Review The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality by Amanda Montell

Review The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality by Amanda Montell
Review The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality (Pics:

BOOKS.BIZ.ID - Amanda Montell, known for her bestselling works "Cultish" and "Wordslut," returns with a compelling new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality. 

This 272-page hardcover, published on April 9, 2024, combines cultural criticism and personal narrative to explore the fascinating realm of cognitive biases and the pervasive influence of magical thinking in contemporary society.


In The Age of Magical Overthinking, Montell delves into the concept of "magical thinking," a term that describes the belief in the power of one's thoughts to affect unrelated external events. 

This type of thinking manifests in various ways, such as the conviction that positive thinking can stave off illnesses or that loyalty alone can mend a dysfunctional relationship. 

Montell argues that in our modern information age, these cognitive coping mechanisms are in overdrive, exacerbating our irrational tendencies.

Content and Themes

Montell's book is divided into sharp, humorous chapters that explore a range of cognitive biases. She tackles phenomena such as the "Halo Effect," which influences our worship and hatred of celebrities, and the "Sunk Cost Fallacy," which keeps people in harmful relationships despite knowing better. 

Each chapter is laced with Montell’s wit and insight, making complex psychological concepts accessible and engaging.

Style and Approach

Drawing from her linguistic background and previous sociological explorations, Montell employs a narrative style that is both erudite and relatable. 

Her analysis is grounded in personal anecdotes and cultural references, making the book as entertaining as it is informative. 

Montell’s ability to blend humor with critical analysis helps to underscore the absurdities of modern irrationality without diminishing the seriousness of its impact.

Key Messages

At its core, The Age of Magical Overthinking is a call for empathy and understanding towards our anxiety-ridden selves. 

Montell emphasizes the importance of recognizing and forgiving our irrationalities as a step towards better mental health. 

Her prevailing message is one of hope: despite the chaos and irrationality of the modern world, there is a way to make sense of the senseless.


The book has garnered positive reviews for its insightful and humorous take on cognitive biases. Readers and critics alike have praised Montell's ability to dissect complex psychological phenomena with clarity and wit. 

Her exploration of the human mind's inner workings resonates with anyone interested in psychology, self-help, and cultural criticism.


The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality is a thought-provoking and entertaining read that sheds light on the cognitive biases shaping our daily lives. Amanda Montell's blend of cultural criticism, personal narrative, and linguistic insight makes this book a valuable addition to the conversations around mental health and rationality. 

Whether you're a fan of Montell's previous works or new to her writing, this book offers a fresh perspective on the quirks of the human mind.

For those interested in diving deeper into Montell's thoughts, you can follow her on Instagram (@amanda_montell) or subscribe to her Substack at

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