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Interesting but ultimately over ambitious

3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2018-03-22

A wide ranging journey of ideas familiar and new (to me, at least), the book takes an interesting perspective on humanity's fundamental nature. This will appeal to those who enjoyed Harari's Sapiens.

However, over the course of the (literally) hundreds of chapters, the underlying thread of "The Patterning Instinct" becomes harder and harder to discern. It ends up seeming like more of Jeremy Lent's thoughts on everything, ranging from areas where he has clear expertise, to one's where the depths of his knowledge is more threadbare.

Although interesting, the meandering journey ultimately dilutes the thesis. Worthy of a read for the many thought provoking paths it leads you down, but nevertheless lacking the satisfactory oomph of an idea well and conclusively argued.