Proust and the Squid

  • by Maryanne Wolf
  • Narrated by Kirsten Potter
  • 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Interweaving her vast knowledge of neurology, sociology, psychology, and philosophy with fascinating down-to-earth examples and lively personal anecdotes, developmental psychologist, neuroscientist, and dyslexia expert Wolf probes the question, "How do we learn to read and write?" This ambitious and provocative new book offers an impassioned look at reading, its effect on our lives, and explains why it matters so greatly in a digital era.

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What the Critics Say

"Wolf's alarm about the spread of semi- literacy among the young is obviously justified, and her book provokes thought about it as only reading can." (Sunday Times London)
"Blindingly fascinating...detailed and scholarly....There's a lot of difficult material in here. But it's worth the effort....For people interested in language, this is a must. You'll find yourself focusing on words in new ways. Read it slowly--it will take time to sink in." (The Sunday Telegraph)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Read this?

I found this book fascinating. It's very scientific, and you do have to concentrate hard, but the author really explores how we learn to read, what happens in our brains when we do; how reading developed; and then goes on to explore why these things go wrong and what causes dyslexia etc. I would have given it 5 stars - but it is a book that is, unsurprisingly, written to be read rather than listened to. This occasionally leads to the frustration of being asked to read a passage and see what happens - when, of course, all you can do is sit and listen (and Ms Wolf is clear to point out that listening fires different centres in your brain to those fired up by reading). If you are interested in what goes on in the little grey cells when you pick up a book - and it is quite literally mind blowing - then this is an accessible and fascinating listen.
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- S. O'NEILL

Inspiring Science!

Being a sucker for a quirky title I was instantly drawn to this book only to find there is more hard science in it than would normally be to my taste. Admittedly much of the scientific terminology does pass me by but the author makes very clear the potential implications of the science which is the bit I'm interested in.

I find the authors concern for literacy a little worthy as her own analysis of would seem to suggest we are heading for a new form of literacy rather than some form of "sub-literate" state. It's not a barrier though and the the book is both informative, moving and inspiring.

Other texts which touch on dyslexia I find a little patronising whereas this one is not.

A wonderful listen that I'd recommend to every educator, parent and person interested in language and reading (for the educators I'd make it compulsory).
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- Kevin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 26-08-2008
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books