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The Laws of Human Nature

Narrated by: Paul Michael, Robert Greene
Length: 28 hrs and 26 mins
Categories: Business, Leadership
5 out of 5 stars (6,136 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The 48 Laws of Power comes the definitive new audiobook on decoding the behavior of the people around you.

Robert Greene is a master guide for millions of listeners, distilling ancient wisdom and philosophy into essential texts for seekers of power, understanding, and mastery. Now he turns to the most important subject of all - understanding people's drives and motivations, even when they are unconscious of them themselves.  

We are social animals. Our very lives depend on our relationships with people. Knowing why people do what they do is the most important tool we can possess, without which our other talents can only take us so far. Drawing from the ideas and examples of Pericles, Queen Elizabeth I, Martin Luther King Jr, and many others, Greene teaches us how to detach ourselves from our own emotions and master self-control, how to develop the empathy that leads to insight, how to look behind people's masks, and how to resist conformity to develop your singular sense of purpose. Whether at work, in relationships, or in shaping the world around you, The Laws of Human Nature offers brilliant tactics for success, self-improvement, and self-defense.

©2018 Robert Greene (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"In this detailed and expansive guide, Greene (Mastery) seeks to … transform the reader into a 'calmer and more strategic observer', immune to 'emotional drama'. Those are lofty promises, but even skeptics will become believers after diving into Greene’s well-organized text. Overcoming the 'law of irrationality', for instance, leads to the ability to 'open your mind to what is really happening, as opposed to what you are feeling'. Greene’s thoughtful examination of self and society will, for the committed reader, deliver a refreshing and revitalizing perspective." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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Tempo is key! (1.25X)

Do yourself a favor and set the speed to 1.25X. Puts energy into the reading. It almost sounds like the books default speech speed was reduced after the reader completed recording.

220 of 229 people found this review helpful

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Big juicy book!

Great read! Definitely more of an intellectual read. If you were expecting something like the other books, it’s not. Less entertaining, more deep thinking. Will definitely have to read it a couple of times to grasp all the material. Starts of a little slow (in my opinion) then for me picked up at the end! Lots on envy, group behaviour, past traumas, social norms, our mortality and death. Reader is fine, just no music in the background like other books. Thank you for all the hard work and effort you put into it!

134 of 140 people found this review helpful

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Interesting mix of biography and thoughts

Plays fine at 1.2 speed but still very long. Mostly interesting biographies followed by sometimes tangential but often thoughtful analysis, or opinion rather, but a reasonable opinion except for ... well, I'm not into Jungian archetypes or Freudian explanations.

I listened to the whole book, tired just near the end when it seemed a little too much, generational differences oversimplified, death a bit much. I liked the chapter on groups and group dynamics, that's one of many I'd recommend. But why such laborious biographies? Bit hard getting through some, but if you know it's half biography going in, your probably ok.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Reread this book once a year and practice

I cannot say that I've finished a lot of books during my not so far impressive 24 years on this planet. I used to do everything else but consuming(I use this word to combine reading and listening) books until recently I discovered Audible. I always knew about audiobooks but never really encountered a service of such convenience, quality and variety. And most likely I thought that spending money on books is a waste. Anyway, back to this particular book.

I honestly believe that this book will fit every single human on this planet. It spreads awareness about kind of things everyone knows about but perhaps never really thought through. It digs up your subconscious and makes you aware of it. It shows that you are good, by nature, but still struggling to find this good in the world. The main lesson of the book, at least for me, is that if you want to see changes start with changing yourself. It's so simple. And yet we need to listen to this 30 hours. It opens something for everyone because it compiles long history of observations, experiments, experiences and reflections in a nice, easy to understand way. What's also great is that Robert writers in a very practical way. First you recognize issue, then you become aware of it, then you learn how to deal with it and take action.

The books is simple. The laws are simple. But how important they are and how often we forget about them in our daily life. It's not about becoming an ultimate human being. It's about taking at least some action towards being better every single day. So, my advice would be to reread this peace of art once a year. Remind yourself of your nature, your roots and meaning. And become happier.

71 of 74 people found this review helpful

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LOVE IT

if you are like me and someone who loves having a better understanding of people and where some of their actions and attitudes comes from this book is great.

additionally it's a great book to help you check yourself and some of your own bad habits and insecure behaviors..

If you are a parent or leader of any sort, I recommend this book.

40 of 42 people found this review helpful

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7 Books in One Epic

Robert tempers the aggressive macheavellian tone from his past works like The Laws of Power into something much more real. I would like to believe this is much closer to the real Robert. This monster has the value and volume of a half dozen quality books, and after 20 hours I was still totally engaged.

54 of 58 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful historical stories coupled with bad advice

This book is an overreach of knowledge. Don’t get me wrong, there are many wonderful nuggets in this book. The advice, however, is only good for a segment of the population.

Examples:

When describing the evolution of an individual, it appears he believes that everyone will follow his life progression; that is being a rebellious youth who fights against his parents thinking. I would wager half the population are not wild child’s and rebel against their parents.

From this projection, he goes on to explain the importance of fighting against the old ideas of the past. His advice: when your gut is telling you not to fight against the establishment, that means you should push even harder. Wow. Really?

Another example of bad advice is when discussing how we should view death, that we should view our impending death as a deadline to create more urgency in life. This is the kind of advice one gives when they have just begun to contemplate death and is in itself a coping mechanism. This is horrible advice for the anxious mind but perhaps good advice for someone who thinks like Mr Greene.

The advice given will be great for some but devastating for others. Some of the bad advice is benign, such as looking into the stars at night to get a sense of the sublime. I have always felt the sublime by doing this but my wife has an opposite experience: it scares her.

This book would be great if after the stories, multiple perspectives were given with an understanding of individual personalities, rather than one guy’s opinion taken as laws. And also, 27 hours? Really? I think those who rated this so high perhaps were not listening with a questioning mind and were then influenced by the endowment affect: “I committed much of my life to this so it must be of great value.”

46 of 54 people found this review helpful

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Amazing book

I love listening to this audiobook but I really dont like this narrator. I feel like the narrator is very bland compared to previous narrators from Robert previous books. I usually get swept into the story when I listen to Robert audiobooks but this one I have to really try to pay attention. The information is good but it the dude reading his book that really makes it very dull. I really hope they release another narrator for this book.

51 of 60 people found this review helpful

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Read it at 1,25 x speed

Amazing piece of work, opens up your mind to a variety of ideas. It's packed with things that you did not know you knew, it objetively and scientificly disects the programming of what it means to be human.

In between these amazing points and to emphasize them, there are numerous examples and "tastings" of other great litterature and philisophy.

A must read for any person, will without a doubt read this many times through my life

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Worst Book Ever!!!!

I’m kidding, I purchased both the audio and hard cover. Just on the first law I was blown away on how I thought I was rational but in reality I’m not. My favorite part of chapter 1 is something along the lines of “always look for the evidence that discredits your most cherished beliefs and the beliefs of others”

46 of 55 people found this review helpful