This was good throughout. It offered a unique perspective to many popular books in that it is less of a “self-help” book and more of a book about self-awareness.
The first half is more engaging than the last, but it never bogs down. If it does nothing else, it will almost certainly force the reader to face some assumptions intrinsic to the normal thought process. For that alone it is worth reading.
The goal of the authors is simply to show that there is a lot of life that we either miss entirely because we aren’t conditioned to look for it, and that even when we do see things, because of the way our brain is wired, we have a tendency to remember them in very odd ways. They make the case that more often than we’d like to admit we either don’t know what we’re missing, or we don’t know what we didn’t miss. They approach each chapter as a different “illusion” that we have been trained to believe (the illusion of perception, the illusion of potential, etc…).
I read books for two reasons, growth and entertainment, this book offered both of those qualities often simultaneously. Chabris and Simons leverage stories to propel what could very easily have been extremely laborious subject matter. Not only research stories but current events, news reports, and historical examples bring heady topics into reach for those of us that didn’t get our Doctorate in psychology.
As stated earlier, there is no doubt that an honest and careful reading of this book will compel a different view of the world around you. I am still looking much more critically at life and my own image of the world I live in from moment to moment. What am I missing? What am I not looking for? These are questions that drive me as the book’s themes continue to resonate in my mind.
I am now more actively looking for the gorilla, for better or for worse.