Get a free audiobook

The Great Mental Models

General Thinking Concepts
Written by: Shane Parrish
Narrated by: Shane Parrish
Length: 3 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

The old saying goes, "To the man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail". But anyone who has done any kind of project knows a hammer often isn't enough. 

The more tools you have at your disposal, the more likely you'll use the right tool for the job - and get it done right. 

The same is true when it comes to your thinking. The quality of your outcomes depends on the mental models in your head. And most people are going through life with little more than a hammer. 

Until now. 

The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts is the first book in The Great Mental Models series designed to upgrade your thinking with the best, most useful and powerful tools so you always have the right one on hand. 

This volume details nine of the most versatile all-purpose mental models you can use right away to improve your decision making, your productivity, and how clearly you see the world. You will discover what forces govern the universe and how to focus your efforts so you can harness them to your advantage, rather than fight with them or, worse yet, ignore them.

©2019 Shane Parrish (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    36
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    26
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    28
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not enough for one credit despite content.

First thirty minutes are spent explaining that there will be more books in this series. At under four hours and one credit spent listening to how I’m going to have to spend more credits to hear all the content I’m not impressed. Otherwise the information is interesting, just not happy with how it’s been packaged. Will be returning.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Great information let down by the narration

Over priced production. The information seems valuable, although I could only make my way through half of the book, but is let down my the delivery. Also I didn't realize this was a series. At 3 hours long this series could easily have been condensed into a single book; especially considering the price in comparison to other titles of similar interest of 20 hours length.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

would exchange

I did not like this book. i wasnt able to understand it. There were too many winding stories and words that vocabulary was not easily comprehendable. not a easy read

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another masterpiece by Shane

Huge fan of Shane work - read his newsletter weekly religiously - thanks for everything Shane- your work had massive impact in my career and personal life - cheers

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars

good tools

very good delivery of valuable tools that you can apply immediately. well done and interesting.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved the lessons

Mr Parrish was pleasant but has trouble with quite a few words, nuclear for example. Tragic.
Thank you sir for your work!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Game changing book

Superbly well written and well narrated book filled with just the kind of wisdom and insight I’d expect from a great thinker like Shane Parrish. Well worth the listen with plenty of thought provoking ideas and concepts that will change how you think about decision making and much more.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Mind-expanding content

I've turned my commute into professional development time by listening to podcasts and audiobooks, and this book felt like a massively successful investment into myself. Pulling examples from the past, various disciplines, compelling stories, and the greatest thinkers who have ever existed, this audiobook contained way more knowledge than I expected. I learned a lot, and am excited to put new mental models to work in my everyday life. Worth a listen, probably more than once!

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking and very informative!

A thoroughly enjoyable and informative book. This book should be mandatory reading for anybody who spends time thinking about thinking. I hope this is the first of many books by this great thinker.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • RB
  • 2019-04-10

Of little value

Thought this book would be great, but it's a snoozer. Examples are pulled in many cases from distant past, and often don't seem tied closely to the model being described. Reading of the book is poor, with a lack of pauses to indicate a new sentence or section. Overall, very disappointing, .

1 of 6 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • 2019-04-14

A dissapointing debut

I enjoy the Farnam street blog so see that he was releasing an audiobook intrigued me immediately. I really want to like this release but its just underwhelming. This volume lacked both depth and breadth of the mental models discussed, adding nothing to his blog entries. It feels like he's reading a textbook or class notes, dropping the terms and maybe the most barebones of examples. The content is far to dry and academic for a casual listener and far to shallow and basic to really help the people who are aware of these concepts but want to really integrate them into their mental tool kit.

In his chapter on probabilistic thinking, for example, he barely discusses things like hindsight bias, the gamblers fallacy isn't mentioned, hints at black swan event but doesn't follow that thread, his discussion of distribution curves assumes people know what a distribution curve is in general and how the normal distribution works, but describes the curves as if we don't, serving no one in the process and not discussing things like outliers, how to use them in decision making etc... its mostly just describing the terms, as if answering an exam question. After listing to it, I would have no idea

I think a lot of these votes are voting for the author (who I like) and not the work, which I cannot recommend at this time (just read his blog). You are much better off spending your money/credit on more specific books, like Thinking in Bets or A Drunkards Walk (for probabilistic thinking) and really hone that mental model. I really hope the subsequent volumes of this series expand and really add the depth and cohesion these models need to be properly integrated into better overall decision making.

68 of 71 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Maverick
  • 2019-04-11

Good concept. Too short / limited in detail.

