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Mastery | [Robert Greene]

Mastery

What did Charles Darwin, middling schoolboy and underachieving second son, do to become one of the earliest and greatest naturalists the world has known? What were the similar choices made by Mozart and by Caesar Rodriguez, the U.S. Air Force's last ace fighter pilot? In Mastery, Robert Greene's fifth book, he mines the biographies of great historical figures for clues about gaining control over our own lives and destinies. Picking up where The 48 Laws of Power left off, Greene culls years of research and original interviews to blend historical anecdote and psychological insight, distilling the universal ingredients of the world's masters.
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Publisher's Summary

The eagerly anticipated new book from the author of the best-selling The 48 Laws of Power

What did Charles Darwin, middling schoolboy and underachieving second son, do to become one of the earliest and greatest naturalists the world has known? What were the similar choices made by Mozart and by Caesar Rodriguez, the U.S. Air Force's last ace fighter pilot? In Mastery, Robert Greene's fifth book, he mines the biographies of great historical figures for clues about gaining control over our own lives and destinies. Picking up where The 48 Laws of Power left off, Greene culls years of research and original interviews to blend historical anecdote and psychological insight, distilling the universal ingredients of the world's masters.

Temple Grandin, Martha Graham, Henry Ford, Buckminster Fuller - all have lessons to offer about how the love for doing one thing exceptionally well can lead to mastery. Yet the secret, Greene maintains, is already in our heads. Debunking long-held cultural myths, he demonstrates just how we, as humans, are hardwired for achievement and supremacy. Fans of Greene's earlier work and Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers will eagerly devour this canny and erudite explanation of just what it takes to be great.

©2012 Robert Greene (P)2012 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

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    Luis Rodríguez 05-10-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A master piece"

    What a great book
    One of the greatest books i have ever read must for any one looking to become a master in any thing

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Aptos, CA, United States 05-04-15
    Mark Aptos, CA, United States 05-04-15 Member Since 2006
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    "Focus on passion=Less stress and more success"
    If you could sum up Mastery in three words, what would they be?

    Clarity of purpose


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Being great at something and to truly arrive at being great takes 10,000 hours or more. This is a message that is not being presented in today's age. Students think that they can cheat their way to greatness or be distracted by their phones and think that they can delve deep enough into a subject matter to earn a great job. Shortcuts are preached by many in education and politics. We are not meant to multi-task. Success is not a quick-fix away.


    What about Fred Sanders’s performance did you like?

    Fred Sanders is the best narrator of a Robert Greene book. He tells the stories well and with just enough passion to keep the listener engaged. I wish that the other books were also available unabridged and read by the same performer. The reader of the abridged Power and Seduction books was too smarmy and took away the credibility of the text.


    If you could give Mastery a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Master your passion, or be mastered by others.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great book and I will read it again. I also purchased the print copy. It is easy to become sidetracked by the media and all of the various forms of entertainment and news that is "so important." Even at work, it is easy to major in the minor things and fall prey to the tyranny of the urgent. This book encourages a person to focus on one thing. To do that separates you out from the 99.999% who dabble and waste their potential and their lives never accomplishing anything worthwhile. What sounds like sacrifice actually is a gift of time and clarity of mind. It takes less time to prioritize when there is a singular goal and less time is needed when the goal is so clear.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 04-11-13
    Michael 04-11-13

    Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.

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    "Good advice and well presented."

    This is a good look at what it really takes to be a master. No quick easy silver bullet but just work, insight and sweat. I like Robert Greene's books as I find them very helpful and well written. Wish I had this knowledge when I was starting out. Of course it doesn't answer the problem when your chosen profession or skill you are pursuing disappears or becomes redundant. You're suppose to have the insight to see where the next step is. I have not found that and feel like I am looking in a dark room for a black cat that isn't really there. Never the less this book is well worth the listen to. One of the good self help books.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Los Angeles, CA, US 12-16-12
    Amazon Customer Los Angeles, CA, US 12-16-12
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    "An amazing listen!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Mastery to be better than the print version?

