Peter Conrad’s Dismal Review of Foer’s Moonwalking with Einstein

Here is a misguided, self-important, negative review by Peter Conrad. I had make an effort and figure out who this guy is who is so full of himself. Turns out, I had to google him to find him, since the link from his name in the article – reader beware – goes right to a malware hacker site that started messing with my browser. Google landed me on an anemic wikipedia page of an Australian-born academic specializing in English literature:

He has written a number of works of criticism including a major history of English literature, The Everyman History of English Literature, a cultural history of the twentieth century, two autobiographical works and a novel.

He blasts Foer and Moonwalking with Einstein:

After performing the tricks required of him, he is ushered off into oblivion; by telling the story all over again five years later, he is hoping to prolong his meagre allocation of fame and persuade the world to remember his name. But I have too much on my mind, and now intend to exercise my prerogative as a thinker by forgetting him.

Conrad may have studied English literature and he may have too much on his mind, most likely checking himself in the mirror, after writing two autobiographical works that we never heard about. But I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed reading the musings of Foer, getting insight into the obscure world of the sport memorizers, learning of the personal interactions of Foer with savants like Kim Peeks and Daniel Tammet, whose books I have also enjoyed. The mnemonic adventures of Foer have inspired me to dust off my own mnemonic skills.

Conrad’s review is self-aggrandizing and completely misses the point of Foer’s book Moonwalking with Einstein.

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