This was purchased remaindered so I wasn’t upset when I found this was less a new freakonomics book and more a collection of their blog posts collected into book form. It wouldn’t have even been a disappointment new if I’d been aware that’s what I was buying. But it definitely feels like the collection of essays written for online readers that it is. Each piece is short and minimally explored, some being absolute puff and others leaving me feeling deprived that they weren’t expanded upon.
Anyway, these pop and behavioral economics books are my favorite types of non fiction; the previously reviewed Economics in One Lesson described economics as the science of secondary consequences, and there’s nothing I love more than unintended consequences. Much like earlier freakonomics books, you get a lot of that here – my favorite story was from one of the authors being served rancid chicken at a restaurant and the relative economics of incentivizing his further happiness (spoiler – the free glasses of wine weren’t enough and the author named the restaurant, illustrating the risk they took) – but there’s just as much filler of the “hey, I got to go on the daily show” variety. I like these guys so I’ll cut them some slack, but I think this would’ve been a five star book if they’d taken their best twenty as opposed to fifty posts and expanded upon them for those who were already familiar with the blog.