Customer Review

40 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you value your time, don't waste it reading this book, November 18, 2007
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This review is from: Discover Your Inner Economist: Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist (Hardcover)
I rarely come across a book that inspires me to write a review. This one has that exceptional quality of being so bad that I feel compelled to post my opinion here.

The whole book has the air of the smug, overly talkative guy at the cocktail party who loves to hear himself talk and just won't shut up. Tyler Cowen is like a cross between Cliff Claven and Frasier Crane - the two characters from Cheers. He presents himself as an expert on virtually everything, making sweeping statements that appear to just be random ideas with no basis in fact... and he does so with the pompous air of a "cultured" aristocrat.

Unlike the book's author, I generally DO finish every book that I start, if for no other reason than to give it every possible chance to redeem itself. I kept hoping against hope that this one would have some value, but it never did.

Despite the title, this book says virtually nothing about economics. There are a few pages here and there that mention incentives, but nothing of any substance. A better title would be "Discovering Tyler Cowen's random thoughts about food, art museums, dating, and other topics".

As noted by another reviewer, there is nothing in this book that points to any evidence about any of the author's musings. For example, he spends several pages talking about what kind of strategy you might want to use if you were kidnapped by extremists bent on torturing you. Does he actually mention any case in which anyone was held hostage... what worked, what didn't? Does he mention what the experts have said is the right strategy in such a situation? Has he personally experimented with torture by tying someone to a chair and reading this book to them? Nothing of substance here... just random thoughts with virtually no direction.

It is worth noting that most of the thirteen 5-star reviews for this book (as of the date I'm writing this) were written within a week or two of the book's release, and at least three were written by people who live in Cowen's hometown of Fairfax, VA (and a fourth by someone in nearby Washington DC). I'm not a statistician, but it does seem a bit improbable...
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 7, 2010 1:52:03 PM PDT
el cid says:
LOL
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