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on 10 October 2010
I have not read the original book but expected more from this one than I got. Most of the tag lines on the cover are not really well thought through or discussed. For example, it turns out that the reason for suicide bombers to buy life insurance is simply to confuse the authorities slightly about their intentions. That's it, but it is given huge prominence on the cover.

The majority of the book is simply the authors acting very humbly and talking about all of the amazing people they have met during the writing of the book. Very quickly it becomes boring and repetitive. "Wow, we met this really smart guy who is doing really amazing research and he is so clever because he has found out some stuff which will make an interesting and quirky lines for the cover of our book so we can sell loads of copies off the back of the first".

The actual interesting stuff could have been condensed into 1 chapter. This would have avoided the boring and shameless name dropping and sycophantic drivel which makes up the majority of the book.
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on 25 October 2010
Love it and very enjoyable read. This is the same style as the Freakonomics and I just love these types of books. The Armchair Economist is the best one out there though.

Some of the topics as other reviewers have said needs to be taken with a big grain of salt and again the style of writing is not the best. It uses some logically fallacies to try to influence you to his way of thinking instead of being a balance book.

Take it as a light entertaining read instead of totally factual and you can't go wrong with it. Read it one in go.
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on 8 April 2010
An enjoyable book that covers some unusual subjects but is not as good as the original freakonomics book.

This one goes into a lot more detail on a single subject and as a result is not as wide-ranging, and does at times feel as if its trying to imply that the reader cannot draw their own conclusions from the initial information provided. The original Freakonomics book didnt go into as much details and left the reader able to draw their own conclusions from the outline facts rather than having everything spelled out for you.

I like the Freakonomic books but if you are new to these then the original is the better of the two in my view.
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on 5 May 2015
Not a patch on the first book but enough in it to make it a decent read. Economics is made simple but too simple at times. Give it a go but the bar was set high after the first book
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 October 2009
The original freakonomics book was a big hit amongst a certain demographic, and deservedly so - it permitted an entirely new perspective on diverse and genuinely interesting topics. It was well written, beautifully argued, and while not entirely convincing in every respect, it certainly more than pulled its weight in terms of making its case. Super freakonomics is - well, more of the same. While I don't agree with the authors that this is a better book than the first (for one thing, it's less even-handed and occasionally somewhat conciously self-referential), it certainly not a disappointment. The main flaw of the book is the tendency to 'rush' the material, exploring a wide range of topics and never really delving much into any of them. I would have like to have seen more meat on those bones, myself.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed it immensely and I would happily recommend it to anyone who finds the concept of applying economical models to social phenomenon intriguing.
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VINE VOICEon 12 November 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a great book to anyone who is interested in facts and figures. Each situation and how it effects the economy is carefully explained, with supporting statistics- some of which are frankly eye opening. Often, they are supportive of the traditional under dog, and the important role they play in the economy.All this is done si a light and in a manner which skips along quite nicely.

All this makes for an interesting book, which you can dip into and out of easily. It does remind you that everyone plays a specific role in capitalism; no one is superfluous.

Did I enjoy it though? Nearly. Although I like facts and figures, it soon became a book I read as opposed to look forward to read, as you never really get immersed into it, due to the 'chunky' nature of it.

Would not put anyone off of it though- it just is not for me.
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on 19 November 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I enjoyed the first book, and thought the second would be more of the same. Given the four year gap, I thought the authors would have had plenty of time to come up with original and entertaining ideas, but this sequel appears laboured and disjointed. The previous book was full of short snappy chapters which gave the narrative pace, something which this book lacks. It is still an entertaining read, and if you enjoy the popular science genre it is worth skipping through. It is a lazy followup but buy it if you must. I'm sure many people will do just that!
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VINE VOICEon 22 October 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Freakonomics was a fascinating look at social economics that became a phenomenon. From the introduction to this sequel, that seems to have taken the authors by surprise and it has taken tehm four years to gather new material for this sequel. The introduction is hilarious, and the pair are playing this book for laughs much more than in their earlier book.

The early section on prostitution in Chicago is actually rather shocking, and it would be easy for delicate souls to take considerable offence. In any event, it's not something I'd like my kids reading about, but the book clearly isn't aimed at kids.

Levitt and Dubner just don't know how to write in a boring way and this book is incredibly hard to put down. I recommend you don't even try. I'll be surprised to read a more entertaining work of non fiction this year.
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on 4 January 2011
A micro-economist would say that when you have produced a successful brand like Freakonomics, it would be foolish not to produce a sequel. Even if you don't have sufficient original material. You could even reuse the same title to optimise your market leverage.

The first Freakonomics book presented some of Levitt's original micro-economic research in an entertaining way. This book feels like an attempt to cash in on the winning formula, but without the raw material. It's a short book, padded with loads of notes at the back, and excessive narrative everywhere else.

The chapter on geo-engineering was particularly laboured, but without the any interesting economic insight that you might have expected from reading the first book. In fact, the authors might have missed an economic trick here. After discussing a shoestring solution to what could be the greatest risk to humanity since the black death, they might have considered the cost of purchasing insurance against unintended consequences of this untestable solution, and the crowding-out effect of abandoning carbon reduction measures in favour of fighting greenhouse gasses with anti-greenhouse gasses. I suspect that this topic was included to provoke controversy.

Likewise, drink-walking versus drink-driving. No consideration that the average walker would drink more than the average driver; that the per-trip injury rate could be as important as the per-mile rate; or that drivers don't need to negotiate stairs, pavement furniture, etc.

It's a good read, with some interesting facts and analysis; and suspense in the narrative style. But it can be read in an afternoon and you might feel a bit cheated at the end.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 19 November 2009
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
For those who enjoy finding a new take on modern life, this book is the book to read.

The authors delight in looking at the statistics and economics behind our lives and coming up with novel and suprising findings. For example, there are some interesting ways in which potential terrorists could be identified before they commit their crimes, simply by analysing their bank account activity. Apparently this information is so sensitive that the authors take us so far and then no further (presumably in case terrorists read the book and learn to adapt their behaviour!).

Or there is a fascinating discussion on whether to submit to chemotherapy if you get cancer. It seems that the drug companies are in cahoots with the medical profession to encourage you to take expensive treatments, even when the effects may only be a lot of pain and discomfort, even if a month or two is added to your lifespan (I think I knew that already!).

The discussion about prostitution is interesting in that the authors have found a market where there are benefits in charging your customers increasing amounts of money, to the benefit of both of you. The high class call girl and her client's lives just get better and better, the higher the fees.

This is an interesting book, the sort of thing that's engrossing on a long train journey, but perhaps not the sort of thing to commit several days of your life to. It certainly makes one question many common assumptions and I suppose its lessons could be applied to many other situation.

I'll give it four stars - witty and amusing, but perhaps not a "must-read".
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