Think Like a Freak

Think Like a Freak Summary

The New York Times bestselling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Then came SuperFreakonomics, a documentary film, an award-winning podcast, and more.

Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and teach us all to think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally—to think, that is, like a Freak.

Levitt and Dubner offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems, whether your interest lies in minor lifehacks or major global reforms. As always, no topic is off-limits. They range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain. Along the way, you’ll learn the secrets of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion, the reason an Australian doctor swallowed a batch of dangerous bacteria, and why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of saying they’re from Nigeria.

Some of the steps toward thinking like a Freak:
First, put away your moral compass—because it’s hard to see a problem clearly if you’ve already decided what to do about it. Learn to say “I don’t know”—for until you can admit what you don’t yet know, it’s virtually impossible to learn what you need to. Think like a child—because you’ll come up with better ideas and ask better questions. Take a master class in incentives—because for better or worse, incentives rule our world. Learn to persuade people who don’t want to be persuaded—because being right is rarely enough to carry the day. Learn to appreciate the upside of quitting—because you can’t solve tomorrow’s problem if you aren’t willing to abandon today’s dud.
Levitt and Dubner plainly see the world like no one else. Now you can too. Never before have such iconoclastic thinkers been so revealing—and so much fun to read.

Book Reviews


3rd book still a charm5 star

Having read Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics, I wondered what else they could say. I was pleasantly surprised. Dubner is a classic story-teller, and this book is a quality sequel to the Freak Trilogy.55


1/3 of book is notes and citations2 star

I liked all their other books quite a bit. Very disappointed in this one. Similar themes and story telling, and 80 pages of notes and citations at the end. If I realized that beforehand I definitely wouldn't have bought this.25

Mr Ins

Think like a freak2 star

What begins as an interesting read, ends too quickly and abruptly. It is as though they got bored writing and decide to just stop, thinking that they could get consumers to buy with what they had and little thought for a quality conclusion. They must have flipped the coin and decided to quit. Sorry guys, I expected more.25


The book is very practical and clear5 star

The book is very useful and practical. It clearly explain each case with a good story. Thanks55


started with this one - liked it!5 star

I have not read the first 2 books but I enjoyed this one … so much so that I am going to try Freakonomics… I hope it sheds even more light.55

Roma, Tx

Good for first4 star

I didn't read the other two so far ity's good45


Don't waste your money1 star

I really enjoyed their first two books but this one is a complete waste of time and money. Do yourself a favor and think of another book to buy.15


Won't knock your socks off3 star

Not much happening in this book that will surprise you. A few clever connections and examples, but the majority of the theme -- teaching you to think differently -- is pretty dull. Not a lot of major revelations here, just a few new examples superimposed on some old cliche themes. That said, it's still an entertaining read.35


Slightly disappointed with content.3 star

I am an avid reading and listener of all things freakonomics. I listen to the podcast every week and absolutely love the content of each podcast. However, I was surprised and slightly disappointed as I read this new book to find that a great majority of the books content has already been said in podcasts of past. I was looking forward to hearing new and fun studies and topics in this new book but heard a lot of things I've already heard!35


Not as good as the first two3 star

With 1/3 of the book being notes, acknowledgement and index, I was a bit disappointed. I did enjoy the content and will most likely read again in the future.35

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