This novel is without a doubt one of the finest gems of the 20th century, as others have written. But I wish to highlight this audiobook's narrator, who brings the spoken word performance to a new art form, creating exactly the right voice for each of the more than one hundred characters large and small that speak as the multi-layered story unfolds. My favorite is the urbane and mocking Professor Wolland (the Devil in disguise), but close seconds are the members of the Devil's entourage, Azezello, Behemoth (the giant cat) and Koroviev, the 7-foot-tall "former choir director." Julian Rhind-Tutt, an accomplished British character actor, provides proof that there is such a thing as performing a text. Brilliant! And one of my favorite reasons that I'm glad Audible exists.
The three simple steps revolve around the ways you can consciously use your mind (or "mentality" as Blake calls it):
1. Focus only on what you want, not on what you do not want. Filter out negative conversation, people and media. Cultivate internal views of scenes and conditions you enjoy, love and wish to have more of.
2. Set aside quiet time each day. Quiet is the ground of potentiality.
3. Develop *intention* to attract your desired results and circumstances. Not a goal; a goal is inherently separate from us and has doubt attached. Intention -- or as Blake also puts it, a state of knowing -- is part of us and does not include doubt. Intention brings itself into being.
The book includes inspiring stories, including the one at the beginning that I will refrain from spoiling by not revealing the surprise ending. He relates being bullied as an English boy growing up in poverty in Wales (with some truly harrowing anecdotes), and how he overcame trauma by learning about and following the examples of others from oppressed backgrounds who discovered secrets to phenomenal success.
A modern take on some age-old ideas, the "Three Simple Steps" are refreshingly straightforward, but there is also nuance to this book. Blake encourages us to pay close attention to our internal and external experience, and to become the selectors of the circumstances and lives we want.
The voice performance is adequate, although to hear Britishisms read in an American accent is a little odd at times. Overall there is nothing negative to say about Dudley's narration; it is easy to listen to without sending the listener to sleep.
Recommended for those who wish to set their lives on an upward trajectory.
This is Bill F. in a nutshell. If you like this, you'll probably want to download his more comprehensive books. I think his original take on life is workable and entertaining, and it has helped me more than I can express. Thanks, Bill!
It's too early to tell, but the approach recommended here is already having an enormously positive effect on my relationship with my spouse. In contrast to the other review, I have found this audiobook to be helpful and multi-faceted, going to the root of the emotional background that is likely causing the two partners in estrangement to contemplate a split. I know that whether or not we decide to go our separate ways, my relationship with my wife will be significantly repaired, and that at least will save us a costly and adversarial divorce. I will update this review once the final result is in. In the meantime, if you are looking for help for your troubled marriage, I suggest you place this audiobook near the top of your list.
I am now going through a separation that may or may not lead to a divorce, and I came across Bill Ferguson's work through his audiobook "How to Divorce as Friends and Maybe Save Your Marriage." I was so impressed by his approach on that audiobook, which is already having a positive effect on my relationship with my wife, that I downloaded everything else on Audible that Bill F. offers. While they are all excellent, I found that his central ideas are all contained in this single selection, the Mastery of Life course, and that the other audiobooks are adaptations of the main ideas presented here for specific issues. I recommend anyone interested in making improvements to his or her life start here and move on to the other pertinent audiobooks as they desire.
What I find so compelling is, a) the originality of Bill's ideas, and b) his straightforward, easy to understand approach. As a veteran consumer of self-help books, I have encountered repetitions of ideas among many authors, (leading me to wonder if Brain Tracy was reading Wayne Dyer's and Stephen Covey's stuff or was the other way around?). Bill F.'s ideas are completely original and bear little resemblance to anything that I have come across before, and yet they seem to me like what I have been looking for the whole time. Secondly, Bill has an easy going and very brief way of expressing these ideas - sometimes I feel like I am back in kindergarten listening to him - that is very easy to follow and reassuring.
This audiobook includes a downloadable workbook that is integral to the exercises and is excellent as well. My suggestion is that readers make sure they download the workbook as part of the experience.
At one point near the end, Bill says he closed his practice as a divorce attorney to follow his true love, helping people live better lives. Bill, you have certainly done that in my case, and I may avoid a divorce that I don't want as a bonus!
Hey, Audible! The authors say in the introduction that there is a companion pdf download showing their diagrams and illustrations available "where you downloaded this audiobook" -- but as of this writing on 19 May 2010, I don't see one anywhere. Please post it.
Night after night after my commute home, this novel had me sitting in my driveway not wanting to stop listening.
Holter Graham deserves top credit for bringing the characters to life, but it is Jack O'Connell's fervid imagination and descriptive wizardry that makes this fiction darkly cinematic and intensely personal. Like the main character, I felt like I had been dropped into a labyrithine universe and left to find my own way out ... and I'm not totally sure I did. Every turn revealed new surprises and engrossing puzzles.
Audible needs to ask Holter Graham to record the rest of Jack O'Connell's novels right away.
What could have been a mildly interesting Audible is marred beyond repair by one of the two reader's awful, amateurish delivery. It continues to amaze me that authors who can barely pronounce words insist on reading their own work. Painful.
As for the ideas, some are actually useful (getting out of meetings, handling large email volume, delivering snappy comebacks to "Bulldozers" and "Flim-Flams"; but some will get you fired (create a "quick 10" minute break to become inaccessible when people need you, so you can play videogames on you computer?! What company does these two work for?) On the whole, though, mostly unoriginal.
This amateurs-reading-badly jag seems to be a persistent infection at Gildan Media Corp. Although I *love* Audible.com, I recommend a boycott of the Gildan selections until they correct this.
I was so inspired by the hardcover edition that I wanted to enjoy "The Go-Giver" as an audiobook as well. But the two authors apparently decided that their success with the book qualified them to forego a professional narrator and just read it aloud themselves. What could possibly have accounted for this choice? Vanity? Hubris? Whatever it was, it was a bad decision.
No, they are not utterly awful, they are just ... amateurish. We Audible customers have very high standards from the professionals that perform our beloved audiobooks. This performance just doesn't measure up. I vote for a do-over with Frederick Davidson or Michael Pritchard.
As for the content ... This is the kind of book that changes lives. No kidding. As it did with Joe in the story, it has caused me to see my already successful career in an entirely new light. I have reaped some major benefits aleady.
If you can tolerate the narrators, by all means go ahead with this recording. But you can read the hardcover in an evening, and you might enjoy it more, as I did.
Having listened with delight to David Case read "Flashman and the Tiger", I downloaded this expecting to enjoy the incomparable Lord Peter. To my dismay, the sound quality on format 3 was unlistenable, as muffled as if the microphone had been at the bottom of a filled laundry hamper. No, it's not my equipment - "The Wisdom of Crowds," downloaded at the same time, and is crystal clear. This is simply a bad re-recording of the cassette Books on Tape production. Audible: Step up your quality control!
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