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The Pilot Who Wore a Dress Review

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The author of this audiobook is Tom Cutler and the publisher is HarperCollins Publishers Limited which contains many challenging riddles, mysteries and puzzles and as the title hints at these will be amusing and unusual situations that are not answered using logical or routine thinking. The puzzles come in a multitude of forms such as crime mysteries, escape rooms and unique brain teasers that are designed to challenge and flummox you and to make you think. The audiobook also contains real-life mysteries in order to show how lateral thinking can be applied to events that happen in the real world and not just events that happen in novels or films of which the audiobook does have some mysteries from other novels that have been adapted to be outside the box thinking puzzles.



The puzzles are formatted and presented as a story in a way that is fun like an amusing situation and in such a way that it doesn't become boring and monotonous with the same puzzles being repeated over and over again. The puzzles will test your lateral or outside-the-box thinking which means you will have to solve these puzzles by thinking of the problems in a different way or solve them in a more creative way by using all the clues to solve a problem that at first is not obvious. The audiobooks mysteries have plenty of misdirection and small clues or little details that look like nothing or irrelevant but in retrospect are keys to solving the puzzle or mystery so you have to be very attentive and not allow yourself to be misled or make assumptions with basic assumptions we make being a key theme of the book. It is split into 4 sections called Lateral Thinking Classics of which there are 39 puzzles, Locked Room and Impossible Murders of which there are 6, Lateral Thinking Mysteries from Real Life of which there are 11 and Lateral Thinking Betchas and Gotchas of which there are 17.


The length of the audiobook is 6 hours and 13 minutes which is a fairly lengthy listen and would be ideal for a car journey and the daily travels to work as you can pause any time but ideally after a question of which there are many so there are plenty of opportunities to pause the audiobook after each question. However, some of the mysteries or locked room scenarios are quite long so you may want to ensure you have enough time set aside to listen to all of the individual puzzles in one go as you don't want to have to stop halfway through and come back to it as you may have forgotten what was said when you do come back to it.


The audiobook is narrated by Jot Davis who speaks in a clear voice and at a steady pace so you are unlikely to mishear or miss any of what he says as anything you do miss could potentially be crucial to solving that particular puzzle. If you do miss anything though you can always just rewind the recording or skip back so many seconds as most audio players allow you to do this to ensure you have caught all the details.


The listening level is of quite a high a level and certainly not one for young kids as it uses a lot of sophisticated words and some of the subject matter they will hear they will not likely have come across yet but this audiobook can be used to improve your literacy level and maybe broaden your general knowledge as well. The audiobook also contains adult themes like murder and death that are obviously not suitable for children and if that is not something that interests you then it is better to avoid this audiobook although it is done in a rather humorous way.


This audiobook doesn't require working out so additional items like a pen and paper are not really necessary just your own imagination and problem-solving skills but you could note down details that you think are important if you wanted. A drawback with the audio version compared with the book is that you don't get the illustrative and amusing cartoons that bring some of the puzzles and stories to life so you will have to use your imagination from the descriptions given.


This can be either an activity you do on your own with headphones or can be played out loud as a group activity with the group activity having the benefits of there being a competitive element in which you compete against each other by answering or solving the most puzzles or getting the answer before anyone else or you could work with each other to solve the puzzles and help explain how you got to the answer to the other group members.


Replayability is high because there are so many puzzles to listen to that if you do come back to this audiobook after a period of time you will have certainly forgotten a lot of them as they can be very detail-filled stories but maybe not the techniques of how to solve them so you can test these techniques again to see if you can solve these puzzles again.


The drawbacks of the audiobook are you may have either heard of the riddle or mystery before or a variation of it as some of these puzzles have been adapted from famous novels so if you are a crime fiction or brain puzzle fan you will likely have seen some of these stories and puzzles before. Another drawback is that some of the puzzles really do feel like when you have seen the answer that you would need to make quite a big leap to get the answer and they are too outside of the box to solve or the opposite too obvious and simple.


The difficulty level is quite high although the difficulty from puzzle to puzzle varies as there are different types that have their own unique challenges. However, I would say this is not for beginners looking to do brain teasers for the first time but rather for someone who does them regularly or is experienced in doing them and who has fairly high intelligence and who already has a high level of lateral thinking. Lateral thinking can be the most difficult puzzle-solving skill to acquire as you have to block out automatic assumptions which is why this book can be so challenging. Some people are naturally better at this kind of thinking than others but the answers are provided right after a question is asked on the next track. This can make it a bit tricky to avoid unintentionally hearing the answer if, for example, a person wanted to go to the next brain teaser but doesn't want to know the answer to the one just listened to as they are going to come back to it.


In conclusion, this audiobook is suitable for someone who enjoys solving crimes or mysteries that require creative thinking and it will do it in a fun way that should deliver plenty of laughs as well as likely improve a person's lateral thinking with plenty of material to get through.

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