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Customer Review

543 of 603 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but ..., March 17, 2011
This review is from: Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything (Hardcover)
After reading the first chapter of this book online, I went out and picked up a copy and read it. I was under the impression from reading that first chapter that this book would be about Joshua's year of training his memory. There is a large gap between knowing about a memory technique and how to actually use that technique. I was interested in reading about the author's efforts, problems, and his solutions to those problems. Unfortunately for me, only a small part of this book actually was about the author's actual training. He does cover a good deal of academic ground on memory. If you have a undergarduate degree in psychology, most of this material will be familiar. The author is correct when he said that this book isn't a self-help book, but there are a few pearls within its cover. My expectations for this book resulted in my being disappointed with it. That's my problem. I do consider the book to be a good read and would recommend it to friends and associates.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 19, 2011, 6:38:38 AM PDT
Narwhal says:
Thank you for the "heads up". I read new books on "popular" science, from brains to cosmology. It is a rare book that blends and balances hard science, history, anectdote and biography. Each of these as its merits, but it's good to know what you're getting into. As an example compare Dawkins and Greene to "Uncle Tungsten" and "Driving Mr Albert". I'll still look this up.

Posted on Mar 21, 2011, 10:21:16 AM PDT
a919 says:
Interesting that you would rate this with 3 stars despite the only problem with it being your own expectations about it.

Your review is a fair assessment of the book, but your star rating is unfair.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2011, 9:09:20 AM PDT
howard says:
I disagree. Josh and his friends went to several technical websites and mis-advertised the book. One of their false advertisements said that it would help you to remember where you left your keys; all of them implied that they would help you learn the same techniques.

These false advertisements greatly distorted expectations in the hopes of selling the book.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2011, 3:37:31 PM PDT
Ryan TK says:
I believe he gave it three stars, due in part to a very misleading title following the colon ": The Art and Science of Remembering Everything." A very small portion of the book is actually about the art and science of mnemonic devices (i.e. Major System, Memory Palace, Mind Mapping). The major portion of the book deals with memory athletes and savants and even a chapter about a savant Daniel Tammet, who Joshua Foer (Author) believes/exposes as a probable fraud. Not really congruent with the title of the book. I would give the book three stars based on the misleading title, aka false advertising. However, Josh is an excellent writer and the story is very interesting,

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2011, 12:51:05 AM PDT
D. Bermejo says:
Hi BlakPropaganda,
I think I understand how you would think that the title might be misleading, but I think it is a result of your mis-understanding.

As you point out, the book's title reads ": The Art and Science of Remembering Everything.", and the author, Mr. Foer, delivers that promise. In the book, he *describes* both the art and the science of remembering.
For example:
- In Chapter 2 (The man who remembered too much), he tells us about the clinical case and science behind "S", a man who remembered nearly everything about his life.
- He also devotes Chapter 3 (The Expert, expert) to numerous scientific studies and papers about the notable memory feats of people across various fields and Dr. K. Anders Ericsson's Expertise labs
- Throughout the book, he details the origin and development of the Art of Memory all the way from Simonedes to the middle Ages and to the eventual development of the memory championships.

So I ask you, how is the book's title false advertisement and how is the content not congruent?

Perhaps, you wanted a book by the title of "HOW TO MASTER" The Art and Science of Remembering Everything?

As you can see, the book's *real* title does not include "how to" anywhere, nor does it promise to be teach you everything about all the techniques. However, he does describe the techniques and how he used them.

In light of all the information I just presented (straight from the book), it seems that you may have forgotten what you read and that you and your assessment of the book is not congruent, because the book's title is congruent with its contents.

p.s. If you want a "how-to" book, this one is dated, but it uses the same basic principles found in Mr. Foer's book: Everyday Memory Builder by Jon Keith Everyday Memory Builder

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2012, 4:04:54 AM PST
ShaneD says:
This is a very fair assessment. Even if you just skim the intro the author makes it clear this isn't self help book. It's a fascinating under the covers look at memory and competitive memory events that gives some profound insights into how we can all achieve these feats. But you have to go elsewhere for detail on techniques.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2012, 12:30:19 AM PDT
John says:
I'm sorry, but I fo have to disagree. the subtitle does certainly imply that the book will help increase your memory. You did a great job parsing the words of the subtitle. but when somonesays the art &scienc of rememvbering everything, He does imply you will be able to do just that. Do peopler really care just about the art and science w out learning HOW TO increase their memory? I think not!

Posted on Nov 2, 2012, 9:19:46 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jun 3, 2013, 5:07:53 PM PDT
I agree with your review. The book disappointed me because I would start the chapter waiting for the author to come to the point of the chapter, only to have the author go off on a tangent about the people in his life. The chapter on memorizing poetry was particularly dissapointing, but the author was honest in stating that there is no method to memorizing poetry word for word. My grade school teachers taught me how to memorize by rote, which was difficult. I thought Foer would have a more helpful method, but he didn't.

Posted on Oct 24, 2013, 9:13:04 AM PDT
W. Wilkinson says:
Tony i think u maybe missed the point of the book. As if see it moonwalking is written to open your eyes to the world of mnemonics. Personally ive just started with a book called Unleash Your Hidden Poker Memory and really needed something like this comprehensive work as a foundation. If you don't know where your going you might not get there. If you want to remember things this book points you in that direction with a clarity.
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