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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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  •  
    David F. Harris ATL, GA USA 11-01-14
    David F. Harris ATL, GA USA 11-01-14 Member Since 2014

    heartguy

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    "Worthy of consideration"
    Would you listen to Mastery again? Why?

    While I may not agree with some of his points, Greene's emphasis on mentoring, attention to details, and consideration of others is well worth your time and consideration.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Greene's historical examples of his approach help reinforce his philosophy of work and make for wonderful anecdotes if you are a manager, career coach, or just interested in improving or deepening or experience of life.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Ben Franklin is such a large presence in our national conscious - very helpful to hear about his struggle to get started in his life's work.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ricardo Ernst 10-13-14 Member Since 2014
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    "A bit disappointing"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No... The book becomes very repetitive and the author forces the argument. If what you want is to learn some information about some Masters then get the book. You will listen to the story multiple times to the point that you will feel you are in the same chapter you already listened to. I would even say that the main premise of the book is valid but this is a book where we should say "sorry I wrote a long book, i did not have time to write a short one."


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Still looking...


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

    Makes the repetition of the story less annoying.


    Did Mastery inspire you to do anything?

    Not really. I give him credit for compiling stories of many interesting people.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lionel 09-18-14
    lionel 09-18-14
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    "Very Disappointed"
    Would you try another book from Robert Greene and/or Fred Sanders?

    no thanks...


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    yes


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    principles are great, but this author has no heart for people. success at the cost of any relationship is not the way people should live - that's the reason this world is in the state that it is today


    Any additional comments?

    Robert Greene doesn't practice what he preaches... read the reviews of the 40 laws and you'll see that he doesn't practice them himself... what kind of a person writes and recommends things that he doesn't practice himself?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlos pinto 08-14-14
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    "Lifechanging!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Mastery to be better than the print version?

    I find the audio edition more suitable since most parts are stories and are fun to listen to. Other parts are more instructional and for those I would've preferred a print version instead of rewinding to re-listen.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Affirmed and validated my actions


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

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend everyone to get your hands on this book! I couldn't wait to finish it and start applying all its knowledge! Extremely insightful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Merrell O'Brian 07-28-14 Member Since 2014

    I am the author of "665 The Council of Twelve". My passions include oil painting in fantasy realism and Comedy.

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    "I'm having a love affair with Robert Green"
    Would you listen to Mastery again? Why?

    I'll need to listen to this masterwork more than once, not because I'm lacking or daft but rather, it is so full of wisdom. To hear it once and then never again, would be like reading the Bible and doing so. So many of Robert's phrases are themselves unremarkably memorable, like the haunting of a ghost we befriended long ago but only remember during the reading.


    What other book might you compare Mastery to and why?

    There was a life-changing novel, a simple one named "How to Raise Your Self Esteem" by Dr. Nathaniel Brandon. It spared me from suicide as a 27 year old man who just lost his husband of a decade. No one was coming to 'save me'. In an a more thorough, mature, intellectual way, 'Mastery' is the logical next step.


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

    I love to watch the tide rise and fall in my mind as I struggle to argue with Robert's finer points. That destiny has no place in mastery and yet, how was it not destiny for Mozart to be born to a musical family? Was it merely a coincident he was born to love the piano at age 4? I can't buy that any more than I can believe Evolution has no Father. I discovered my own brand of autism through the expounding of another's views and trademark personality.


    Any additional comments?

    If you pass this book by then, may the master you hoped you'd find research it pass you by as well. It's a well-deserved end. If however your wisdom guides you and you do purchase the novel, then may you be blessed and enhanced by its many gifts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay MacInnes 07-27-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Good but Redundant"
    Would you listen to Mastery again? Why?

    I really liked the info, but it did get pretty redundant. I know the author makes the disclaimer that there's redundant stories, but it seemed like it really went overboard and didn't really need to be 16 audio hours. Still, there's good, even inspiring info about how to master new skills.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lfmoreno 06-26-14
    lfmoreno 06-26-14
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    "Horrible quality sound"
    Would you try another book from Robert Greene and/or Fred Sanders?

    I don't understand why this audiobook's sound is SO bad. I mean at this point when we so much technology to produce high quality sound. The horrible quality of the sound makes difficult to listen to this book for more than 5 min.


    Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

    The horrible quality of the sound makes difficult to listen to this book for more than 5 min, I have not finished the first 10 min and I don't feel I want to listen more.


    Any additional comments?

    The horrible quality of the sound makes difficult to listen to this book for more than 5 min, I have not finished the first 10 min and I don't feel I want to listen anymore.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mmo 05-07-14
    Mmo 05-07-14 Member Since 2014
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    "game changer"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Mastery to be better than the print version?

    i think so. I've only ever heard 3 audio books, all by robert green, all bought here. with examples from great historical people, mastery becomes a great visualization. i'm a wiser man for the listening and enjoyed the process.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    not applicable.


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

    hard to turn it off, but too involved and complex. break it down, listen to it again.


