Listening to an audiobook is one of the easiest ways a person can attain information, yet this audiobook somehow managed to make it feel like a chore.I really hoped to hear some useful ways to turn my work and experience into something greater than myself, i.e. "Do work that matters." Unfortunately START was so suffocated by pointless lackluster stories and name dropping that I completely lost track of why I purchased it in the first place (So you were on the news... Am I supposed to care? And what does that have to do with the purpose of this book again?).More importantly, Acuff as the narrator is the worst! His delivery reminds me of that cliche friend we all have, the one who thinks he's absolutely hilarious, reciting movie quotes and poor impressions, and we all just nod and put up with it because we've been friends since childhood. If I wanted a poorly written comedy, I would have purchased something by Tyler Perry. If I wanted adventure stories of an entrepreneur, I would have purchased Richard Branson's memoir. Stripped of all the filler, this book would be a pamphlet long, maybe a few paragraphs, or even just a quote that read, "Do you want to live an average life, or an awesome one?"For a book that claimed to "Punch Fear in the Face!" START delivered like a weak jab that missed the mark.
Turned me off from this genre? No. START's poor performance just made me more wary of my selections in the future. I will ABSOLUTELY listen to a sample reading before purchasing another book of this kind. If I had listened to a sample of START before purchasing, I'd still have $13.95 in my pocket.
I appreciate Acuff's energy, but there's an unearned sense of overconfidence in his voice. If the material or substance was there to back it up, I'd be all for his delivery, I'd even give the tales of his "awesome life" a chance. Instead, I felt like I was listening to a D-list comedian trying to woo an empty night club. Maybe add some canned laughter or crickets in the background? You can use that zinger in your next book Jon.
There were a few nuggets of actual useful material in the book, but really only stemmed from one basic concept: do you want to live an awesome life or average? Unfortunately anything redeeming was buried so deep under a thick gloss of pointless nostalgia and name dropping that I'd lose interest and tune out. I can't tell you how many times Acuff would be submerged in another story about how "awesome" his life is, and I'd think, "What the hell is he talking about? What does this have to do with anything? That really doesn't sound that awesome to me at all." I'm sure Acuff is the coolest/smartest guy he knows. Unfortunately his material isn't.
I would definitely listen to Paddle Your Own Canoe again. I originally thought of buying this book in hardback, yet made the choice to hear it read aloud by Nick himself on an audiobook. Instantly I realized I made an amazing choice. Listening to Nick narrate his life in his own words was as entertaining and majestic as passing a bottle of whiskey around the campfire with friends, then in a drunken stupor, shooting off bottle rockets and running around naked. The experience would be nothing of the sort if I was reading it by myself, and hearing him actually sing the Rainbow Song, the one he wrote his wife Megan Mullally's birthday, made it all the better. As a fan of Parks and Rec and an avid follower of Offerman Woodworking, this book brought greater depth to a person who is often confined to the character Ron Swanson he plays on TV. And while his tone and affect still enlivened images in my head of the mustachio'd, deadpan Libertarian, I walked away with a greater respect and admiration of a hard-working American actor and icon. He's articulate, funny, thoughtful and entertaining.
The Heming Way by Beckerman, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Anything satirical yet honest when it needs to be.
Himself. I feel like Offerman has as great sense of self-awareness as he does humor, and often it's masked by the character of Ron Swanson. To hear his vulnerable side, his hardships, successes, blatant sex drive and of course how much he loves his wife is inspirational.
Laugh, for sure. His little ad libs as he reads along really personifies the book.
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