Customer Reviews


224 Reviews
5 star:
 (104)
4 star:
 (78)
3 star:
 (31)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and entertaining
Our memory skills, just like our food cravings for fat and sugar, were better suited to our days as hunter gatherers, according to Joshua Foer in Moonwalking with Einstein. Back then, what our ancestors needed to remember was where to find food, what plants are poisonous, and how to get home. This makes us great at remembering visual imagery, and not so good at...
Published on 15 April 2011 by Jaylia3

versus
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a book to help improve memory!
This is not a bad book but it is certainly not a book about how to improve your memory. I feel the i will now nee to go find another , such as a Buzan book, to learn the techniques that he talks of . For example he mentions the Major System and the basics of how it works but not the details. I had to google it to find out the standard number to letter mapping. This book...
Published on 20 Oct 2011 by Jock


‹ Previous | 1 223 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and entertaining, 15 April 2011
By 
Jaylia3 (Silver Spring, MD United States) - See all my reviews
Our memory skills, just like our food cravings for fat and sugar, were better suited to our days as hunter gatherers, according to Joshua Foer in Moonwalking with Einstein. Back then, what our ancestors needed to remember was where to find food, what plants are poisonous, and how to get home. This makes us great at remembering visual imagery, and not so good at remembering multiple passwords, numerous phone numbers or detailed verbal instructions.

The trick to memory techniques is changing the tedious data you want to remember into something so flamboyant and sensational that you can't forget it. It works. With the help of images like the three Petticoat Junction sisters hula hooping in my living room I can still remember the fifteen item "to do" list Foer's memory coach used as an example more than a week after I read that section of the book.

Moonwalking with Einstein is part a history of mnemonic practices beginning long before the advent of writing, part a cursory introduction to some memory tricks including the memory palace, and part a chronicle of the year or so Foer spent developing his memory skills in preparation for the U.S. Memory Championship--this aspect of the book reminded me of Word Freak, a Scrabble championship account by Stefan Fatsis. Foer also covers the phenomenon of savants, what techniques you can use to push yourself past being just okay at any given skill and how memorizing can help you be more aware and maybe even a little wiser. Unfortunately, even after all his training Foer reports that he still sometimes misplaces his keys. This is an absorbing and entertaining book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We can all remember but ... we have lost the art, 24 Jan 2012
By 
R T "RT of Keighley" (Keighley) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Penguin, the publishers, describe this as "science/memoir" - it really is more memoir than science but an intriguing account of a journalist's involvement with the competitive memory world.

As it says quite early on (page 18 actually) it is not meant to be a self-help book but Joshua hopes that the reader will get a sense of how any one can go about training their memory. It is about his involvement in a memory competition in the USA and, being a journalist, some of the people he spoke to including major figures in this world of memory.

A lot of the ideas are not new: it involves visualisation which was common until we started having books to read and to write in about 500 years ago. What we are used to is a relatively recent phenomenon in the life history of mankind and thus he maintains it is possible for anyone to develop their innate memory skills.

Although I detect, on occasions, some bias and I could disagree with some of his observations and deductions, for example chapter ten, I enjoyed the account.

There are chapters on key individuals but interestingly one about a man with such severe amnesia that he could not remember what the last sentence was.

There are notes on the points made, giving sources, a bibliography and an index so it is easy to check it and follow an idea through.

I found it intriguing and a fascinating read - although beware Joshua's memory aids as he gives examples of how me learnt a series of facts or numbers or whatever do seem very individualistic and possibly reveal quite a bit about the man himself!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Witty, Eye-Opening Book, 13 April 2011
By 
HeavyMetalMonty (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
'Once upon a time people invested in their memories, they cultivated them. They studiously furnished their minds. They remembered. Today, of course, we've got books, and computers and smart phones to hold our memories for us. We've outsourced our memories to external devices. The result is that we no longer trust our memories. We see every small forgotten thing as evidence that they're failing us altogether. We've forgotten how to remember.'

When Joshua Foer was sent to cover the US Memory Championships as a science journalist, little did he expect to return the following year as a competitor. And the idea that he might win after only one year of training was unthinkable. Yet that's exactly what happened. Like many people, Foer regularly forgot where he left his car keys and, on occasion, his car. He discovered from speaking with the world's memory champions that they weren't savants who performed miraculous mnemonic feats without effort, but ordinary people who used specific techniques to remember information; just as a physical athlete doesn't reach the pinnacle of his or her sport without training long and hard, a mental athlete must apply the same dedication and commitment to training the memory. Joshua moved to the UK to be coached by world-renowned memory athlete Ed Cooke in his rural English hideaway. Foer's description of his intensive training with coach Cooke evokes images of the training montages from the Rocky movies: no-mercy coach and gutsy athlete training together in seclusion from the outside world, only re-emerging once the fighter is in a state of perfect readiness.

Don't think for a moment that a book describing memory training and its historical background must be boring. Foer's incisive narrative is littered with witty stories of the endearingly eccentric memory champions who became his friends and peers. Their passion for all things cerebral flows over into their lives as a whole, so much so that by the end of the book, the reader can't help feeling that these would be fun people to have as friends.

Buy it, read it, change your worldview.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why you should learn to memorize, 25 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought the book and was enthused and entertained about human memory and how from having an ordinary memory, Joshua learned techniques that would enable him to do previously impossible tasks, such as remembering the order of a shuffled deck in less than 3 minutes. Along the way, you'll meet a man who remembered everything but could not forget, a man who remembers nothing after a few seconds but can remember everything from 50 years ago.

