Manny’s review of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Vishakha (new)

Vishakha ~ ReadingSpren ~ Really want to know your views on this one !


message 2: by Manny (new)

Manny It's been sitting on my shelf for the last year, but I should take it down soon...


message 3: by T.D. (new)

T.D. Whittle I was very disappointed in this book, Manny, and would be curious to read your thoughts on it. I found it shallow. I thought the author overly cynical in some ways and absurdly optimistic in others. I thought, too, that he leaped to wild conclusions, based on too little evidence. Having said that, I know others thought highly of it. I expected brilliance but came away thinking that Harari is wildly overrated in regard to his ability to speak deeply and meaningfully about humanity's development.


message 4: by Manny (new)

Manny I'll take a look when I've finished Penrose's latest...


message 6: by David (new)

David T.D. - I've started reading this on the recommendation of a new acquaintance. I'm only about 30 pages in and I'm not sure I can wade through all of it because I immediately share your view that he jumps to wild conclusions based on too little evidence and makes assertions that I suspect are not supported by actual work in the field. (I know this is not academic work, but even for the genre of pop academic work, this is lightly footnoted.) I simply don't believe some of what he claims to be true and am highly skeptical of his claims to authority in many of the areas on which he touches. Perhaps the dictionaries I consult, as well as my lifelong understanding, are misguided, but I don't think "myth" is a synonym for "abstraction" or "symbol." I agree that, off my brief initial reading, he appears to be wildly overrated, but I'd say that's par for the course with this type of book and I'd guess that he's achieved what he set out to achieve, which is to have people at "sophisticated" cocktail parties and gatherings of "thought leaders" rhapsodize regarding the brilliance of this book. Again, only about 30 pages in and I will try to continue giving it a chance, but I am not optimistic.


message 7: by T.D. (new)

T.D. Whittle David wrote: "T.D. - I've started reading this on the recommendation of a new acquaintance. I'm only about 30 pages in and I'm not sure I can wade through all of it because I immediately share your view that he ..."

David, thanks for that feedback. I guess we'd best stay away from sophisticated cocktail parties ;)


message 8: by J (last edited Apr 16, 2017 09:40AM) (new)

J C T.D. wrote: "I was very disappointed in this book, Manny, and would be curious to read your thoughts on it. I found it shallow. I thought the author overly cynical in some ways and absurdly optimistic in others..."

T.D. wrote: "David wrote: "T.D. - I've started reading this on the recommendation of a new acquaintance. I'm only about 30 pages in and I'm not sure I can wade through all of it because I immediately share your..."

I believe I've found kindred spirits in the two of you - I wasn't sure which disappointed me more - the book or the fact that most others seemed to be heaping without apparent merit.


message 9: by T.D. (new)

T.D. Whittle Jonathan wrote: "T.D. wrote: "I was very disappointed in this book, Manny, and would be curious to read your thoughts on it. I found it shallow. I thought the author overly cynical in some ways and absurdly optimis..."

Cheers, Jonathon. :)


message 10: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice I read his piece in The Atlantic, I think it was (on his new book), and he was making all sorts of illogical leaps and wrong connections, so I thought likely this book was overrated.


message 11: by Manny (new)

Manny He certainly enjoys making bold paradoxical statements...


message 12: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice Look forward to your review!


message 13: by Manny (new)

Manny Thank you :) I don't think you'll have to wait long, this is a quick book to read...


message 14: by Alfred (new)

Alfred Haplo Haha, can't help noticing - the frivolous review gets the serious comments, whereas the serious review gets the frivolous comments...


message 15: by Manny (last edited Jan 29, 2019 06:11AM) (new)

Manny It's the Law of the Conservation of Frivolity. I believe Emmy Noether proved that it follows from the fact that the universe is seriously isotropic.


message 16: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice It doesn't sound at all like what I feared, given the excerpt (?) from the new book! (...conserving frivolity, of course)


message 17: by Manny (new)

Manny Perhaps it's frivolous on a higher level than you expected :)

I am curious to read the sequels, though many people warn me that I will be disappointed...


message 18: by Diane (new)

Diane I want to read THIS book! lol


message 19: by Manny (new)

Manny I told him people would like it more this way, but did he listen?


message 20: by Michael (new)

Michael Finocchiaro Thanks Manny. My review was less favorable but you might like my paragraph comparing it to The Overstory


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