Faster : Our Race Against Time

3.51 (1,300 ratings by Goodreads)
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Time rules our lives. The frenetic purpose - more than we want to admit, is to save time. Think of one of those conveniences that best convey the most elemental feeling of power over the passing seconds: the microwave oven. In your hurry sickness, you may find yourself punching 88 seconds instead of 90 because it is faster to tap the same digit twice. Do you stand at the microwave for that minute and a half? Or is that long enough to make a quick call or run in the next room to finish paying a bill? If haste is the gas pedal for the pace of our lives, then multi-tasking is overdrive. FASTER dissects with acute insight and mordant wit our unceasing daily struggle to squeeze as much as we can - but never enough - into the 1440 minutes of each day. Speed is the key strategy for saving time, and James Gleick shows us how in just about every area - from business cycle time to beeper medicine, from Federal Express to quick playback buttons on answering machines, from the pace of television to our growing need to do two things at once, how speed has become the experience we all have in common - it, more than the message, is what connects more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 126 x 192 x 24mm | 281.23g
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Abacus
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0349112924
  • 9780349112923
  • 660,162

Review Text

By Gleick's high standards, this is an ordinary book. By the standards of anybody else, it is well above average. The problem Gleick has created for himself is that his first two books, Chaos and Genius dealt with subjects that had not, at the time, been worked over by other authors. So his skill as a writer brought completely new stories to a new audience. Faster is a much more mundane idea - one of the many vaguely millennial books dealing with time, the way we measure it and the way we seem to have to run faster and faster in order to stay in the same place. Gleick does it very well, but you can't help feeling that this is a waste of rare talent. (Kirkus UK)show more

Review quote

A bite sized, zippy little book is packed with myriad manifestations of the Need for Speed DAILY EXPRESS A book that you can dip in and out of at will, always coming up with an intriguing fact or statistic SUNDAY TIMES Gleick offers a lot of witty observation that's worth more than a few of your precious minutes FOCUS It's an important portrait of an age; a learned, witty, eclectic treatise, and it might even help you to slow down. So don't hang around- go out and buy it right now. OBSERVER 'A highly readable dissection of our speed-obsessed age'show more

About James Gleick

James Gleick was an editor and reporter at the New York Times for ten years. He is the author of GENIUS and also CHAOS, which was nominated for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in New York more

Rating details

1,300 ratings
3.51 out of 5 stars
5 17% (224)
4 33% (424)
3 37% (479)
2 11% (142)
1 2% (31)
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