    Any additional comments?

    like his previous books, don't recommend them to your enemies;)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pho BBQ 03-04-14
    Pho BBQ 03-04-14
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    "A classic"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a great book I've recommended it several times already. He uses real life examples to explain human nature and ways to find opportunity.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada 02-11-14
    Michael Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada 02-11-14
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    "ONE OF THE BEST"
    What did you love best about Mastery?

    I liked Robert's approach to explain the concept of mastery through real life examples. I've admired the works of DaVinci, Mozart, and more but I've never heard so many entertaining bio's all tied together with a common thread. If you are a person dedicated to the mastery of anything, whether it be yourself, your career, or anything else...I believe this book should be in your library.


    Any additional comments?

    This is in the top 5 books I've ever come across, and I'm including the bible and spiritual books in my top 5. I found this audio to be transformational, not just a good listen with practical tips but instead a life changing experience. Looking forward to listening to more Robert Greene material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 51-60 of 100 results PREVIOUS156710NEXT
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  • Adam
    Congresbury, United Kingdom
    6/30/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a revelation"
    Any additional comments?

    More interesting for the biographies than any insight into mastery and self development. Can literally be summed up as 'work hard at what you enjoy and are best at'. Really wanted to like this book but finished a little disappointed at the lack of developed insight.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Max
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    7/26/14
    Overall
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    Story
    "fully furnished foray into the science of success"
    Would you listen to Mastery again? Why?

    I regularly return to Mastery. The book contains such a wide range of case studies, full of both informative lessons and unforgettable anecdotes which show empirical truths in the human psyche across the centuries. As a young person beginning my career, I almost follow it as a guidebook at times, keeping me on track and motivated.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Mastery?

    Each of the case-studies' lives are scintillating biographies, over the last year I have probably cited each of them at various parties and with my friends. I particularly liked hearing the life-story of Benjamin Franklin- who became the polymath he was through making countless bad decisions. He posed as a widow so that his writings would be published by his jealous brother, and then revealed it- then was dismissed and ended up in a printing press in London, where his unwillingness to play along with the other workers led to a 'poltergeist' ruining his work. Each of the stories serves a purpose, they aren't merely anecdotes- I can't praise enough how much I love Robert Greene's 'show, don't tell' approach with this book.


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

    Fred Sanders has a wonderfully colourless voice- not putting his own emotional stamp on its contents, which for such an informative book is a real benefit. I felt very comfortable listening to him and could concentrate indefinitely- sometimes a narrator begins to grate after a while. I also got great enjoyment out of his pronounciation of 'von Goethe'.


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

    Greatness is a code. (?)


    Any additional comments?

    If you are a hard worker and want to get the most out of the brain you have, i recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Petra
    London, United Kingdom
    3/14/14
    Overall
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    "Not for me"
    Would you try another book written by Robert Greene or narrated by Fred Sanders?

    No


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Relief


    Was Mastery worth the listening time?

    This was a departure for me. The self help aspects of the book I found irritating and there was a lot of repetition in telling the stories of historical masters. However, the philosophy of his main thrust was reasonable, some aspects of brain development, the evolution of intelligence and some of the mini biographies were interesting.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I. Reid-Knightley
    Bolton, UK
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "An inspirational insight into success"

    This is an entertaining and insightful examination into what it takes to stand out above the crowd. It helps you to realise that the success of geniuses like Mozart, Leonardo Da Vinci and Michael Faraday wasn't handed to them on a plate and that their natural talents alone did not secure their places in history. The secret ingredients were the love of their subject, their attitude and their determination to succeed despite constant obstacles. This book has helped me to see setbacks and challenges in a different light - often, they are blessings in disguise. Sometimes, they are the very key to success itself.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Byron
    BROUGH, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "character building!"

    First of all I generally don't write reviews but in the case of this book I am making an exception! if you are like me and looked for this book on the recommendation of Elliot Hulse you will not be disappointed! it will get you on the way to becoming "the strongest version of yourself" the main problem i have with this audio-book is that Fred Sanders (i have never heard of him before is he famous in america?) voice get on my nerves but that's probably more of a personal thing! so all in all if you want a book for self improvement or even just to see what other peoples ideas on self improvement are! (like me) its worth ago right?

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Rory
    York, United Kingdom
    4/4/13
    Overall
    "Marvelous insight into some of the greats minds"

    Really enjoyed this from start to finish. Some brilliant stories on past and present masters of their fields. The narrative of trying to apply your own mind to do the same I took a bit tongue in cheek. I'm definitely not Mozart..

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • FENG
    Lueven, Belgium
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Great and life changing"

    It is the book that help u get skills life and jobs done. Finding the thing motivates u from feep within your heart.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Balsall Common, United Kingdom
    12/13/12
    Overall
    "Meandering"

    Goes on for a while and entire sections are repeated. All in all it is a book that somewhat confirms the obvious, but in an entertaining way. The narration sometimes droops a bit and the author hasn't quite mastered the art of being concise.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Akis
    Athens, Greece
    2/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • TallBrew
    1/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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