The Norm Chronicles by Michael Blastland
Stories and numbers about danger

78%

6 Critic Reviews

The authors also spend some time on the history of risk analyses, on the notion of chance and on the inadequacy on information...Commendable for its wide compilation of facts and figures—but perhaps even more so for the authors’ “deep sense of uncertainties around data, statistics, and evidence.”
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Meet Norm. He's 31, 5'9", just over 13 stone, and works a 39 hour week. He likes a drink, doesn't do enough exercise and occasionally treats himself to a bar of chocolate (milk). He's a pretty average kind of guy. In fact, he is the average guy in this clever and unusual take on statistical risk, chance, and how these two factors affect our everyday choices. Watch as Norm (who, like all average specimens, feels himself to be uniquely special), and his friends careful Prudence and reckless Kelvin, turns to statistics to help him in life's endless series of choices - should I fly or take the train? Have a baby? Another drink? Or another sausage? Do a charity skydive or get a lift on a motorbike?


Because chance and risk aren't just about numbers - it's about what we believe, who we trust and how we feel about the world around us. From a world expert in risk and the bestselling author of The Tiger That Isn't (and creator of BBC Radio 4's More or Less), this is a commonsense (and wildly entertaining) guide to personal risk and decoding the statistics that represent it.

 

About Michael Blastland

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Michael Blastland is an author, journalist, and BBC Radio 4 broadcaster.He co-authored, with Andrew Dilnot, Profile's best-selling The Tiger that Isn't [9781861978394]. David Spiegelhalter OBE is Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk in the Statistical Laboratory, University of Cambridge. He is a fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge and the Royal Society.
 
Published June 6, 2013 by Profile Books Ltd. 335 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Science & Math, Computers & Technology, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Education & Reference, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Norm Chronicles
All: 6 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on May 07 2014

The authors also spend some time on the history of risk analyses, on the notion of chance and on the inadequacy on information...Commendable for its wide compilation of facts and figures—but perhaps even more so for the authors’ “deep sense of uncertainties around data, statistics, and evidence.”

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jun 23 2014

The whole is seasoned with a dash of humor to create a work that should satisfy anyone curious about just how and when this mortal coil might be shuffled off.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by ABIGAIL ZUGER on Jul 28 2014

Reading this book straight through is much like watching a Monty Python marathon: stimulating for a while, then increasingly exhausting. Chapter by chapter, though, it does an energetic and laudable job of stretching the mind.

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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Jordan Ellenberg on Jun 02 2014

You can read this stuff in a prosecutorial tone of voice, if you like...But the authors take a different tack—a better one. They argue ably that mathematical computations should be a buttress to our judgment but concede that computations will never, and should never, replace our judgment entirely.

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Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by Orlando Bird on Jul 12 2013

Witty and illuminating, The Norm Chronicles is essential reading for anyone wanting to know whether they should try skydiving, or accept that third glass of wine.

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The Economist

Excellent
on Jun 22 2013

Messrs Blastland and Spiegelhalter wear their learning lightly. They never lapse into the smug tone that often accompanies books like these...Making the process enjoyable is a real achievement.

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Reader Rating for The Norm Chronicles
69%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 48 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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