    This is a fantastic collection of biographies and lessons. A very pleasant education on just about everything


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence 02-19-13
    Lawrence 02-19-13
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    "The Book You Need Exiting High School"
    What did you love best about Mastery?

    The author uses plenty of example from Davinci to Mozart to Proust to Darwin to Paul Graham to illustrate his points about Mastery and how it is not through some rare gift but through conscious practice and attention to detail. Understanding this and how it relates to your "life's work" can guide career decisions. I wish I had a copy of this when I left high school rather than learning on the job so to speak.


    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Chamblee, GA, United States 02-04-13
    John Chamblee, GA, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2009

    I'm a lawyer and mediator. I represent businesses in disputes with their insurers and in other complex litigation. I also assist machinery companies and manufacturers (primarily international) with equipment sales, non-disclosure agreements, and business issues. I also mediate commercial disputes.

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    "Better if Half the Length"

    The substance of this book is great. It features stories of interesting people who have achieve mastery in their fields. It debunks the myth that masters are born and not made through hard work.

    Great subject matter with interesting stories. What could be better? It would be better if it were eight hours instead of sixteen. The book simply needs a major editing (pruning might be a better word). The book is repetitive and needlessly lengthy, droning on like a politician's speech after the point has already been made.

    11 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sumguynobuddynoes Sioux Falls, SD, United States 01-30-14
    Sumguynobuddynoes Sioux Falls, SD, United States 01-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Sunshine hype."
    What would have made Mastery better?

    Relying upon more real principles and less positive mental attitude exercises.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robert Greene again?

    No. He must be delusional to expect spoken rules to be accepted as eternal principles. Using reason beyond credible limits to justify miraculous results. Like two shaman referring to the same thunderstorm in opposite terms. One desires sacrifice to appease the angry gods and the other declaring that the gods are fighting our battles for us in the heavens. He twists thoughts to support outlandish claims.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Fred Sanders’s performances?

    No. Reading was a repetitious rhythm that was more like a constant commercial than a book reading. He regularly mispronounced words like "omnipotent" in his readings. Always sounding exactly the same in his timbre and pace.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Distrust, a con in the grossest manner. I fell for these same principles and found myself irresponsibly in debt. An "attitude of abundance" does not regard lack as a possibility. My collectors would tend to disagree with that reality. Thinking it so does not make reality go away. It still needs to be addressed.


    Any additional comments?

    It is like the scripture in the bible that spoke of early members of the church saying to the poor, "go home, be fed, all is well, be happy" It did not fill their bellies any more that these words could fill ones own coffers.

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Devin 08-26-15
    Devin 08-26-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Mastery is Masterful"
    Where does Mastery rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    its the best audiobook I've listened to so far.


    What does Fred Sanders bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator was excellent and I've no complaints


    If you could give Mastery a new subtitle, what would it be?

    your road to excellence


    Any additional comments?

    beautiful guidebook to finding your most fulfilling career

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Skipperooney 08-18-15

    Skipper

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    "Enjoyed"

    The person reading this for Audible did an outstanding job. His voice was pleasant, he spoke at a nice pace, and he kept my interest the whole time.

    The foreword (or 1st chapter) was dry but helpful. I think I'd recommend starting with chapter 2, then when finished, go back to the front of the book.

    The author, Robert Greene, has written a very insightful book. The biographical research must've taken forever. It was very good and I learned a lot about Leonardo da Vinci, Ben Franklin, and a lot of other foks..

    A+.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mcrid 08-18-15
    Mcrid 08-18-15 Member Since 2014

    Student.

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    "Learning from Masters"

    What a journey is has been! Though there are parts which I could not fully understand at the present phase of my life, the stories of past and current masters are truly inspiring to me. I'm sure that I'll return to the ideas presented in this masterpiece for guidance later on in life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • livvster
    7/26/15
    Overall
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    "Read this when you're 21!"
    Where does Mastery rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best Audible books I've listened to


    What other book might you compare Mastery to, and why?

