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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (779 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Gleick Narrator: James Gleick Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2011 ISBN: 9780307915085
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From the New York Times bestselling, National Book Award–nominated author of Genius and Chaos, a bracing new work about the accelerating pace of change in today’s world.

Most of us suffer some degree of “hurry sickness,” a malady that has launched us into the “epoch of the nanosecond,” a need-everything-yesterday sphere dominated by cell phones, computers, faxes, and remote controls. Yet for all the hours, minutes, and even seconds being saved, we’re still filling our days to the point that we have no time for such basic human activities as eating, sex, and relating to our families. Written with fresh insight and thorough research, Faster is a wise and witty look at a harried world not likely to slow down anytime soon.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Nimble, smart, often funny, and—best of all—fast.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Fascinating and disturbing, amusing and informative, Faster is an eclectic stew combining history, academic research, and anecdotes drawn from popular media.”

    Boston Globe

  • Faster’s short, jewel-like essays read like dispatches from Xanadu of maximum efficiency.”

    Newsday

  • “Engaging.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Gleick offers his pointed analysis with refreshing irreverence.”

    Time

  • “Gleick has done a magnificent job of outlining and defining the problem in a cogent and witty fashion; this book is an exemplar of thorough reporting.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “Trains a magnifying glass on our speed-driven world, illuminating the modern human’s obsession with time and challenging a few myths…Thank you, James Gleick.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Well written and enjoyable…A book that demands your attention.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Gleick has a great eye for today’s transitions.”

    Village Voice

  • “Gleick’s style is swift and slick, his chapters brief, and the book zips by like an Epcot monorail.”

    New York

  • “This is a book to be studied…slowly.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Lively, detailed, and briskly written—this book is a fount of interesting information. Well worth your time.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richard Gombert | 2/13/2014

    " This book has become dated. Not a bad book overall. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel Muir | 2/9/2014

    " The book was an interesting read, at least. It wasn't especially riveting or alternative from other books of its class, but it offered some peculiar (And generally true) anecdotes regarding time and the human treatment of it. At its best, it allowed me to pause and reflect on my own attitude and use of things such as watches, digital clocks, elevators, telescopes even. At its worst, it was dry and a moderate bore to labor through. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tessa | 2/1/2014

    " An OK book. It's written for a somewhat pop audience and contains few revelations. However there is an interesting section towards the end where he discusses the limits of speed and uses the example of the disabled "close door" buttons on newer skyscraper elevators which exist only so that people can press them and believe that they are causing the doors to close faster when they stay open for the same time regardless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Theron | 1/23/2014

    " Gleick catalogs numerous ways in which western culture is driven by go, go, Go! Some meme are quite funny, and insightful. Others, upon self reflection, are sad. "So what," you might say after reading this book, just as I did. His conclusion, maybe lacking but I took away a few things. Every generation sees the symptoms of mania (rapid speech, racing thoughts, decreased need for sleep, hypersexuality, euphoria, impulsiveness, grandiosity, and increased interest in goal-directed activities) in themselves and the next generation. Living faster has not lived up to promise (more leisure time, whatever that means) but that's okay because we're about "our work". Time (as we track it, tick-tock) is a creation of man that can be traded, sold, stolen, purchased, etc. in the same way as other goods or services. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tanya Mills | 1/22/2014

    " Some interesting tidbits, but it didn't really feel like I "learned" anything. It seemed like more of a confirmation that the busy-ness I feel is not my imagination. It was a good exploration of the "downsides" to technological advances that have speeded things up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 sisterimapoet | 1/20/2014

    " I couldnt help but get a little anxious, a little breathless reading this book. I plan to read 'In Praise of Slow' by Carl Honore as an antidote soon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 1/15/2014

    " This is a really cool book that talks about the way things have sped up in today's society. From the way airports are run to the outsourced and automated calling systems, and even they way we keep track of time itself. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dan Cohen | 12/31/2013

    " I found this an unsatisfying book. It covers an interesting subject and includes some good ideas and examples, but I found the structure confusing and also found it a bit repetitive. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 12/15/2013

    " This is the book where you begin to get a better appreciation of the link between technology, perception and psychology. Smart, well written and a provocative inquiry into the reality of speed and our addiction to it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gabe Mounce | 12/7/2013

    " Pretty good...maybe it will make a connection to something else I like someday. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie | 10/25/2013

    " Okay, this will sound weird, but I wanted the book to move along more quickly. :) I did like the points that he was making, especially the one about the increased instability in the stock market and the one about humans and our natural inclination toward speed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vance Dubberly | 10/11/2013

    " I read this during the Dot Com bubble, when I was working 12-16 hour days. It's what stopped me doing that. It's a nice meditation of the effects of a society which is increasingly precise and increasingly over loaded. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 9/28/2013

    " Food for thought. i've really enjoyed all of his books that I've read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nolan | 11/3/2012

    " Excellent insights into current social/cultural issues generated by technological advances. Gleick is an engaging writer. If you enjoyed his book, CHAOS, you'll enjoy FASTER. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cari | 10/18/2012

    " disturbingly accurate portrayal of the mind numbing speed of life as we embrace it in this technology driven world. i think i am stuck in the slow lane. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori Grant | 10/15/2012

    " An optional-read book for knowledge workers and entrepreneurs on concepts and trends regarding technology. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brandon Angelo | 6/25/2012

    " Coherent and thought-provoking, though annoyingly repetitive "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anosh | 2/4/2012

    " When I was buying this book, I was worried it might not be relevant anymore since it's around 10 years old. But I bought it because of James Gleick and It was totally worth it in the end. He beautifully captures how our lives have sped up and asks whether the accelaration is worth the cost. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kamil | 11/27/2011

    " i can't say it's good... rather boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Isabelle | 5/25/2011

    " Less good than the information or chaos, mostly because of how dated it felt. Would still recommend as a good, generic gift. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Avi Roy | 10/27/2010

    " The author makes some thought provoking points in the book. Unfortunately, these insights are surrounded by 200 pages of lackluster speculation about the 'good'ol days'. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Harendra Alwis | 4/25/2010

    " ..almost the best book I've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney | 12/12/2009

    " I read this one while I was living in New York (and even wrote a little piece about how often people jab the "door close" button on the escalator to save themselves the 40 seconds of waiting for the next passenger).

    I ttly nderstood evrythng he ws syng. :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michel | 8/27/2009

    " (Reader's edition: isbn 0676 58998 7)
    A modernization of Toffler's Future Shock, without the impact of Toffler's style, and that of a totally new concept. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tanya | 7/22/2009

    " Some interesting tidbits, but it didn't really feel like I "learned" anything. It seemed like more of a confirmation that the busy-ness I feel is not my imagination. It was a good exploration of the "downsides" to technological advances that have speeded things up. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bob | 7/17/2009

    " Likes: Some interesting examples of the hurried pace of Western lifestyles.
    Dislikes: Opinionated ramblings without any explanation or defense of the opinion. Like listening to an old man complain about how the world has changed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hans | 4/7/2009

    " Only read this book if you are interested in specifics of how our lives through technological changes & societal transformations have speed up (primarily from a Western perspective). Other than that this book does not provide much and I don't think it was written in an engaging way either. "

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About the Author
Author James Gleick

James Gleick is a leading chronicler of science and technology, the bestselling author of Chaos, Genius, and The Information. His books have been translated into thirty languages. Gleick, a former reporter and editor of the New York Times, lives in New York.