SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

I’ll admit, I came away from Freakonomics disgruntled. I felt short-changed by a book that filled its final third with author interviews and columns that repeated the bulk of the book. I was so irritated that I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to bother with the sequel, and yet here we are. To be fair, I doubt I’d have gotten round to it so quickly if it wasn’t borrowed from the library, but anyway…

I didn’t enjoy SuperFreakonomics as much as the prequel. There just wasn’t as much fun alongside the facts. Prostitution is broken down on an economic scale that leaves no room for human compassion. There’s little fresh or new here – the well known tale of Kitty Genovese’s murder is trotted out for an airing, and we learn the far from astounding fact that hand-washing is an issue in hospitals. Towards the end, the book drifts onto fantastical methods being developed to combat environmental issues, and it became an increasing struggle to maintain interest.

I think the main issue with this series is the fact it rarely delves below surface level of any issue. There’s something glib and nonchalant about it. Should ExtraSuperFreakonomics surface any time soon, I won’t be first in line.

[Read from 25 March-5 April 2017]

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