    It's unique researching high achievers that are not all well known and better for it.


    What about Fred Sanders’s performance did you like?

    His passion made me want to carry on listening


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    10,000 hours to Mastery


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book. I particularly enjoyed learning about some of the lesser well know Masters and have been inspired to read and research some of their material. I have learned a great deal. I was left feeling this book should be read in your 20's and there was a sense that by 40 (as I am) it's a little too late!! Nonetheless it is a great read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • D Anderson
    7/3/15
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    "An inspirational read for the aspiring Master"

    Robert Greene presents valuable principles of Mastery and allows the reader (or listener) to absorb these principles with relevant examples throughout history.

    Thoroughly enjoyed! Well read too!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shek
    4/27/15
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    "Brilliant"

    A true insight into mastering any field. Recommended for anyone wanting to develop their inclinations. Lessons not easily learned from people around you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Akis
    Athens, Greece
    2/20/15
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    "Great storytelling, but too long for an audiobook"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, there's lots of great and interesting stories from famous people here to give you some inspiration. However it is very long and at 16 hours, there were times when I felt it was simply getting a bit repetitive


    What other book might you compare Mastery to, and why?

    This is good addition for anyone interested in self-development as well as reading up on biographies of successful people


    Which character – as performed by Fred Sanders – was your favourite?

    what characters? This is not a novel


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • TallBrew
    1/26/15
    Overall
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    "Compelling and Inspiring"

    This is not a dry textbook-style, step-by-step guide to mastery. It is far more engaging than I thought it could be and the narrator does a magnificent job.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Martin Keith Dell
    1/7/15
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    "Amazing!"

    Fantastic study of some of the greatest minds of the last few hundred years in their different fields of expertise. Greene looks into their biographies and pin points not only what made these individuals great but also how we all have the capability of achieving mastery.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A. P. Hughes
    Surrey
    12/9/14
    Overall
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    Story
    "informative and crisp"
    If you could sum up Mastery in three words, what would they be?

    typical Robert Greene


    What did you like best about this story?

    the research and clarity


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    difficult to say, it was all excellent


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    difficult due to the length, but certainly devoured it in a couple


    Any additional comments?

    anybody who has read Robert Greene knows exactly what to expect, anybody who hasn't read Robert Greene, should!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • alex
    12/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "A must read for developing yourself"
    Would you listen to Mastery again? Why?

    Yes, this book really helps to expand your mind and understand life in a different way, defiantly a book I will be listening to several times during different points in my life.
    Each chapter has answers that you will be seeking throughout the stages of your life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The Narrator is very engaging, the passion in their voice helps to keep your attention.
    The messages in the book are the best part.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    There is no one chapter that stands out has they all carry a message that will be important in some way in your life.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Mastery, becoming the greatest version of you.


    Any additional comments?

    A must read!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • GenKan
    5/11/14
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    "A great start to any aspiring master"
    Where does Mastery rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best, have listened to funnier but nothing compare to its educational message.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Mastery?

    Einsteins story about his job at the patent office, how a job can be something that helps you eat and give you time to critically think about what you really want to do and become in life.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Temple Grandin and how she overcame autism, becoming a true master.


    Any additional comments?

    A great book and will have examples of things you probably have done subconsciously, but not taking anything away from it just making it even more powerful. Almost turning it into a tool instead of something you think, you feel or would like to be the right way.
    The references to past masters making it a collection of GREAT stories and not too educational.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pawel
    Corby, United Kingdom
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Book that i'd recommend to anyone"

    This is the first book I got from Audible and I'm happy with the choice. I learned much from this book as it show you what it takes to be good in something. It is hard work , we sometimes resist doing and calling ourself talentless. But talent without the long hours of hard work to put in is nothing. I will definately some back to this book and listen to it again as it is really inspiring. Again, I would recommend this book to anyone...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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