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Publisher's Summary

This is a fresh, compulsively readable narrative of the elusive element behind so many innovative breakthroughs, in fields ranging from physics and marketing to design and popular culture.

In this thought-provoking exploration, Matthew May defines elegance as the elusive combination of unusual simplicity and surprising power and pinpoints the four key elements that characterize it: seduction, subtraction, symmetry, and sustainability.

In a story-driven narrative that sheds light on the need for elegance in design, engineering, physics, art, urban planning, sports, and work, May offers a surprising array of stories that illustrate why what's "not there" often matters more than what is.

©2009 Matthew E. May; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Enlightening. Makes a compelling case for doing more with less by optimizing the expenditure of one's assets and resources. That's something anyone can and should put into practice." (Kevin Hunter, president, CALTY Design Research, Inc., Toyota Design Network)
In a world where everything keeps getting more complicated and overwhelming, Matthew May shows us that if we start looking for things to take out, things to stop doing, and intelligent shortcuts, we will all be happier, do superior work, and live in a better world." (Robert I. Sutton, Stanford professor and author of The No Asshole Rule)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Story

I love elegance, but this book isn't elegant

I'm a big fan of elegance, simple solutions, and minimalism. But this book is like a bad Malcolm Gladwell book. Endless case stories, meant to make you go "aha, interesting" and feel entertained. I don't like that way of describing concepts. It's like fast food, doesn't give you any kind of quality content, just something to chew on. This book goes on and on and on and on, shifting direction and case story by the minute. I was unable to follow along, and had to rewind again and again. Constantly I had the feeling "what's he talking about" - yes, it really is that much of a bomb of babble.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fantastic book - excellent!

I enjoy many of these types of books and I often find that they come on strong but fizzle out half way through. This one delivers all the way through. Fascinating topic, a must read for anybody that designs and builds anything.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Blurr
  • Las Vegas
  • 06-20-11

Elegance Unexpected

I rarely find books that I find to be so impacting and useful that I feel compelled to buy the physical book to gain the benefit of listening and reading at the same time with highlighter in hand. "In Pursuit of Elegance", for me, has risen to the most important book of this year, and one of the most important books in my physical and digital collection. It's effect is far reaching, beyond what I could have expected.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Exceptional reading performance

Where does In Pursuit of Elegance rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The ideas in this book are really thought provoking. The narrator however is exceptional.

What was one of the most memorable moments of In Pursuit of Elegance?

Elegance is achieved when there is nothing more to remove.

  • Overall
  • Amber
  • Portola Valley, CA, USA
  • 08-21-09

Elegant!

The whole book was inspiring. So many institutions could learn so much from this one!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful