My review is not about the audio part, but about the book. Kaufman blahblahs around, and then spends I don't know how much time talking about the history of yoga, which I don't care at all about. I feel this was just some space filler, and hence feel cheated.
Web Developer, Eldoren Design, www.eldoren.com
Just a quick note - I am about 85% through the book and its already provided some great insite and interesting information. In a few places it seemed a bit slow and then took off and I was hooked all over again. I like this author and he has provided some great value in this book. The narration is awesome....one of the easier audible books to listen to.
I would rate this a 4.5 out of five but they only allow a 4/5. Highly recommended to my friends, family and business associates.
The theme of this book can be summed up by the title. If you want to learn anything, spend 20 hours doing it. While it does not contain a lot of new information, it is very well presented and a helpful motivator. Now he needs to write a book "How to Get to the Gym".
Made me Smarter
The web programming example walked through the steps, giving an exact account of what the solution would look like in practice. Not only that, the example is so detailed, with resources listed, that I want to re-listen and build a web based program myself.
Josh's voice is easy to listen too, and he does a great job of translating sincerity in wanting to help anyone learn whatever they want to learn, fast. The willingness to so honestly and openly share his knowledge is admirable.
It is not a one sitting book. It not long though, and sections motivated me to get up and Practice what I want to Learn. Very motivational.
I shared this book with co-workers who are studying for project management certifications. Three of them, who reviewed the material, were impressed and are using the 'practice' concept for studying, rather than spending so much time on reading material. One successfully passed the exam, and the rest of us have our exams scheduled soon.
I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.
It pains me to write a negative review of any book considering how hard the author must have worked to get published. I would have written a positive review if I had stopped reading/listening after completing chapter 3. In 20-HRS the theory, philosophy, research, and approach to how to tackle a new subject is very strong. The application, as exhibited in the second half of the book, is actually very boring. Mr. Kaufman knows his learning theory and communicates an well organized plan on how to attack any new subject. However, it was very difficult to listen to the nuance of yoga or the manusha of how to play GO for 2 hours. At times I failed to relate his primary learning tenants established in the early chapters to the later application chapters. This book cannot sustain your interest past 3 hours.
I think this book is a great personal experiment: To learn something valuable with 20 hours of dedicated practice after you learn the theory of the project.
I believe this kind of thinking if part of the new way to learn. It is new and in the the tradition recently started by Tim Ferriss in the Four Hour Cookbook and the Four Hour Body.
Both of these authors present a recipe for applying quick learning to any number of subjects.
"The First 20 Hours" is pure science . Being in medical profession it's easier to correlate this book with Cognitive behavior and neuropsychiatric pathways of human brain and mind . " The First 20 hours" is a science and Josh Kaufman's other book "The Personal MBA" is an art. Combining them is like 1+1= 11 ( not 2).
Unless you care to spend an hour listening about the history of yoga (and descriptions of the positions), listening to an awful altered voice whenever programming code or commands are read out (hard to understand at 1.5x speed), or other things he learns to do, it's not particularly helpful.
I would have condensed the actual covering of the history and research of Yoga, Programming, Keyboard Layouts, Go, etc. One topic in depth is okay. This is a few too many. It really seems like he is just trying to fill pages in the book/seconds in the audiobook.
The performance was good, but the digitally altered version of his voice when code was read out was awful. I listen at 1.5x to 2.0x and when that is sped up it is awful. The rest was performed well, this just really detracted from it.
I would cut everything after chapter 3. I would include one of the example chapters, either 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9; not all. Then I'd add in the afterword.
This would be MUCH better as a printed book than an audiobook. I feel like you miss out on a lot of diagrams and what not.
The book had some great insight into how to learn things faster, which was the reason I got it. The problem I had is that it went from learning things to strictly computer coding. Great for someone trying to learn that, not good for anyone with other interests.
I suspect the writer would receive a zero if it was the SAT or a standardized essay exam. After a somewhat promising start, the book veers completely off topic. Pretty sure the original finished version of the audio book was only an hour long and the author went back to add in a bunch of filler to increase the length and amount he can charge.
If all goes well in life, no.
Performance was acceptable.
The last 6.5 hours of this 7.5 hour book would be cut.