Entire book is ~3 hours. The concept is to review various mental models, introduce the concept, and describe how to use. It is a good concept, and mentioned as part of a series of books.

Given the brevity of the book, I would save my money and review the blog instead.

52 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Luke Thomas
  • 2019-04-11

I wanted to like this.

As a reader of the FS blog, I was a bit disappointed with this audio book. A lot of the content felt like filler and the narration made me want to fall asleep.

Honestly, I think I'd rather have the posts on mental models narrated from the blog and available in a single book vs. many books in a series. Much more signal and less noise.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alex
  • 2019-04-10

Great book just a bit short

Great content and very well narrated. Just a bit short and felt like it could be a bit longer.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas D. Trebes
  • 2019-04-20

Excellent! Except...

Shane has an excellent weekly blog I recommend highly at fs.blog that I’ve read for a couple of years so I looked forward to the release of the TGMM audiobook. It doesn’t disappoint.

I agree with another reviewer that it needs a pdf or, my preference, would be for Amazon to offer a package of the audiobook with the book itself, not a Kindle version since I don’t like reading on one. It wouldn’t be possible here since Audible was given a 6 month head start before the book is available.

A couple of areas for improvement in the next release after listening to this one twice. First, let us know when you’re moving from one mental model to the next since I thought the segues were weak.

Second, the audiobook is short at under 3 1/2 hours so volumes could be combined. It’s great for Shane and Audible that I will buy 5 audiobooks but not for me. However, in the true spirit of Hanlon’s Razor I’ll assume there was a reason to do it this way.

Since I am a member of the club that believes authors should record their audiobooks so I thoroughly enjoyed Shane’s recording while keeping in mind my point to improve the movement from one mental model to the next.

In summary I suggest buying this audiobook and the ones that follow. In addition to seeing where my past thinking has gone astray and led to less than wise decisions I am confident the knowledge will at least make me stop and think through the ‘effects of the effects’, Second Order Thinking, of future decisions.

I am grateful for the time and effort Shane has put into this project. It has helped me and it will help many others.

Thank you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Benjamin Krotin
  • 2019-04-14

Broadly informative.

This book contains a wealth of information which is elegantly sourced from a broad array of knowledge bases and studies. This information is presented in a way that is elegant and easy to digest.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rajat K Bose
  • 2019-04-10

Foundation Stones for Effective Thinking

This inaugural volume of the author's Great Mental Models lays down the foundation stones upon which you start building your repertoire of mental models that you would use to arrive at right decisions and/or solving problems.

Very neat chapters are there describing each topic in sufficient detail with good examples. The topics are explained coherently and in simple language. This, I consider, would go a long way in its success as an audio-text.

While I liked Shane's vocal rendering of his own text a lot yet I would prefer the same being done by a professional narrator for it to be even more pleasurable for listeners like me who come from a different part of the world. This is not to say that his performance is not great but it definitely could be improved upon using a professional narrator.

Caveat: I am a member of the Learning Community of fs.blog run by the team led by the author, Shane Parrish and his team. I have been reading his blog for more than a few years.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Filip Starzik
  • 2019-04-12

Awesome book

This is a expansion to the articles relating to mental models on Farnam Street blog.
Will definitely listen to it a few more times.
Ca't wait for Vol2.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael P Weber
  • 2019-04-09

An efficient path to wisdom

No need to re-create the wheel. This book summarizes what other people have already figured out and presents it in an efficient and easy to understand way so that it can immediately be used to improve your success in life.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-04-15

Great intro to mental models. I want more!

This is a great book I would recommend to anyone. The reader's voice lacks energy, but it's good enough to make listening for an hour or more at a time very doable.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Charles
  • 2019-04-18

Very good book but difficult to follow through Audible version only. It is needed to provide a free access to Kindle vesion too.

Nice book with the concentrated knowledge already delivered at Parrish’s website. The content is very good.
However, I have several concerns about the format, which is at least incomplete.
it is very difficult to follow it with just an Audible version as it is very concentrated and you will always need to look foward to reading some points more into deep. I am not eager to be double charged buying a printed version so Free Kindle version should be proposed with this audiobook (and please notre for the next books of the collection). This is a common problem with this type of books.

Regarding performance, it is read too fast. I needed to slow down to 0.75 just not to get too lost. Parrish reading is monotonous and always at the same pace so it is difficult to notice when the chapter ends, when it is a title, so you get distracted. I needed continuously to get a couple of minutes back to grasp a concept. This reinforces the need of a printed version.

Looking foward to hearing from Audible sending a link to the full book as Kindle version. If not available, I would suggest to wait for the printed version.