Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Enjoyable wander through the way the brain works
on 28 November 2012
I really enjoyed this book, devouring it in just a few sittings.
Ostensibly, it tells the story of how the author, covering the US memory championships, takes up the challenge to enter them himself and compete the following year.
But along the way the book is an overview of what we know, or think we know, about the way the brain works and how we remember (or fail to remember) stuff. Several common methods of memorisation are outlined - but note this isn't a "how to" book - as is the concept and use of memorisation itself. In a world where we don't have to remember anything - phone numbers, historical facts, the background to current events - because it's all there on devices we carry around, do we need to remember things at all?
The book will appeal if you like a good yarn, or your interested in psychology or education. It is entertaining, informative and at times pretty funny, and the end is quite emotional.
One of the people the author spends a lot of time with is Ed Cooke, who has since written the book "Remember, Remember..." which I bought and started straight after this. Within half an hour I could remember the names of all the Anglo-Saxon kings of England. Is that useful? No. But it's impressive (although I'm having trouble convincing friends and colleagues). More importantly, the method itself is very useful and I've employed it for other things since.