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When to Rob a Bank
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When to Rob a Bank

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  12,052 ratings  ·  1,114 reviews
Hardcover, 387 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by William Morrow
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Average rating 3.50  · 
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 ·  12,052 ratings  ·  1,114 reviews

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DNF'd. This book is really patchy. The blogs - for that's what they were - go from really bad, almost facetious and ill-researched topics to some interesting ideas. The percentage of interesting to blah is only about 10% so rather than waste 90% of my time, I will spend it reading something more rewarding. As economists, I'm sure the authors will appreciate my reasoning.

Put your coffee down before you snork it reading this. Raising politicians salaries much higher in order to attract a bett
J.K. Riki
Oct 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Full disclosure, I did not finish this book. I had to put it down after 50 pages or so because my blood pressure was through the roof and my eye was twitching.

The collection of blog posts in this book range from interesting to unreasonably insane. Unfortunately there were too many in the latter category for my liking. I consider myself a pretty open person, but when someone writes that America should adopt a system where people have to pay for voting in an election, and you can have unlimited vo
Jun 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: the-burn-pile
This book is a blog highlight reel, and lacks all of the analytical depth that the earlier writings of these "rogue" economists drew me in with. The effect is one of having an intelligent friend mention stray thoughts he'd had earlier that afternoon, many of which could lead to great discussion, if only you weren't in a loud bar and he too drunk to formulate any new ideas on the topics.

At least that covers some of them. Others simply don't seem well thought out from the start. For instance, one
Jul 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: essays, audiobook
This is a collection of blog essays from the Freakonomics blog. The first part of the book arranges the essays by topic. As mentioned in the book itself, the second part of the book lacks any organization; the essays seem to be in a completely random order. The essays are short, and are rather superficial. Each of the essays seems to end with the reader hanging. And then what ? ..... So, if you are looking for the sort of anecdotal evidence for points of view that the Freakonomics books portray, ...more
Jane Stewart
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, economics
Levitt should NOT NARRATE. Please have Dubner read all future books. (I listened to the audiobook.)

I love Levitt’s brain, but when he talks it’s hard for me to concentrate on what he says. He does not enunciate his words. My mind wanders. I replayed two sentences twice and I still didn’t know what word he was saying. One was “business trips and (compy).” Other examples follow (the correct word is in parentheses): on the rose (roads), the other rection (direction), cloth dipa (diapers), capit (ca
S.Baqer Al-Meshqab
Jun 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Because I am a big fan of Levitt and Dubner Works, I feel entitled to write this review. I have to admit, there has never been in my reading life, a series in which I was extremely absorbed like the Freaknomics Series. I never read all books published under one title consequently. I always thought I needed a break, no matter how good the series was. In Freakonomics, however, I read all four books straight, no break whatsoever.

Now Let us compare the time I spent reading these books.
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
There is no good answer to that question, which is why the subtitle makes a lot of sense. The authors of Freakonomics collected pieces from their blog in the book When to Rob a Bank...and 131 more warped suggestions and well-intended rants. In celebration of the tenth anniversary of Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner gathered articles from their blog, a blog they started even though Levitt didn't know what a blog was.

I'm going to admit that some of the articles on economics wer
Brian Clegg
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a certain amount of disappointment caused by the previous Freaknomics inspired book, Think Like a Freak, I was prepared to find the latest equally disappointing. After all, the authors admit this is just a transcription of parts of their blog. In economics terms, as they point out, this is the equivalent of buying bottled water - paying money for something you can get for free. However they do claim to have culled the best from their blog, so you don't have to, which is a useful service.

Pinar Coskun
May 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps a perfect demonstration of narcissism. Perhaps an attempt to produce original swag that the gentlemen have been marketing. Definitely great for the populist readers amongst us. A thing as beautiful as a bound book, filled with superficial American dinner table chit chat transcripts.

Having said all of that, I should have known :)

DNF. Abandoned at 32%
Source: Library e-book

Sometimes when I'm reading something dense or intense, I like to have a book going on the side that lends itself to an easy pick up/put down as a breather. Well, this one is definitely easy to put down.

This book reminded me of three things:
1. With rare (if any) exception blogs make terrible books. Not only are most blogs shallow and self-absorbed, but they're repetitive. It didn't take long for this book to become grating. It feels like sitting throug
May 10, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this on sale on Amazon and I'm really sorry I did. I vaguely remember at least somewhat enjoying Freakonomics, but this is a hot mess of disorganized blogorrhea that accomplished nothing except making me angry. There's little to no actual data or in-depth analysis, just a bunch of off-the-cuff ruminations that range from laughably ill-conceived to dangerously bad. This is a book of Levitt & Dubner's personal opinions, which are on the whole myopic, right-wing and self-congratulatory. Wi ...more
Chafic (Rello)
No, this doesn't tell you the exact logistical details in how or 'when' to rob a bank.
This is just a provocative title that's designed to be eye-grabbing and make my coworkers wonder whether I'm a diabolical criminal in my off-time.

While this is just a collection of all the blog posts the duo have shared on their Freakonomics blog, it does provide some interesting insight into the uncanny correlations that exist in the world.

But if you're still reading this, the answer to the question you're loo
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Well this year has started off extremely slow for me, but I have to say, I'm not surprised. This book was excellent, I love these authors and I love the way they think. Highly recommend!
Jason Luu
May 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
When to Rob a Bank by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner. This makes the fourth Freakonomics branded book I’ve read by Levitt and Dubner and the experience has been uneven at best.

