This book's merit rests on its interesting content, in my opinion, rather than its prose or overall delivery. The speaker was OK but the performance was not as important as having something worthwhile to contribute on this important subject.
I was surprised to discover some of the societies and cultures referred to in the book are under attack by modern lifestyles and are in danger of disappearing. For example younger Okinawans are no longer blessed with the probability of living to 100+ years anymore because the majority have adopted western ways and so have succumbed to modern health issues like heart disease etc.. Therefore the book is a useful reference source for a vanishing world.
I am sure there are 'drier' academic papers on specific Blue Zones but this effort was engaging as it gave an all round view of the subject from a humanistic viewpoint.
Although efforts at storytelling were appreciated I really wanted facts and on this point the book was able to deliver. However the author did also make mention of some fascinating centenarians and that helped keep the momentum going.
Anybody who has reached an age when longevity seems important will benefit from this book as the authentic research it includes, whilst not strictly speaking "scientific" is full of anecodotal advice which I think many will find useful. I say this because I did. For example now I always bring a bag of nuts with me to work as a snack rather than eat biscuits or pastries. Its a small change but add them all up and its greater than the sum of its parts.
Granted some things like a glass of red wine indulged by Sardinians daily is now common knowledge but overall there were enough suggestions to keep me busy with further research for some time to come.
It was a pleasant listen, although I found myself drifting off sometimes during jogging. But when my mindfulness asserted itself the sound bytes got me re-engaged. Although the core idea is valid I am not sure it justified a full book. A lot of stuff I had already digested elsewhere as the heavily quoted text testifies. Basically to sum up : questions are more interesting than answers so ask lots of them. Use Why, What if, and How and fail forwards ie enjoy the process of failing as you learn more that way. Good advice.
I have to agree with others that the narration left much to be desired but usually when confronted with this type of problem I find if the message is worthy then I can usually ignore any shortcomings in narration and that was the case with this book. But for some it may be too much.
Nevertheless the story is a sincere account of a man who lost his way during midlife but found it again through endurance sports. I am sure there are many similar stories but with different means to the same end. Autobiographies like this are often uplifting and this one is no exception. For sporty types it will certainly inspire many. In my case I was already well into much of what Rich Roll is advocating so the impact personally was minimal but it will be life changing for some.
Part autobiography, part endurance training manual and part nutrition guide I was a little surprised to see so many genres in one tome. I probably would have written three separate books and who knows Rich Roll may eventually do that?
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