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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Entertaining, and Thought-provoking
The book is engaging and surprisingly humorous read, which opened my mind to a whole new way of looking at the world. It was fascinating to see the synthesis between economics and our everyday lives. Events which seem disconnected or driven by other influences are revealed with great clarity as having basic economic principles behind them. I can give you an example. Every...
Published on June 25 2006 by Dr. Marilyn Barry

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent yet lacking
Steven Levitt is clearly a brilliant man. An intellectual that isn't afraid to rock the boat with some controversial yet well-thought ideas. The book identifies some very interesting trends and presents them in a straight-forward readable manner.

However, Levitt's ideas are not explored in enough detail to sufficiently enforce his arguments. It almost seems...
Published on Dec 30 2006 by Coach C


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4.0 out of 5 stars Laughing Points., July 31 2007
By 
maya j (Quail Crossing) - See all my reviews
'Freakonomics' is a witty, irreverent book for individuals who have never been and will never be Economics theorists. It's at once hilarious and serious about applying principles of Economics to real life scenarios, and it's just so much fun to read!

Let's start by saying, don't let the title scare you. I know most people pretty much despise anything to do with Economics, and anyone with a "respectable" connection to Economics would turn a nose up at this book. But with chapters like: The Ku Klux Klan and Real Estate Agents; Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers; and Drug Dealers Living with Their Moms- I mean how awful can it be? Steven D. Levitt teaches Economics at the University of Chicago, so he is absolutely qualified to make the relational comparisons he makes, thus actually giving we Economics neophytes something to chew on. In other words, if my Economics classes in college were like this, I might have actually learned something! But seriously, 'Freaknomics' delves into how things actually are all intertwined, no matter how absurd. It's premise is that conventionally held beliefs may not always be what they seem, and many things that seem wholly apart from each other are inter-related. Other than just laughing and enjoying the witty banter of the authors, I feel like I truly learned some things, and it gave me food for thought on other issues. The chapter entitled "A Roshanda by Any Other Name" was just pitch perfect, and the chapter on parenting makes you realize that we really don't need all those parenting books after all.

'Freakonomics' is deftly written for novices and easy to read, with each chapter being basically a lesson unto itself. It's not a full-tilt Economics lesson; it's little vignettes that show us how Economics is incorporated into our everyday lives and the impact therein. You can put the book down and pick it up a month later, and there's nothing to hold you back from enjoying the next chapter. Whether you love fiction, non-fiction or poetry, you'll love this book. It is a delightful, interesting, and well thought out read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Entertaining, and Thought-provoking, June 25 2006
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The book is engaging and surprisingly humorous read, which opened my mind to a whole new way of looking at the world. It was fascinating to see the synthesis between economics and our everyday lives. Events which seem disconnected or driven by other influences are revealed with great clarity as having basic economic principles behind them. I can give you an example. Every part starts with an interesting question. Let's say: "What is the hidden cause of obesity in the USA? It is followed by numbers. As a PH.D in Sexuality I can tell you that there are more than 20+ million American men with erectile dysfunction. Many of them are married and their wives are equally, if not more sexually dissatisfied. This results in emotional eating, depression, etc problems. Does this have economical effect? Of course yes, because only the blue pill's production earns billions. What can be done? I recommend to my clients staying up-to-date with the latest scientific discoveries revealed in bestsellers such as "Scientfically guaranteed male multiple orgasms and ultimate sex". The book reads as six articles from a quality magazine. Their questions will challenge you, their answers may provoke you, but the book is entertaining, thought-provoking and will likely change the way you view the world around you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Entertaining, and Thought-provoking, June 24 2006
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The book is engaging and surprisingly humorous read, which opened my mind to a whole new way of looking at the world. It was fascinating to see the synthesis between economics and our everyday lives. Events which seem disconnected or driven by other influences are revealed with great clarity as having basic economic principles behind them.

I can give you an example. Every part starts with an interesting question. Let's say: "What is the hidden cause of obesity in the USA? It is followed by numbers. As a PH.D in Sexuality I can tell you that there are more than 20+ million impotent American men. Many of them are married and their wives are equally, if not more sexually dissatisfied. This results in emotional eating, depression, alcoholism, smoking, etc abuses. Does this have economical effect? Of course yes, because only the blue pill's production earns billions. What can be done? I recommend to my clients staying up-to-date with the latest scientific discoveries revealed in bestsellers such as "scientfically guaranteed male multiple orgasms and ultimate sex". The book reads as six articles from a quality magazine. Their questions will challenge you, their answers may provoke you, but the book is entertaining, thought-provoking and will likely change the way you view the world around you.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent yet lacking, Dec 30 2006
By 
Coach C (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Steven Levitt is clearly a brilliant man. An intellectual that isn't afraid to rock the boat with some controversial yet well-thought ideas. The book identifies some very interesting trends and presents them in a straight-forward readable manner.

