Did I sleep write this book or something?
I had heard about both Superfreakonomics and it’s prequel, Freakonomics; their titles alone had piqued my curiosity. But life being life, and my pile of ‘to read’ books already very high, I decided to add them to my ‘to buy’ list.
And I have to admit, I kind of forgot about them – until the calls and the emails started. “Sahar, have you read this book? It’s filled with things you would say!” “These guys could totally be you writing under an alias – I could hear your voice throughout the entire thing.” “You have to read this book. It’ll be like reading yourself!”
So I figured the time was ripe for me to read both Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics. And while I have yet to pick up a copy of Freakonomics, a copy of Superfreakonomics did make its way to my desk. And I must say: my friends had a point.
Which is why I feel obligated to start this review with the following disclaimer. I am heavily biased towards this book, as it seems to have been written by someone who thinks like me, who has the same interests as me and who has the same sense of humour as me. So many times, while I was reading Superfreakonomics, I would jot down a comment or a remark only to see it make an appearance a couple of lines later. For example, at page eight, the authors state that: “It appears that cable TV really did empower the women of rural India, even to the point of no longer tolerating domestic abuse. Or maybe their husbands were just too busy watching cricket.” So something I would say.
Another such great quote came in about 20 pages later: “Unfortunately, economists aren’t allowed to conduct such experiments. (Yet.)” Another one of many remarks I would myself make.
It was like reading in the Twilight Zone.
And no, I am not making light of domestic violence, nor were the authors. This is the beauty of this book; it makes light of no serious topic it tackles, but tackles each of them with relish, enjoying each and every moment of it. For these are, after all, the books that were written about "things you always thought you knew but didn’t," and "things you never knew you wanted to know but do."