Reviews by readers of the first 10,000 words of A Brief History Of Lies within one day of uploading not very good rtfs.
Barry Wenlock wrote 15 hours ago
I’m having trouble reading it on my screen but what I’ve read makes me think I would buy this book. It’s such an interesting subject. this site holds many lies. We’ve all told them and tell them. I want to read more and will do so. Congrats. Best wishes, barry (Little Krisna and the Bihar Boys)
PS. Little Krisna says, “How can you tell when the bihar boys are telling lies? Their lips move.
Lesley Stevens wrote 23 hours ago
I backed this from the moment I started reading, and then I couldn’t stop. I just wish there was more of this posted here.
I am hoping your title is a working one though as there is much more than a brief history in what you have written so far and the underlining theme coming through is that there is nothing brief about the history of lying anyway – it seems to be a universal component of modern society that is as complex and intricate as the lies people tell.
I love the connection you make between intelligence and lying, and how you slip in that in the absence of lies you have integrity. How would it be if we applied that to the comments people write about books here?
I was looking for the role imagination plays in the elaboration of some lies. After all aren’t good story tellers skilled liars? Don’t they have everyone believing in what they are saying? And then I got to the bit about Santa and the Tooth Fairy – what are you telling me they don’t exist?
I’m not surprised that psychologists have not deeply studied lying – it is after all a little like looking in the mirror – the more you look into it the more blemishes you see on your own face. Maybe Hugh Laurie has actually paid us all a service in his role of Dr House, his frequent and blatant statements that everybody lies I am sure made people stop and examine themselves a little deeper.
I found it interesting that you don’t distinguish between story-telling and lying but boldly refer to them as the same thing, which in retrospect they are. But you see I have convinced myself that I am a great story teller while at the same time holding firmly to my integrity in other things. I justify it, I suppose, because I tell everybody when I’m telling stories, bull-shitting, spinning a yarn – it’s all part of the fantasy. But in all other things I try to tell the truth – to myself, to others – even if it does reflect badly on me in the end.
So this is a most interesting book to me because of course it forces the reader to reflect on their own behaviour and experience.
And then I got to your bit about pathological liars – now that really is food for thought. When I think of the spectrum of liars you discuss I wonder whether religion needs to fit into the same category as the Tooth Fairy and the bogeyman. When you first touch on this I like how you don’t pass a judgment but rather state it as a question. How Socratic. And I wonder if that is the point of a study like this, raising the questions. If individuals lie, can companies and countries and societies as a whole? We know they can accept a lie, believe a lie, but are they also capable of generating a lie? Maybe your title needs to the about the philosophy of lies for that really is what I’ve read so far amounts to.
But then a few little judgments sneak in, phrases like “It is a shame that…” are judgmental and I think weaken what you started. Keep it Socratic, allow the reader to draw the conclusions they do from the statements you write here, without a value statement from you. (By the way the paragraphs “It is a shame…” and “If there is a god…” are repeated twice – you might want to relook at this section).
One last comment this would benefit greatly if it was structured a little better. It is non-fiction and therefore can take sub-heading to make it easier for the reader to find sections of particular interest. Maybe in the original text you use the illustrations to do that, but here you need to divide the different analyses in someway. You could chapter it if you like, but sub-sectioning would force you to be more succinct in places and limit the rambling.
I shall go off now and contemplate whether I should consider lying more so I can have a happier existence, or whether I prefer to sleep easier at night knowing I have told the truth – as I know it.
Best of luck with this. A most enjoyable and thought-provoking read.
CharlieChuck wrote 23 hours ago
This is interesting, a lot of work has gone into it. A very dry element of humour remains throughout. Backed
Betsy wrote 1 day ago
This is a must have book. Erudite, easy to read, and humourous. We’ve all lied, but mostly, don’t want to be lied too. It’s a topic everyone wants to know more about. (And you tell it so well!) Backed with pleasure, Jacqui Christensen (William’s Revenge)
Nit wrote 1 day ago
Daniel and Calvin,
Fascinating. You gentlemen really did your homework.
If this ever sees print, please let me know. I’d love to own a copy. It would make a great addition housed in the psychology section on my shelf of non-fiction works.
All the best,
George Fripley wrote 1 day ago
What a great book…it will go my bookshelf (real bookshelf at home) once it is published. A fascinating subjecet. Backed.
(Wurzel of Clutton)
Sheila Belshaw wrote 1 day ago
A BRIED HISTORY OF LIES:
An absolutely fascinating subject, which you delve into with amazing literary dexterity. It’s amazing that you write in so many different ways and genres, and now you demonstrate that you are also a psychologist. It is all far too complex for me to start discussing the different angles from which you approach your subject, and the platform for discussion is far too small. All I can say is that if I had time I would want to read it all. But what I can say is that the construction is very organised and you seem to have covered every possible angle from which to draw conclusions. The writing is clear and concise and easily accessible for the ordinary man in the street.
(Some of the text appears to disappear off the page.)
Backed with admiration.
Sheila (Pinpoint) (You say you write thrillers, so you might like to have a look at my psychological thriller, Pinpoint, and I look forward to your views on it. )
Ben Zaaiman wrote 1 day ago
I recently saw on Andrew Sullivan’s blog someone hold a view that masturbation, being a work of the imagination, was a sin because it constituted lying (to oneself.) Freaky. You have and interesting topic, and I’d love to see the illustrations. Backed and good luck.
Ben Zaaiman – Person Under Control