This lead me to read Remember, Remember: Learn the Stuff You Thought You Never Could by Ed Cooke and you can read my review of it there. Suffice it to say that that book filled in some of the gaps left by this book as to how powerful our memories really are. There are others by Dominic O'Brien and Tony Buzan that I'm studying.

From "Remember, Remember", I can now recite from memory all of the kings and queens of England from Offa to Elizabeth II, all of the US presidents from Washington to Obama and all of the British Prime Ministers from Walpole to Cameron. And I'm 47 years old.

My wife and my 9-year old daughter can do all of the Kings & Queens and the US Presidents. My 4-year-old son can recite the first six kings - so far.

Can anyone do it? I don't see why not. But it requires a willingness to practice because like anything else worth having, practice is the key. Its not instant, but you'll surprise yourself if you persist just a little bit.

Both Joshua and Ed are insistent that photographic memories do not exist, that there are well-practised minds and unpractised minds. Some have more help from their neurophysiology such as people who have synaesthesia, the rest of us do not and its not critical.

There have been a few reviews which gave 1-star because the book does not cover in detail *how* Joshua Foer became American Memory Champion. That's because those people didn't read the book's description nor read the reviews. And probably won't read this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moonwalking with Einstein!, 25 Jan 2012
By 
M. Dasani (London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the semi-autobiographical story of Joshua Foer, a journalist who one day found himself as a contender in the finals for the USA memory championships. I saw semi-autobiographical, because while the book follows Joshua's and the people he met along the way, the book also contains some interesting scientific/neuroscience facts and stories about other people from his memory journey.

I found this book to be a little misleading, because the blurb on the back says, "Foer shows how we can all improve our memories". This made me think that there may be a self help/exercises to follow aspect, but there is not. If that's what you're looking for, you need to look elsewhere. I suppose you may be able to pick up some tricks along the way, but you'll have to extract them yourself through the story itself.

But as interesting stories go, it's pretty hard to put down once you get going.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The inside scoop!, 28 Mar 2011
By 
Sam Woodward (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've dipped into a few 'how-to' memory books in the past, primarily those of Dominic O'Brien & Tony Buzan, the "self-styled guru" (according to Foer) who pretty much started the 'improve your mind' branch of the self-help industry. These were useful guides consisting of surprisingly simple but effective techniques, usually (particularly in Buzan's case) fleshed out with waffle to make them book-length. But I always wanted to know more about the men behind them - what sort of person is motivated to try to remember several thousand books word-for-word, or would want to spend several hours memorising & reciting lists of thousands of numbers? Surely that must take someone incredibly eccentric with rather a unique perspective?

Thanks to Foer, I now know. Originally a journalist writing about a memory event, he is persuaded by Buzan to enter the US Memory Championship & put these techniques to the test. This he does, despite his initial reservation that these 'mind olympics' are hardly as captivating as the athletic version. Watching people sitting still in a silent room for several hours is not exactly the most exciting spectator sport. Yet Foer is keen to work out whether these techniques actually work or whether memory gurus are just gifted savants.

This books' title - 'Moonwalking with Einstein' - is an example of one memory technique, associating a word or number with an amusing image to make it easier to recall. Foer also provides a surprisingly interesting summary of the history of such techniques, which apparently date back to the Ancient Greeks but became increasingly out of fashion once the printing press & computers made information storage easier & more accurate. In this way, a brief overview of memory methods is provided. While this book is not intended as a self-help guide, there's probably enough info here to have a go - as I say, a lot of the how-to books seem to mostly consist of padding anyway.

Overall, this is a lighthearted insight into a strange yet fascinating world. Foer fleshes it out in an amusing, readable way, although is perhaps a little judgemental at times. A unique & interesting read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a book to help improve memory!, 20 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is not a bad book but it is certainly not a book about how to improve your memory. I feel the i will now nee to go find another , such as a Buzan book, to learn the techniques that he talks of . For example he mentions the Major System and the basics of how it works but not the details. I had to google it to find out the standard number to letter mapping. This book is more of a autobiography than a book that will help you improve your memory. Again from reading it you might get the general concept of how the techniques work but no detail which left me confused and a little annoyed. I think the title is a bit sensationalist. Something like "Moonwalking with Einstein: My journey to becoming a memory champ" would be more realistic
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 27 Nov 2013
I recently started learning about memory techniques and a friend recommended this book to me. It is fantastic!! It not only tells you about the quest of the author learning memory techniques and entering the American memory championship. It also has a wonderful history and review of characters throughout history who first discovered and where pioneers of human memory. Fantastic book !! I would recommend it to anyone !!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not science not a thriller, 9 Nov 2013
"The Art and Science of Remembering Everything" ... no that is not what you should expect. It is a book about a guy who stumbled into the field of learning how to memorize. The story is about him starting from zero to getting a champion in it. It hasnt enough pop to read it from to beginning to end. And unfortunately it doesnt talk a lot about techniques how to memorize.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really cool overview on journey of improving your memory.., 19 Sep 2013
By 
Mr. R. O'regan (Your mum) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I read some of the comments here.. It's really funny, because this book was perfect for me.. I did NOT want to hear another memory technique because I already read a number of books with technique - and they are basically all similar. I loved this book because it was an overview, and in depth overview..
The book is really well written and engaging the whole way throughout.
I learned lots of stuff about memory ..and life in the past.. I would never have done before.. Eg writing in the old days LOOKEDLIKETHISWITHNOSPACESWHICHSEEMSSTRANGE at first but makes sense as in real life, there are not 'pauses' between words, we say all the words together.. a space in writing did not come for century's later.. etc
I also learned about the kind of disclipine it takes to get good at memory..
This book was great for me because I wanted to know 'shall I study memory or not' and I got some answers about what the process is like.
Enjoy
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 223 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews