The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal about Human Nature

You know how some books keep you fumbling for the next page, like a ravenous, impoverished college student with a box of pizza? Well this book is not in that category. Though if you can tolerate it  for more than a few pages you may discover why junk food always manages to woo you so. But why don’t I save you time and tell you quickly right now?

In Saad’s eyes (I kid you not, that’s his name is Gad Saad), everything that we humans do is undoubtedly related to our Darwinian roots. This is a point he stresses and strains in a most laborious way throughout the 300+ pages of his book. Several thousand years ago, when food was scarce and there were no corner stores let alone any golden arches to be found anywhere on planet earth, the was a constant caloric scarcity and uncertainty. So we humans have evolved the urge to gorge ourselves on fatty, sugary foods. And allegedly have not been able to evolve past that stage.

The picture is perhaps the most alluring part of this book:


While the book contains a sprinkling of interesting content here and there, there are plenty of other books our there on similar subjects where the author does not come across as such a dogmatic and arrogant prat. To read more about such books, have a peek at Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behaviour.

Saadly, the writer lacks any great talent as a writer and preaches his alleged ‘facts’ in a one-sided, arbitrary way with all the zeal and none of the charisma of Benny Hin. At the end of it I was glad to plop it back into the community library from whence it came; it’s certainly not a book I would bother to pay for or give a home to on my hallowed bookshelves. Consume it at your own risk – but don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Rating: 2.5 stars

Sharp Summary: a rather dull read reminisce of a first-year Consumer Behavior Uni textbook (only more offensive), seductively and deceptively packaged up as a revelation of human nature.

My (not-so-secret) love-affair with books

The exuberant kisses uncontrollably, spontaneously bestowed by yours truly upon any of my recently acquired books leaves me without doubt that books add value to my life. Unfortunately, my passion for books also leaves some people doubting my sanity but I guess you can’t have it all.

Strolling past closed book stores stirs up something deep inside of my young heart; something that is somewhat akin to the sense of dull emptiness one feels when walking past an old graveyard; and in a sense, these are old graveyards, symbolising the passing away  what was once loved and cherished.

What do I love about books? Is it the pages feel in my hands, the way I can crease and dog-ear the pages, scribble hasty notes in the margin as I mark my current intellect property – or intellectual camp-ground perhaps – and see in those aged pages traces of our relationship? The Metlink ticket used as  bookmark in the science book I read during summer holidays as a 16 year old, the wrinkled cover of my most loved, most lived-with novels, all symbolic of our history and their ingratiation into my life….

I’m quietly wildly nostalgic and sentimental when it comes to books in general – it’s something about clutching onto the idea; a time when people had the time to read and ponder a single subject from beginning to end. Undeniably,infallibly  reading books in their traditional format offer more time to let the subject matter ‘sink in’ and in the online world or with e-books, attention is easily seduced by a dozen things at once. A good book is a long-term relationship that changes you indelibly; browsing online articles is an intellectual fling, a one-night stand, a flirtation with information that calls for no solid commitment or intense attention.

You might offer protests to my romantic notions. And perhaps your protests may even be correct. Perhaps books in their traditional format are not the superior treasures I believe them to be.

But love, as they say, is blind.