Top critical review
One person found this helpful
Good material, some issues with presentation
on 15 October 2013
I am not quite sure what the intended audience is for this book. Parts of it, particularly describing neurological experiments, are quite technical and I felt that better diagrams would have been helpful. However, the author's writing style suggests that it is intended for a general audience. It is best in the chapters describing the general function of the brain, which I thought were clear and well done. There is also a long and informative chapter on the neurophysiology of dreaming. I found the discussion of memory and the related role of processing emotions less clear and informative.
I got the impression that the book began life as a series of lecture notes and, if so, the lectures were probably excellent. However, a written text makes different demands and clearer editing might have helped. The style is often quite informal and the author's verbal mannerisms became a distraction. For example, the constant use of "scary", of "wake" as a noun describing the opposite state to sleep (wouldn't "wakefulness" be correct?), the euphemism "furry creatures" to describe lab rats and the adverb "Fascinatingly..." frequently used to begin a sentence. All fine once in a while, but irritating when repeated over the course of a short book.
I suspect that this book would be very helpful as a consolidating primer to students already studying the topic, but for the interested layman the pitch doesn't seem quite right. I also found the book poorly produced and illustrated for its price, although some of these drawbacks may have been corrected in the finished edition.