Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jane Austen: Game Theorist by Michael Suk-Young Chwe

I've been wanting to read this book for ages! Good thing I remembered to borrow it while I was at the library. Jane Austen: Game Theorist is supposed to combine two of my favourite subjects - Literature and Economics (technically, I prefer Business Administration, but close enough!)

If you have no knowledge of Jane Austen or Game Theory, you can still read this book and understand what it's talking about (since there are introductions). Still, if you don't know/have no interest in either subject, why did you pick this book up?

Well, the book, making no presumption of prior knowledge of either Austen or Game Theory, first does a brief introduction. Then it veers into folktales and how they illustrate game theory (for about a chapter or two), before finally, it starts analysing game theory in the six novels of Austen (which are considered as one body of work).

Personally, I found the book to be really interesting. I've never thought of the motivations of the different characters in terms of economics (then again, I doubt many people have). It was interesting to read the analysis, and it does make quite a lot of sense to me.

But, I should warn you guys, the writing is dry. The writing style is academic, so if you're expecting a friendly, conversational tone of voice, you may be put to sleep by this book. If you're the sort that spends all day reading non-fiction/academic journals, you may be used to a more formal style, but since I've been reading nothing but novels lately, it was a bit of a shock.

Still, I highly recommend this book, especially for Jane Austen fans. It's definitely not your typical analysis on Jane Austen, and I hope that they're be more books melding Literature and Economics/Business in the future.

Note: I borrowed this book while I was back in Singapore


  1. This sounds like an interesting book. At first I might have passed it by, but you make a compelling argument--and I do love Jane Austen. :-)

    1. If you love Jane Austen, you should really give this book a go!



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