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Friday, March 24, 2006

Book Review: Freakonomics

Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Rating: 1* out of 5* Business Student
3* out of 5* Amusement

Crisp: Book is for timepass. You are not supposed to learn anything or get newer ideas rather just be amused of what actually happens around the world in field of economics and more. Author, like many others, believes that economics is percieved as a boring subject by most mortals. However twist is that author have found few very interesting aspects of this subject that he wants to share with the reader. Book is about how economic fundamentals could be made of more practical use to people and how certain events and things impact people at large. It is intersting to see how useful can economics be in a normal person's life.

PROS: Author, by book, explores territories which are generally not explored in reference to normal (non-academic) people and certainly never in the way author has explored in this book. He talks about as how can a certain small thing can bring vital changes. He tries to clarify that most of "traditional knowledge" is nothing but just an urban legend and tries to build a perspective in which these "traditional knowledge " should rightly be understood. Book talks about, How people sometime do mistake of interpretting correleational-relationship as cause-n-effect-relationship. And how sometimes people just make a mistake to identify the cause and the effect properly in a cause-n-effect relationship.

Author is successfull in demonstrating how could information is another kind of power. It explains by illustrations as how this information is used by experts to create edge for themselves. Book also explains the process of recurssion and how it can effectively be used and understood by normal people. Most importantly, book does all the above in a way that it amuses reader and tries (but fails) to keep things in perspective that are of interest to normal people.

CONS: The book can be categorized as frivolous. I won't mind to read a frivolous book but then it is just too frivolous with the kind of subject [economics] it is dealing with. The writting style pretty.... different.... and could have been much better. It keeps on digressing from one topic to another without any smooth transition between the them. It becomes very verbose at some places without providing any real content. It talks about things (except few) that are totally irrelevant to reader. I also felt that author is trying to say that,"do-you-see - most economist are such a bore & wrong and how interesting & different I am?". It streches certain topics so long that reader looses interest in them.

Readers will find this book amusing and different. Though lots of words and statements with very little content makes it dull, yet it is an interesting read because of the very difference.


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