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I heard about this book from a TED talk so with healthy scepticism I bought and read the book. The TED talk said that by memorising a 'frame' of a subject (in this case Shakespeare's plays, in order) you are drawn to learn more and can do so quickly and easily because you have the frame to build upon.
After reading the book I did actually end up becoming fascinated with Shakespeare. I've watched films based on his plays, bought books, gone to the Shakespeare Globe and even bought more tickets to see another. This all from a girl who absolutely detested English at school and originally had no desire to learn about Shakespeare, just the memory technique.
Regarding the technique itself it really does work and is transferable. I'm now working on memorising all of Asia's countries and their capitals, so am preparing to become a little obsessed with those too.
This book is so cheap, and so fast to read (about 90 mins front to back, with pauses) that I'm amazed that it isn't being read more widely. I'm recommending it to all of my friends; the only trouble is that my new ability to list Shakespeare's plays or Asia's countries and their capitals isn't something that inspires others - how frustrating!
Whilst studying for weeks to realise I was forgetting half of what I spent hours learning, I sought out to learn new ways of retaining information I had learnt. I stumbled upon this book in the amazon kindle marketplace and for the price thought it was worth a read. Needless to say the book was very insightful in helping to train my imagination in a way to relate incoming information to the things and locations I already know and create a journey which is a real struggle to forget. To put this to the test the author has you go through a pre made story in which you piece all 37 shakespearean play along it with the setting being a location or journey you know well. It's been a months since reading the book and I still remember them all.
The techniques suggested in the book are good if you find remembering lists useful or satisfying. Personally I am not interested in the sequential order of the works of Shakespeare or Dickens, and the imagery used was often crude and a bit offensive, a big arse for example as an aide memoire for " Corialanus"...get it? A question Mr Smile asks more than once. His style of writing is very rushed and reminds me of a performing hypnotist and magician which is how I visualised him together with a big false smile. Other examples are representations of Ann Hathaway the actress as Ann Hathaway Shakespeare's wife ( yes folks that was the name of Shakespeare's wife...confides the author...indicating that this type of knowledge is purely for impressing people and has no depth), sitting on a bus with Shakespeare who is eating a McDonalds hamberger....not Hamlet I would like to advise you which is visualised as a flying pig, but Macbeth...Mc= Mac....geddit?
The images too are culturally specific so you need to know about American filmstars and politicians past and present to get the visual and verbal connections. For example what do you think a three headed Richard Nixon may represent? Of course " Richard the Third". A two headed Richard Gere...not going to even tell you that one. My personal favourite was a rapidly aging John Travolta represnting the suitably obscure " Life and Death of King John". In fact I remember all of them. Which suggests it works!!!!