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Wait: The Art and Science of Delay Audiobook, by Frank Partnoy Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Frank Partnoy Narrator: Sean Runnette Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781483067964
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (293 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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A passionate polemic in favor of pausing to think, not blink

What do these scenarios have in common: a professional tennis player returning a serve, a woman evaluating a first date across the table, a naval officer assessing a threat to his ship, and a comedian about to reveal a punch line?

In this counterintuitive and insightful work, author Frank Partnoy weaves together findings from hundreds of scientific studies and interviews with wide-ranging experts to craft a picture of effective decision making that runs contrary toour brutally fast-paced world. Thought technology is exerting new pressures to speed up our lives, it turns out that the choices we make––unconsciously and consciously, in time frames varying from milliseconds to years—benefit profoundly from delay. Taking control of time and slowing down our responses yields better results in almost every arena of life—even when time seems to be of the essence.

The procrastinator in all of us will delight in Partnoy's accounts of celebrity "delay specialists," from Warren Buffett to Chris Evert to Steve Kroft, underscoring the myriad ways in which delaying our reactions to everyday choices—large and small—can improve the quality of our lives.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Having mined the best of American research in fields as wide-ranging as finance, behavioral economics, and law, Frank Partnoy has written a beguilingly readable treatise that boils down to a single, easily digestible conclusion: in our busy modern lives, most of us react too quickly. Wait will naturally and rightly be compared to Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow as a trailblazing book exploring the hidden crannies and the treacherous pitfalls of human decision-making. I wholeheartedly recommend it.”

    Roger Lowenstein, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Wall Street and When Genius Failed

  • Wait is one of those rare books that will change not just the way you think but the way you act. The book is full of ideas that are fascinating, useful—and at times mind-blowing. I was captivated.”

    Bethany McLean, New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Smartest Guys in the Room

  • “Frank Partnoy turns conventional wisdom on its head with this counterintuitive approach to decision-making. Rather than telling us how to make decisions faster and faster, he mines and refines a rich lode of information from experts in a surprising variety of fields to demonstrate the power of delay, whether measured in milliseconds, days, or decades. Wait is a great read, chock-full of fascinating insights.”

    Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

  • “Entertaining and provocative, Portnoy probes and illuminates the complexities of human decision making with surprising insights and recommendations.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “While there is a high premium today for speed, the author suggests that there are serious downsides to rapid decision-making, unless it is accompanied by long-term strategic thinking and planning…Partnoy’s results are groundbreaking and a potential corrective to modern pressures for rapid response…A fascinating addition to the study of decision-making. File alongside Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Ariely, [and] Jonah Lehrer.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, June 2012
  • One of the 2012 Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books for Nonfiction

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pujan | 2/12/2014

    " The author repeats himself very much. Having that said, it is a relatively good read with interesting stories regarding procrastination and positive delays. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pamela | 2/11/2014

    " Dry, dull prose. Lots of varied stories, but did not hold my interest. Duh ... He says it's better to take as much time as you can before making a decision EXCEPT when you have to act quickly. Well thank you so much for that uninspiring message. I had to skim the end and was hoping he would offer something juicy at the end to pull it all together, but I needn't have bothered. Sigh .... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patrick | 2/10/2014

    " The truth is somewhere in the middle between Wait and Blink, but Partnoy lays down a case for taking one's time with decisions, large and small. In his examples, those who "wait" are usually well trained and practiced athletes or learned scholars. The moral of the story for me is to keep practicing skills until you have the luxury to "wait." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Felipe | 2/7/2014

    " It's worth the wait. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caleb | 1/29/2014

    " A book arguing for deliberation before action. Thought it was interesting enough but the examples were a bit cobbled together. He relied on a lot of actions in 2011 and 2012 for support, which seems risky to me as the wisdom of an outcome that's a year old may be very different ten years from now. The conclusion also seemed an overreach in basically professing a reform of all based on waiting. "

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

    " Very cool book for better understanding the timing of how and why we make decisions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 12/22/2013

    " A good look at the benefits of delaying decision and action and the situations that it is helpful or not helpful in. Some good things to think about and some great principles to follow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hope | 12/14/2013

    " Thoroughly enjoyable, fascinating-- a look at why we should take more time to consider before acting! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 9/20/2013

    " An exploration into why waiting leads to better decisions, the author surveys experts in various domains for better understanding. Some of the stories are fresh eg inadvertent racial bias of doctors, how Jon Stewart pauses for maximum comedic impact; some not eg the PostIt. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jim | 9/13/2013

    " There are way too many books on this same subject, and this one just seems to ramble on without really making any point. I finished it only because I didn't want to just quit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 8/14/2013

    " I really liked this one. It gave me a lot to think about on the subject of taking things more slowly and making more considered decisions. It's a good companion to some of the other books on psychology that I've read recently. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pearl | 7/5/2013

    " Very interesting take on Patience, procrastination and the art of thinking before doing. Just a bit long for its purpose but a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Felix | 7/4/2013

    " Frank Partnoy, adresses the different perspectives of thinking before act, most of the time the people didn't realize that we have to pace the activities in different ways in order to make better decisitions, if not we only react with nonsense responses. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl | 6/6/2013

    " Interesting book about the study of decision-making. Everything is done too fast today! There are serious downsides to rapid decision-making. He uses an interdisciplinary approach- behavioral economics, neuroscience and sports to discuss this topic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arthurchai | 4/19/2013

    " A Gladwell-ian/Lehrer-ish look at timing and structure of human decision making. The usual mix of interesting themes comingled with relevant and interesting anecdotes. Fairly thought provoking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanhodermarsky | 10/2/2012

    " I always like learning more about how the human body/brain work. This book had some very interesting tidbits in the begining but at the end it kind of dragged a little. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caedmon | 9/3/2012

    " A thought provoking and interesting read. I would have rated it higher if I hadn't already read Thinking, Fast and Slow, Stumbling on Happiness and other books on behavioral economics and decision-making in general. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Savannah | 7/11/2012

    " I thought it could have been more in depth - but overall, very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 6/15/2012

    " good book, title pretty much sums it up "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Briana | 6/14/2012

    " Interesting science & stories show why wait is worth reward. A little dry in spots, but overall a fascinating read. "

About the Author

Frank Partnoy is the George E. Barrett Professor of Law and Finance and is codirector of the Center on Corporate and Securities Law at the University of San Diego. He is one of the world’s leading experts on the complexities of modern finance and financial market regulation. He is the author of F.I.A.S.C.O.: Blood in the Water on Wall Street; Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets; and The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, the Financial Genius behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals.

About the Narrator

Sean Runnette, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, has also directed and produced more than two hundred audiobooks, including several Audie Award winners. He is a member of the American Repertory Theater company and has toured the United States and internationally with ART and Mabou Mines. His television and film appearances include Two If by Sea, Cop Land, Sex and the City, Law & Order, the award-winning film Easter, and numerous commercials.