January 15, 2012
I have read well over 1000 books over the past 10 years. And out of all those books, there are probably about 20 to 30 of them that I could honestly say were paradigm-shifting, life-altering in their implications and/or profound in their application. This book is now in my Top 20.
Let's begin with 2 facts:
1. The book is short. It will probably take you an hour to read from cover to cover. The "meat" of the book only takes up the first 47 pages. The remainder is a candid interview with the author, a reading guide, and a bibliography. Believe when I say that the "shortness" of the book doesn't diminish it's value in the slightest. Those 47 pages are Gold, not just because of what the author wrote (You, me and everyone else could stay up all night, every night for a week and not think of half the stuff this guy comes up with), but for the questions, ideas, and implications he leaves the reader with that he didn't have to write down.
2. Andy Andrews is known best for his "Fiction with a Moral" approach. This is not one of those books. It isn't warm and fuzzy. It won't make you feel giddy when you finish it. It's Nonfiction, non-religious, non-partisan and borderline unclassifiable. The only way I know how to put it is by analogy: Two speakers of antiquity, Cicero and Demosthenes. It was said of Cicero that when he would finish speaking, everyone would agree that he had given a well-worded, finely-crafted speech. It was said of Demosthenes that when he would finish speaking, the people stood and said "Let Us March!". This book is more Demosthenes than Cicero. Just like every other book this author has written, it is neither a call to emotion nor intention. It's a call to Action. It's a call to Honesty, first and foremost with ourselves.
I'm a big believer that books don't change people's lives, people do. But the books help. They provide the structures that allow us to climb a little higher and see a little farther than we would on our own. And the best of them don't confirm what we already thought, but challenge us to ask the questions we never thought to ask (or were too afraid to ask). No book has all the answers, and you should never let any one author do all the talking. But after reading as much as I have, I can honestly say I was sincerely affected by what this author was able to do in such a limited space. This book is bigger than its size or length give it credit for. But when all is said and done, it's a small book that can be as profound or as trivial as you are willing to make it. I hope it inspires you, as it did me, to ask the good questions, and then go looking for the honest answers. Enjoy.
~ Jeremy, Amazon reviewer