The first Freakonoimics book was interesting, albeit a little directionless. Super Freakonomics had more narrative, but was surprisingly illogical with more political ideology than I expected or wanted. Levitt and Dubner hit their stride with Think like a Freak, combining a coherent narrative framework with stories and ex
Johnny Williams
May 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Freakonomics this is not -- I love Freakonomics and Levitt was great with it. This is a follow-up but content taken from his blog. This is okay and it makes for a great light ---sporadic read. That means you can read it like a bathroom reader and consume a page or two at a time and not lose the current of the book. Why?
Because it is simply a collection of questions Levitt heard or lifted off his blog with some input form outsiders and the public sometimes with a splash of humor thrown in. There
Zieq Hakim
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Insightful and entertaining as ever! Due to it's chaos organized way of publishing made it an easy read too.
Stewart Tame
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wound up liking this better than I expected to.

The title is certainly eye-catching. The fact that it was written by the authors of Freakonomics, though, gave me pause. I’ve never read that book, but assumed it to be one of those myriad business books that are published every year. And I’ve also always assumed that economics was a boring subject.

But this book still looked kind of interesting. And the blog entries of which it was comprised seemed mercifully short, so I decided to give it a try.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting. There are many thought provoking articles about a myriad of topics. Mostly random, but still thorough. I enjoyed the Global Warming post, and there is also some comedy.
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love this series

Another interesting look at life from these two. I listen to their podcasts, but I didn't realize they had a blog. Fun, thought-provoking reading.
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audio book. It was just like listening to their podcast, except the ideas weren't as fleshed out. BUT, I guess that was the intention. They're blog posts.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-fantasy
Eh, not the best book. It mostly consisted of unnecessary rambling about who knows what.

To answer the question about when to rob a bank, the answer is never. The risk reward ratio is not that great. Although, if you really really need to rob a bank, Thursday is your day.
Logan Hughes
May 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: thrift
This is just a collection of blog entries you can read online for free, which would have disappointed me more if I'd bought it instead of getting it out of the library. I've never read the blog, so it is useful to have the top posts curated in one place that I can read without backlight. The Freakonomics guys always have interesting ideas, and many of the entries gave me a lot to think about.

I do wish there had been more (any) editorial commentary from Present-Day Levitt & Dubner on some of the
Sep 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, business
If you like “Freakonomics”, the book, you will find this collection similar. It is the same folks, covering the same kinds of topics with the same kind of humor and style. But these are snippets from their online blog, and while some topics curried a lot of interest in me, most of the time the treatment was too short or too limited in depth. I liked them, but this book was like a bowlful of Lifesavers where “Freakonomics” was a ravioli dinner – either can fill you up, but you feel a bit bad if y ...more
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This collection of blog posts from the Freakonomics blog is, page for page, probably the most thought provoking book I think I have ever read! Hilarious, sad, interesting, depressing, disappointing, uplifting, and so on. Amazing, quick book that reads more like a magazine. Highly recommended if you like thinking about how the world works.
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Freakonomics was awesome! Superfreakonomics was good.
This book - well, this is just a collection of blogposts of the authors with a tinge of the characteristic 'freakonomics' humor and analysis in them.
The 300 odd pages can make for a casual read on a boring Sunday afternoon, but not good enough to be a full book.
Oh, and the title is extremely misleading and irrelevant to the context.
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
If you're a regular reader of the Freakonomics blog posts and/or a fan of their podcasts you've likely heard most of the pieces collected here in a sort of greatest hits book from those sources. None the less enjoyable though.
Nathan Howell
Jan 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Just a collection of their blog posts, which are mostly excellent, but also pretty superficial due to the nature of the medium. But a good, quick read and a reminder of how much I love their writing and the way they see the world. Maybe I should have been an economist.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm rating this three stars for both the content and the narration. This is a collection of the authors' blog posts on a variety of subjects, and while some of them were interesting to me, others were not. I have to admit that I had no idea who these authors were and I never read their blog, so perhaps I would have enjoyed it more had I been more familiar with their work. However, I did enjoy my economics classes, and I thought their economic analyses of certain things were quite interesting.

Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
When to Rob a Bank is indeed a collection of well-intended rants. Just like the companies that fill drinking water that is accessible to you for free in a bottle and then charge you for it, this book gathers the best of the blog posts from the "Freakonomics" blog, edits them, categorizes them and then charges you for buying it (this is almost an exact excerpt from the book's prologue!)

While some of the topics are interesting from an economical perspective, others may just be fun to read. But the
Lukas Lovas
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I do see why some people disliked this book so much - it's humorous and the ideas explored here are...well, blogs. They aren't detailed studies, they are opinions and thought experiments expressed in a short and funny way. Some are interesting and thought provoking, others might seem quite hairbrained and crazy (I say seem, as it is possible I just lack the intelligence to understand them, though I do consider some of the ideas in the book....weird and not actually functional).

Still, if the aim
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Steven David "Steve" Levitt is a prominent American economist best known for his work on crime, in particular on the link between legalized abortion and crime rates. Winner of the 2003 John Bates Clark Medal, he is currently the Alvin H. Baum Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, director of the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Bu ...more

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