Thursday, June 28, 2007

No Central Theme

My big complaint about popular non-fiction is that they flog one central theme to death. If only there were more books like Freakonomics. It had me hooked right from page one. The way Levitt and Dubner segue from one theme to another is almost reminiscent of Sherezade’s Arabian Nights.

Though I know zilch about economics, I have greatly enjoyed the book and the bizarre parallels between apparently unrelated phenomenon. The only thing I missed was the data to support the conclusions - while there was a scattering throughout the book, it was not nearly enough. No matter how compelling the theory, without the numbers it ends up feeling somewhat “lite”.

Subject matter experts could end up disappointed with what the lay person like me finds vastly entertaining. While they may find the lack of an "unifying theme" irksome, that is what makes this book such a delightful read. I am glad I got to it even if a few years too late.

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