cover image The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

Matt Ridley, read by L.J. Ganser, Harper Audio, unabridged, 10 CDs, 12 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-0-06-199262-9

Ridley comes to praise innovation's ability to forestall any number of doom and gloom scenarios, everything from climate change to economic catastrophe. While sounding strikingly similar to narrator Anthony Heald, L.J. Ganser keeps a steady reading pace of Ridley's prose that keeps listeners engaged through the more challenging quantified material (statistics, data, lists) and the more nuanced conceptual material. His escalation, speed, deliberation, and pauses faithfully guide listeners through the text and at times improves upon the dry prose. However, Ganser is prone to over-project, and his forceful overemphasis can wear on the listener's attention. A Harper hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 12). (June)