Jonathan Pegg
Literary Agency

Risk: Stories and numbers about danger


Michael Blastland David Spiegelhalter - Risk The Norm ChroniclesThis will be a book about the psychology of risk in action – how people feel about risk, the attitudes and beliefs that make such a difference to the way they behave.

Meet Norm, an average sort of a guy. In fact, Norm is the average guy in this clever, quirky, entertaining take on the hazards of life. Watch as utterly normal Norm (who, like all average specimens, feels unique) turns to statistics to guide him; meet his cautious sister Prudence and his devil-may-care friend Kelvin; then compare them to the real risks and probabilities.

If you ever eat, ride a horse, drink alcohol, grow old, have a baby, fly, drive, fall ill, worry about any of the former – then you are consciously or unconsciously playing the odds, weighing harms and benefits. But chance isn’t just about numbers – it’s about how we feel, who we trust, and what our friends get up to. Norm’s Guide to Risk brings stories and numbers together to show how the risks we take affect our lives and why we make the choices we do.


UK Publisher: Profile Books Ltd; 2013


"Messrs Blastland and Spiegelhalter wear their learning lightly. They never lapse into the smug tone that often accompanies books like these, in which people who fear flying are mocked for their irrationality (as flying is, statistically, far safer than driving or walking). Yet the book’s purpose is serious. Helping people make sense of the barrage of confusing (and often misrepresented) statistics that riddle every day is a noble goal. Making the process enjoyable is a real achievement."
The Economist

Daily Mail

""Perfectly pitched...laugh-out-loud funny...written with wit and elegance."

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 michael blastland and david spielgelhalter - risk