I saw Steven Levitt give a lecture about what would be in the next book in the Freakonomics series at the University of North Florida last October. I had no idea it would be nearly a year before that book, SuperFreakonomics.
After the lecture I tried to approach Mr. Levitt and say something like, “That was a great lecture, would you mind autographing my copy of Freakonomics?” But instead, what I said was more of a mumble followed by him autographing my book. He commented that he’d never seen a large print edition before. In the middle of my mumbling, I must have told him my name, as on the inside cover it now reads, “To Bradley, Enjoy; Steven Levitt”
Enjoy what, I don’t know. I enjoyed Freakonomics, his lecture, and knew I would enjoy the sequel as well.
The only part of his lecture I can recall concerned Allie, a prostitute who made $500 per hour and only worked 15 hours per week. Ostensibly, she enjoyed her work. She’s currently going to college to be an economist.
I loved the original Freakonomics years ago and was devoutly looking forward to this installment with bated breath.
Is it worth the wait?
Once you’re past the first few pages it doesn’t feel like a sequel. It feels like the next chapter of Freakonomics and progresses from there. I particularly enjoyed the sections on drunk driving vs. drunk walking and the “pollution problem” that plagued New York City at the turn of the 20th century. Of course, a story about a group of capuchin monkeys had me and everyone I read it to rolling in the aisles with laughter.
That’s not to say this is a funny book, it’s quite serious in its subject matter, it’s just that some of the results Mr. Levitt and co. find are so ridiculous that you HAVE to laugh at the outcome.
Even if you’re not an economist (some would say, especially if you’re not an economist) you will love this book. It typically takes me a week to read a book of this size, yet, even with a job, I somehow managed to finish it off in less than a single day. That’s 256 pages of book tackled in mere hours.