This book was an entertaining glimpse into the world of competitive memory contests. The author started his journey into this world by reporting on a memory contest, and then immersed himself by learning the techniques and becoming a competitor himself. Along the way, the reader learns the history of memory techniques and current practices.

This is not a how-to book-- although the author interviews the experts who have written the how-to-books. But really, I think one could learn enough of the memory "tricks" from this book to memorize decks of cards, etc. The techniques are not that complicated to describe, the hard part is implementing them; not because of difficulty so much as setting up the memory systems can be tedious and I doubt many people would bother.

Although after reading the book I was inspired this morning to memorize my shopping list by using creative visualization and a "memory palace" based on my childhood home. While I did enjoy reading about the colorful characters who compete to memorize the most playing cards in an hour, I have no desire to join their ranks. But I recommend the book to a general audience. It was engagingly written and quickly read.