The narrators for this audiobook are really fantastic, especially the ladies who did Minny and Aibileen. They made the characters come alive, and those two characters themselves are three dimensional and rich in the book. However, all of the white characters were flat, stupid/naive, or evil caricatures; not realistic at all. The rest of the book was unoriginal, two-dimensional, shallow, and trite. This book rehashed the same tired themes that appear in most crappy American beach reading:
1. Women are mean. All strong women are victims of society and each other.
2. White people are evil and should feel ashamed of themselves.
Books that bring the themes in this book to life and explore the many facets of an ugly part of our history need to be written. Everyone should examine their own hidden racism. However, this particular story is a thinly-veiled autobiography of the author's own white guilt. Even if you've never read "The Help," you've read this book before.
I got this book because it advertised itself as explaining how to "turn around a troubled small business." It turns out that the only solution that Manchee has to offer is bankruptcy. There are hardly any useful suggestions for how to turn your business around if you are barely braking even, and only addresses situations where people were so deeply in debt from irresponsibility or unfortunate circumstances that there was no solution for Superman William Manchee to step in and tell them to declare bankruptcy. Awesome. My business is not in debt and has not missed any bills, but profits have been less than stellar. As a responsible borrower and business owner who is looking for tips to improve my business and avoid needing Mr. Manchee's services, I found the book extremely depressing. Unless you're already planning on filing for bankruptcy and just need permission to do it, then skip this book. You will be worse for having read it.
It took me a minute to even realize that this book was being narrated in English at first. Then another minute to place the accent, and I'm FROM Boston. While Mandino is a good narrator as far as the voices of the characters and inflections of the words, even after listening to the book for an hour I still found the accent distracting and at times even hard to understand. The producer probably would have done better to step in and suggest an actor do the reading of this selection. Great book, but I would suggest finding a different production of it if you plan on listening to it over and over as the book suggests lest you end up talking like someone out of a Matt Damon/Ben Affleck movie.
This book is concise and to the point. Not only are the suggestions backed up with scientific evidence, but they are also actionable in a variety of different circumstances. Although some of the examples toward the end of the book were less about persuasion and less applicable to my particular situation as a small, local, service-based business owner, this is the best marketing book I've ever read. It made me feel energized and inspired to try the simple strategies rather than overwhelmed and demoralized by complex theory that may or may not work and requires a lot of time and effort to see results. Head and shoulders above "Guerrilla Marketing."
French is a gorgeous writer, which usually makes up for her plots usually falling short. However this one disappointed a bit on the intrigue and it was pretty obvious who done it before the first third of the book was out. Unless you're a die-hard fan, you can skip this one.
The writing was creative at times, overblown others. I could appreciate it as a work of art more than a story, playing with the traditional rules of literature. The narrator, though, was *awful;* he ruined the book for me. It took me awhile to realize that the book itself wasn't necessarily written at a feverish cadence, but the way the narrator read the words--like a manic meth head having a psychotic break--made me anxious just to listen to it. Several times I found myself repeating back sentences in a different tone and finding the book much more enjoyable. I would read the hard copy book itself for a book club or something so I could discuss it with friends, but spend your credits on a better listen.
There are so few times when I get the chance to use the word "nincompoop" in all seriousness, and I would like to thank Ferris for this opportunity. I bought this book because a personal training client of mine asked my opinion on the material. Not only is this book woefully unscientific (most of his claims are founded on little more than his own personal experience, not even the experience of others). Oh yeah, and most of it is downright science fiction. Gaining 20 lb of muscle in 30 days on just 4h of exercise and one binge day a week? Uh huh, and how did that "minutes a day" ab plan you bought last month work out for you? Also, I have no idea what a 15-minute female orgasm has to do with four hours OR your body. He's just playing on male insecurities, and all he has to do is sell you the book and he's laughing all the way to the bank. Save your money for someone with actual credentials who bases their claims on peer-reviewed research.
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