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23 Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read - every single page.
This book is a fine piece of literature, although it feels more like a research paper. I liked that it introduced me to a few new concepts and it deals with them in good detail. For example, the idea of practicing something continuously until it turns into a habit and you can no longer make a mistake. Or the concept of the brain attic and how we need to make sure we are...
Published 10 months ago by Teodora Todorova

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good topic but dodgy theorising
I'm a big fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories and I agree that the patterns of thinking described and illustrated in the stories are so realistic that Conan Doyle must have had real life people in mind as his inspiration. Consequently, I was interested in Maria's ideas on how Sherlock's thinking works.

However, I have to report that I didn't think she had...
Published 9 months ago by Matthew Leitch


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh, 24 Jun 2013
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A. Wenham "DeathJam64" (Coventry, UK) - See all my reviews
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The same sharpen-your-mind advice that many other books have covered in the past, but this time applied to real life and Holmes in his adventures. It's okay if you haven't read anything like this before, but is by no means breakthrough literature. Read something less gimmicky if you're serious about improving your mind.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and tackle the right stuff, 12 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (Hardcover)
I loved the book from the first words till the end, it tackles all the problem you want to face in yourself, not only that but also trying to give you a way in which if you followed you might end up with being another good detective or just a good engineer or even better a good doctor.

I loved it, it was very enjoyable to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars and in good order thank, 15 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (Hardcover)
Arrived promptly, and in good order thank you
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5.0 out of 5 stars very good, much, 19 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (Hardcover)
yes! very good, much wow
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating..., 5 Jan 2014
An extremely frustrating read in so far as that the inescapable premise of the book appears to be that psychological principles can be taught upon the back of an entire fiction. There is such paradoxical logic in this that at times I felt genuine anger, the work is simply riding the crest of a huge wave of interest in Sherlock Holmes at present, this is not in the main, psychology, but literary review in the guise of science, and as such the whole thing appears to be a colossal misrepresentation.

To argue, by reference to fictional and unlikely examples of induction, phrased straight from the Holmes stories, that this is how we should think, is a bizarre conceit indeed.

There are several interesting psychology experiments referred to, absent any reference; curious to say the least. As a graduate in psychology I'm fascinated by the suggestion that we can, for example improve insight by thinking about the colour blue, (?) but without proper identification of the research in this area, how can I possibly further my knowledge?

Part of the power of Holmes as an intellectual character, is in watching the seeming magic by which he observes and deduces. (induces, is more accurate). There are no shortcuts here, you would best look elsewhere for insight.

There are no examples of improving memory, such as using the mind palace, or various other peg systems of memory.

There are no practical, ie NOT FICTIONAL, examples for improving observation.

It would have been far more educational had there been tutelage from the examples of REAL people, who observe and deduce as Holmes does, but have any such people ever existed?

In short, Holmes is a super intelligent behemoth of a character, and to be able to think like him, as this book purports to enable us, the book would have to provide means of turbo charging our intelligence. And it doesn't.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting, if wordy, 24 July 2013
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B. osborn - See all my reviews
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contains some nice ideas, and gives a lot of pointers about thinking of the way you approach situations, both social and intellectual, makes you think about different branches of thought and hopefully makes you aware of the in built prejudices that everyone carries with them

the content was sometimes over explained, and i found myself skimming to get to the end of a point, which was usually a page or two worth of text, could have done with more editing.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good, but, 14 Jun 2013
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I liked this book, the reference and comparisons to Sherlock made it enjoyable. However I was left feeling as if I'd missed some key nugget that opened up the ability to improve my abilities to perform better
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super sleuthful!, 3 April 2013
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Mr. D. Boocock (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
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A fascinating book - I wholly recommend it. A true insight into how your mind works, and how it can work better.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining pyschology book, 21 Jan 2013
By 
Curiosity Killed The Bookworm (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (Hardcover)
Is Sherlock Holmes a genius or just a man with a well-trained mind? In Maria Konnikova's popular psychology book, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, she compares the Sherlock system to the Watson system, using examples from the original stories to illustrate the methods.

It's an odd combination of fact and fiction, one which works for me. You either have to go in with the idea that Sherlock and Watson are real people and they are being used as a case study. Or, you see it as a very detailed character analysis. Sherlock is so ingrained in our minds and culture, that it's easy to forget he's fictional, especially the way Konnikova describes him. Yet, it's also quite interesting to look at it from a literary analysis view, if you forget the parts that are aimed at self-improvement.

Let's face it, this book is not going to turn you into a mastermind overnight, however there are many aspects that I can completely relate to and I found myself going "I do that" several times. Sherlock's brain attic is explained and the way we store memories. We need to be motivated at the point of learning in order to access those facts easily later on. Apply this theory to me; we have a daily music quiz we do at work and I am useless at it. It's not that I don't know any of the facts (although some have never even gone near my attic space) but I'm not that fussed about music. I will listen to it, I know enough to go and buy the right album when I want to, but I have no motivation to learn the details. So often I struggle to get the answer but when someone else says it, I know that I did have that knowledge. It just wasn't to hand in the attic space. Yet I remember lots of things I read in books, because I want to review them and discuss and I generally find these random facts interesting.

Watson is used throughout to illustrate the normal, untrained mind (that would be us) and also the fact that minds can change. Sherlock's mistakes are also used to show that unless you keep exercising your mind (like a muscle) it will weaken. I would warn anyone who hasn't read the Sherlock Holmes books, that Mastermind is riddled with spoilers, but it would mostly be aimed at fans of the canon. Whilst I know bits and pieces of the stories (so this didn't bother me), it has instilled a desire to go back and read more of them.

Review copy provided by publisher.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So didn't get this, 2 Mar 2014
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First of all...an impulse purchase on a rainy day. The basic framework of the book is simply that our mind is an attic and like Holmes if we have the discipline we can review and stock it with whatever information is relevant...stuff it with fluff and it is more difficult to find the info you really want ....phew !!!!!!

Then this basic assumption gets repeated in various ways, again...and again...and again with some ad hoc references to the Conan Doyle stories.

It is so easy to be a critic sitting in non armchair on the other side of the screen errr book if you are a traditionalist.

Great idea but oh so long ...sorry wouldn't recommend this as a purchase
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Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes
Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova (Hardcover - 17 Jan 2013)
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