However, Levitt's ideas are not explored in enough detail to sufficiently enforce his arguments. It almost seems that the publishers have dumbed it down to the level of the ordinary person in order to sell more books. I haven't read the expanded edition, but I hope Levitt provides some of the background that is lacking in this edition.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should have bought the book six months ago, May 31 2007
I heard Levitt on Bloomberg ten months ago and wanted to buy this book immediately. Unfortunately, I was on highway 287 in New Jersey, stuck in traffic during rush hour. Then every time I saw the book on a bookstand in an airport, I avoided it and chose a latest bestseller instead. Then, last week, it just happened that I finally bought the book for my west- coast six-hour flight and was pretty much expecting a "Tipping Point" kind of read. I'll tell you hands down. This book is amazing. No offence to Gladwell, Steve Levitt has definitely produced a better read than "Blink" and "Tipping Point". This book, as we already know, has introduced a new "cult" in economics. Just like how blogosphere is changing the rules of journalism, "Freakonomics" has already changed the rules of economics.

If you are reading this review and you are one of those who took so long to buy this book(like me), I'll vouch for it, just go ahead and buy this book. You will be glad that you did. It's hilarious, thought provoking, fun to read and above all will make you suspect every phenomenon that you observe everyday, including why Giuliani and Obama are popular (?). Or are they really?

N.Sivakumar

Author of "America Misunderstood: What a Second Bush Victory Meant to the Rest of the World".
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great, Jan. 30 2007
By 
Ben J. Serpa "Wineslob" (Hamilton, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I bought this book after I saw the author on the Daily show. It looked interesting enough, a bunch of random statistics that I would likely not have read elsewhere.

I was anticipating hundreds of short brief interesting factoids instead I got a couple long winded stories about Sumo wrestler corruption and crack dealers living with their parents and working at mcdonalds to pay the bills. These were interesting stories but I would have prefered a lot more of them with less filler and more raw numbers.

The book is easy to read but I would reccomend checking it out at the library before commiting to own a copy. Im trying to figure out who I can give this book to now as once you know that sumo's are corrupt theres no sence reading it a second time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, Jan. 13 2014
Good ways to see life from different point of views. Touches quite outcast subjet: sumo-wrestling, baby's name, selling drugs, real-estate agent... but you can apply those view in everyday life.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book gets me thrown out of parties, May 12 2008
Freakonomics gets me thrown out of a lot of parties. Now that I know what really makes the world turn I cannot resist butting in on folk's conversations and putting them right.
`Zero tolerance', someone will say, `that's what cut crime in New York'.
`No it didn't', says I, `it was the 1973 legalisation of abortion that cut crime. Fewer young men means fewer young criminals.' A few dirty looks and off I go to another group.
`My estate agent is marvellous; she sold my house in no time. A little under my asking price but she got me the best deal she could'.
`No she didn't', I interrupt. `She sold your house below your asking price for a quick sale. She makes more money selling lots of houses cheaply than fewer houses for a fair price.' More unfriendly stares. Next group.
`Drug dealers are all rich, living off the backs of their victims'.
`Oh yeah? Says I, `Then why do most of them live with their moms?'
And so on until they show me the door.
Freakonomics has turned me into a know-all. It explains the real reasons things happen as opposed to the conventional thinking. Written in a style that tells you that you are among friends, Freakonomics leads you gently from a world of easy assumptions to a world of questioning. You will never be quite the same again.
My only bicker is that it is too short. Are they writing a Freakonomics II? I do hope so. Maybe they can explain why know-alls get thrown out of parties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freaking Excellent!, March 31 2009
By 
LP (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
What an excellent book. Crammed with interesting insights, overflowing with surprising twists. I loved it. Freakanomics was the only book that all the adults in our holiday group read - and it was by far the best for generating conversation. One of the most interesting and thought provoking books I have read for ages. Bring on Freakanomics2 please.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Luke Warm: Easy to read but to superficial to be very interesting., Feb. 7 2007
By 
E. Haensel (Toronto) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I approciated Freakonomics with a mixture of excitment and trepidation: the idea of an economist using their skills and thinking outside the box was enticing, yet, I was worried about how someone trained inside the reductive box of economics would deal with the complexity of social life.

Levitt and Dubner ask great questions in this book, and do some unique work digging up new possibilities to social problems, and quirky situations.

Unfortunately they either lack the ability to weigh their evidence against traditional explanaitons in a way that shows the true mixed causality of most situations, or, they suffer from a typical economists arrogance which supposes that mathematical reasoning can dig up enough parralel statistics as to show a causal analysis.

In a sense this book, while expanding upon the questions economists can tackle, fails to integrate economic statistics into a comprehensive whole by adaquately investigating other forms of inquiry. Thus, while this book is well written, mildly thought provoking, and somewhat entertaining, it does very little to bridge the quantitative and qualitative gap that exists in the social sciences.

For its part, Freakonomics serves to remind us that numerical tools are a powerful form of social analysis. Unfortunately it leaves us with the (false) impression that quantitative analysis can solve questions of social causes without recourse to qualitative information.

*note: I did not read the expanded edition. I am not sure how different it is.
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