materialist's nightmare--or is it? In a time when many are advocating that we "purge" our possessions and live "simpler" lives, "Snoop" is an amusing, clever, and occasionally unnerving brain teaser. It posits that we are, in fact, our stuff, and everything we wear, hang, collect, listen to, display, etc. says something revealing about us. (Even the way people arrange pictures in an office--facing a guest so as to impress, or facing the owner to provide reassurance/emotional nurturance--is significant.) Occasionally the book gets fairly scientific when measuring various psychological qualities (Neuroticism, Openness, etc.), but it's nothing that will throw anyone who's ever taken a Meyers-Briggs test. Gosling also analyzes "hoarders" and "emotional narcissists" who never throw anything away, and his conclusions are thought-provoking. And the charts analyzing different music listeners (gospel, rap, rock, etc.), and folks' stereotypes about these people based on their music choices, are real eye-openers. If anything, the book is too short; another chapter or two would've been pure gravy, especially if it dealt with the current trend of disposability, or "renting" rather than owning (as in people who only take CD's or DVD's out from the library rather than buying them). Some may also find the tone a bit facile, though I thought it was funny and clever (especially a chapter entitled "Knowing Me Knowing You" with several pointed ABBA jokes). Still, after I read this book, I couldn't walk into any room in my home without casting a critical eye at the art, the knick-knacks, the books, etc. It's the sort of book that may genuinely change the way you see yourself, as well as the world around you.
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