• The Compass of Pleasure

  • How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good
  • By: David J. Linden
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 05-31-11
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.8 (332 ratings)
  • Whispersync for Voice-ready

Regular price: $24.49

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Publisher's Summary

A leading brain scientist's look at the neurobiology of pleasure - and how pleasures can become addictions. Whether eating, taking drugs, engaging in sex, or doing good deeds, the pursuit of pleasure is a central drive of the human animal. In The Compass of Pleasure Johns Hopkins neuroscientist David J. Linden explains how pleasure affects us at the most fundamental level: in our brain. As he did in his award-winning book, The Accidental Mind, Linden combines cutting-edge science with entertaining anecdotes to illuminate the source of the behaviors that can lead us to ecstasy but that can easily become compulsive. Why are drugs like nicotine and heroin addictive while LSD is not? Why has the search for safe appetite suppressants been such a disappointment? The Compass of Pleasure concludes with a provocative consideration of pleasure in the future, when it may be possible to activate our pleasure circuits at will and in entirely novel patterns.
©2011 David J. Linden (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp
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Critic Reviews

“Linden's conversational style, his abundant use of anecdotes, and his successful coupling of wit with insight makes the book a joy to read.” ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By J Emmons on 07-18-11

Holy smokes! This is a clinical journal.

This is a great book if you are looking for a clinical understanding behind the motivation of pleasure. I was looking forward to gaining an understanding of what drives our pleasures. But, this book was not meant for the common reader. It is technical and extremely detailed.

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16 of 18 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Jenn on 05-10-12

Great technical, mediocre presentation

If you could sum up The Compass of Pleasure in three words, what would they be?

This book discusses the dopamine pleasure circuit in the brain and the differences between how different human behaviors (eating, taking drugs, nicotine, gambling, exercise) manipulate this circuit and can lead to addiction. The discussion was highly technical but delivered at a level where a layman with some scientific background can understand.

What did you like best about this story?

I found the sections on exercise and food cravings very interesting and highly relevant. I always found it amazing that I felt great during and after exercise, but I could never seem to get motivated to do it. Now I understand a little better the underlying biological mechanisms behind this.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Sean Pratt?

Not if I can help it. The delivery of the narrator was not that inspiring and I often found myself realizing 5 minutes later that I had daydreamed and not taken in the content. Needless to say, the rewind button came in very handy.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Although, no one in my family suffers from addiction, the section which discusses addiction makes me much more empathetic with people who are addicted to drugs.

Any additional comments?

I wish they had gone further into the physiology of how food chemistry can affect both flavor and cravings.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By MISS Z M SUMMERS on 03-26-18

Science gurus may love but not for me

So I picked this thinking it might help me understand & work with a chocolate addiction- in short it didn’t- its way too science-y & as an audiobook it fails. WTH references such as GUM-SDK I was lost 75% throughout the book.

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