Sunday, May 09, 2010


Well it has been a busy couple of weeks and not much reading has happened so I'm pleased I actually read our May Book Circle title last month!

May Book: Bad Science
Author: Ben Goldacre
First Published: 2008

From the blurb:
” Dr Ben Goldacre dispenses fast and powerful relief from:
Scaremongering journalists
Pill-pushing nutritionists
Flaky statistic
Evil pharmaceutical corporations. ”

On the cover:
“Includes a brilliant, shocking and previously unpublishable new chapter”.

Pardon me but I was turned off before I started. For a supposed scientifically-based expose there was just way to much emotive language in this book. Words on the cover like “scaremongering”, ‘flaky”, “powerful relief’, “shocking” and, best of all “evil” well I was on the back foot before I started.

I’ve never liked conspiracy-theorists and this is one of the best. While I agree with quite a bit of what Dr Goldacre has to say (I did like some chapters) it just left me wondering what type of person would write it? And what type of person would buy it? I’m obviously in the minority because this non-fiction book was a Sunday Times (UK) top 10 bestseller.

I was brought up with the maxim “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”. So I guess I would prefer to read something positive. And this was negativeness in its extreme.

Melissa’s rating : 2/10(It got 2 because I wholeheartedly agreed with his comments rubbishing the premise of detoxing).


Janine said...

now this is what I like, when we have different views on the same book.

While I wouldn't buy the book there were a lot of chapters in his book that opened my eyes. I didn't mind reading this one at all.

The one on Gillian McKeith in particular and also the use of stats in studies.

I am glad I got this one out of the library and once again its a popular book as well.

I bought Wolf Hall on Friday the waitlist for that in Welly was horrendous.

Lisa66 said...

I haven't read it yet, but am hoping to very soon.

I have to say I'm aware of his stance on many issues, such as homeopathy, and on nutritional claims by McKeith and others, and I wholeheartedly agree with him.

I'll be very interested to read the book and see what I think of his style.

I think I'm going to shell out for Wolf Hall as well. too hard to get from the library.

scrapgeek said...

I must admit I read this one last year and loved it. I think that the reason he seems so negative is that he gets genuinely angry at people misusing science. I am hoping to read it again when I get time.

Penny said...

I enjoyed it because I see so many people confused by the very stuff he's trying to expose. I also am often annoyed by the media mis-using statistics to scaremonger so that side of the book was of interest to me. :)

Katrina said...

I have to say although I found the book eye opening I won't be buying it.