The general story is one of interest, but the book is painfully, painfully long. I am 7 hours into listening to the story and I am bored to tears. He is all of 21 years old at this stage. Rather than touching on some highlights about his upbringing we are being forced to listen to every detail about his childhood. Additionally, rather than paraphrase the mathematical steps in his early learning, we are forced to listen to lengthy dry, mathematical theories written longhand.
I wanted to learn about the life of Turing,not relive each minute of it. There are almost 25 hours of listing to go... Someone needs to edit this book down to some thing more readable. And I am not opposed to long stories. I really enjoyed the Steve Jobs story. Fortunately, in that book, they did not read each and every letter home that he wrote before the age of 21. We desperately need an abridged version!!!
The book is a fascinating study of how our brains work, but offers no useful information on how to learn better, change habits or take any action to improve yourself. Basically, he teaches you how a gun works, but never gives you the ammunition to fire it. I found it makes for good anecdotal conversation with friends, but always leaves you asking, "how, if i know all this, can I think 'better' or more 'effectively'?" Unfortunately, there is no answer to that provided... perhaps the sequel?
The story and background are great. I really enjoy learning how "startups" like this are conceived and how they grow to be the global forces they are today. However, the author does not appear to have any distance between himself and the story. He is clearly enamored with the founders and spends countless pages telling us how "amazing" these guys are. I prefer the "Steve Jobs" book approach. In that book, the author sang the praises when due but also exposed the warts, pimples and just plain ugliness of the man/story. In the Plex makes you believe that these two had some grand plan and that each step was preplanned for maximum success. Reality is, they fell ass-backwards into a gold mine. Good for them ... but tell the story from some source other than the ego-driven Serge and Page.
Too often books simple spend 95% of their time telling you how "bad things are" and how your issues are "deep rooted". This book briefly discusses these markers, but spends the majority of time talking about real, achievable solutions that can be implemented. I'm only 1/2 way through the book and already have made some great changes to my behaviors/patterns. Great book.
By the way, the complaint that people have about his voice is a red herring. I have listened to dozens of books and although he's not going to win any awards, the voice/delivery is perfectly acceptable. Might I suggest that if you are letting his "voice/presentation" prevent you from listening to this book, you have some serious subconscious procrastination preventing you from hearing some real potential solutions!
A great read full of amazing insight into how things are "really done" in China. I appreciate that it is told in a story-based format with personal anecdotes and encounters experienced first hand by the author. it is not some academic talking about things they have "studied" but rather someone who's walked this path for years and gained an incredible insight from his own experiences. It keeps the story flowing from one experience to another. I can't putt it down as I keep waiting to see what happens next!
Another great thing about the book is that it gives you first-hand examples which are interesting on their face, but he then interprets that behavior based on Chinese culture and ways of doing business so that you can "read between the lines" and understand the true nature of the behavior. Incredible book. So glad I stumbled across it.
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