OK, I love King and I can honestly say the story is not bad. In fact, it is truly a Stephen King short story. I also have to say that I don't mind capitalism and marketing. The problem is, this is a two hour book about the Amazon Kindle. The story keeps this from being a 0 star book for me. I would not have minded had this been a freebie but to pay for what is essentially a long Kindle ad was a bit frustrating.
This is yet another great book by Bryson. If you are expecting a side splitting, laugh a minute book that he has done in the past, you are likely to be disappointed. This book is not as funny as many of his other books and I think this is a reflection of his being more British now than before. The comedic energy in the book is palpable but in that British humor way. It is more cerebral and involves more word play than imagery. I personally liked this book a great deal. Frankly, the idea that a book about your house and the stuff in it could be entertaining was hard for me to conceive. The book had a ton of interesting information and it was delivered in a non-dry, lively way. Honestly, I think Bill Bryson could make the Yellow Pages a fun read. I am sure this is not for everyone but for me it was a balance of interesting information, witty delivery, and that gentle and familiar voice that made this a “home” run for me.
I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did. A book about rhetoric seemed a bit academic to me. Boy was I wrong. I tried it thanks to several of the reviews and the fact that I have taken several Modern Scholar books and liked them. Although he talks about a lot of theory, I believe it is so well grounded in reality that it was very usefull. The Author/Narrator sounds great and is enjoyable to listen too. Good book.
As the books jacket explains, this is a book of fundamental management concepts that have been compiled based on scientific research rather than simple conjecture. I have been a manager for over 15 years and I have read countless management books and I find this to be a great compilation of management principles. From the seasoned manager with years of experience to the freshly minted manager on the first day of being in the chair there is much to take away from this short read.
In listening to the sample and reading the review, I expected a diatribe about how societies often collapse due to their failure to be a good steward of their environment. My disappointment was that the author gave no consideration to any other cause of societal collapse. I would agree that societies often, and perhaps almost always collapse due to environmental factors, however it would have been nice to see some examples that were related to other factors such as warfare, moral degradation, political change etcetera. As with so many things in our current “Green” world, the book seems to focus on just the environment and avoids looking at the complete picture. A better title for the book would be “The Collapse of Societies Due To Environmental Factors”. I was expecting a visit to ancient Rome, Greece, Mesopotamia, Egypt, etc. however these societal collapses were avoided. Overall, the book was interesting but I felt it was a lecture on environmentalism rather than a comprehensive examination of the various causes of collapse.
I was very disappointed with this book. The title should have clued me in but I was really interested in this as I am contemplating a job change soon. I was looking for a general strategy book on how to answer various interview questions. Instead the book was more a compiling of answers that someone else has given. Certainly I understand how to adapt the answers t use in my own interviews, however many of the answers sounded like something a yes man would say and others just sounded phony. I think it would have been more useful to have a book that said “when the job interviewer asks you what is your worst quality this is what they are really wanting to glean from your answer.” This book does not cover strategies, at least in the first hour. I listened to almost an hour of it before I nodded off so it might have improved after that but I doubt it. I would pass on this one if I had it to do over again.
I think that a lot of marketing does suck. Many smart business people think they are good at marketing when in reality they are simply impressing their colleagues and spending a lot of money. This books basic premise is that if your marketing is not ringing the cash register then it is useless. Although many of the ideas are common knowledge and well understood, the fact that so much marketing does suck seems to illustrate the need for books like this.
In my opinion the book is well narrated and easy to listen too. There is some unneeded redundancy but overall I think the book is a keeper if you want to reinforce the need for extreme marketing concepts in your business. Some of the information is dated (he doesn’t talk about blogs or some of the other newer permission marketing concepts) but it was entertaining. I’ve read better but I have read a lot worse too.
I tried to listen to this book but found that the first 30 minutes was just too bad. I am a conservative but I am willing to listen to logical discourse from all sides and make my own decisions. I heard nothing that was of value. I guess the title really tells it all. The title sounds like and old school yard insult you used to levy on your enemys when you were a kid. I would say that the book itself is on the same level.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The book was exhaustive enough to really get a feel for what happened on this incredible journey. Ambrose?s analysis was interesting and in areas where some conjecture was necessary he presented several of the leading ideas and comments, which I felt was very appropriate considering the sometimes incomplete history of the story. The only area that I was disappointed in was the last few chapters. Perhaps some of my disappointment was the fact the last few chapters dealt with the events after the expeditions conclusion and I wasn?t ready stop hearing about the fascinating stories of the Indians, bears, and other dangerous encounters. I gave it 4 stars and would highly recommend.
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