Top critical review
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Not Impressed I'm Afraid
on 26 September 2011
I had some great hopes for this book, but now I wish I didn't buy it. I guess the fact that the author is a neuroscientist particularly lured me in, but I'm afraid I'm not impressed at all. If you're looking for a book with specific methods and tips to increase your memory past the obvious "get rest and exercise!" then I would recommend you keep looking.
Each Brilliant Idea gets its own chapter, and each chapter follows the same rigorous recipe. This could perhaps have worked if the chapters were longer and more thorough, and if the recipe perfectly fit each topic, but I find myself quite annoyed when I read the book as after reading for a few paragraphs I'm suddenly confronted with a "Here's an idea for you.." part which can sometimes be as long as a sizeable chunk of the chapter, a "Defining idea" which is a quote by someone famous related to the topic, and an occasionally extremely patronising "How did it go?"-Q&A. Sometimes the Brilliant Idea is something which doesn't fit into the formula at all, such as a chapter on why you shouldn't try memory enhancing drugs, but the formula is still used.
I would recommend this book if you're wanting a very light introduction to how memory works and perhaps some short pointers into where you can go if you wish to take your search for good memory techniques further, but if you're here and already in that search for concrete memory techniques then this is not a value for money. The techniques are a minority of the Brilliiant Ideas and the short and rigorous chapters do not allow for any thorough elaboration on them.