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on May 23, 2011
According to the intro, "How to be the Luckiest Person Alive" is supposed to "unleash the core that will drive you from desire to ambition to meaning." Readers can be forgiven if they are still a confused. This book isn't The Secret and it's not going to help you figure out what your life means. It also won't talk about luck.

So what does the book actually cover? A lot. An awful lot. Everything from whether to buy a house, what to do when you're suddenly wealthy, why to avoid college, and how to fire employees. It's nominally about some very high-level generalities about running startup businesses.

The biggest problem is that everything is in lists. Long lists. Long lists with little supporting detail or emphasis. Any real points quickly get lost as he races from one bullet to the next, with no hint which is essential, which is a joke and which is just filler. In one classic chapter, he rattles off over 80 "rules" for a business. Some some like crucial, vital pieces of information like "get a customer" and "be profitable". These rules sound like they can make or break a business and should always be followed. Other rules sound like handy tips, like "have killer parties" and "at Christmas, donate money to every customer's favorite charity." By the time you've droned through ten pages, everything blurs and the really key ideas (whichever they were) are lost. And since it is just a long list of rules, most readers will forget them before the chapter is done.

After he goes through several anecdotes including an uncomfortable chapter when he seems fixated on how much sex and drugs he did in college, the useful content more or less fizzes out. There's no real conclusion and nothing to wrap it up. Instead, as if to ensure that we forget everything, we get almost 100 pages of direct reprints of various blog articles which are, you guessed it, more lists. And since they were blog posts, each chapter is disconnected from everything which came before and after.

He writes very well as a blogger. The list format is a natural fit and writing short, self-contained essays is a virtue. As a book however, it is a failure. My advice is to subscribe to his blog and skip the book.
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on May 31, 2011
I am a regular reader of James Altucher's blog, and immediately purchased this book when I learned of it. I was excited to read this, but am very disappointed. The book is basically a copy and paste rehash of his blog posts. On his blog, he admits that it took him three weeks to put this book together. It shows. The book is full of misspellings and typos. One of the chapters invites readers to leave a comment in the comment section - obviously something that should have been edited out when pasting from his blog.

I really wanted to like this book, however it is so sloppy that it is almost unreadable.
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on June 2, 2011
This book falls into the Janis Joplin category "It's so good don't ever start." It's really hard not to read another chapter. I found myself reading instead of working. I am buying more copies for my entrepreneur buddies.

Altucher has screwed up more deals, passed up more opportunities, and utterly thrown away more money than anybody I know. He tells you exactly how he did it. As he points out, you learn most from your mistakes, and he's learned a lot.

I've read the other reviews. They all are truthful. Your expectations will become your reality.

So just buy the book, OK? Your Margarita last night cost more. But this is funny and lasts longer.
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on September 3, 2011
After I received a copy of the e-book version of this book for free, Mr. Althucher asked if I would post a comment at once I had a chance to read it. I have answered affirmatively, so what follows is a general impression on the book format and a summary of my findings regarding the contents of the book.

Although the book reads fast, it is not an easy read. There's a wealth of information and a great variety of topics; and the book is structured to read more as a collection of separate blog entries with certain repetitions (for which we are warned at the beginning of the book). All of the above makes it difficult to absorb everything at once, so re-reading is required, and the cost of this was 1 star on the rating scale.

In my view, the Daily Practice recommendations are what the book is all about. A smart play with words aside, Mr. Althucher shows us not how to be the luckiest person alive, instead he teaches us how to be physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually FIT so that we will be able to recognize/create, as well as act on/follow through opportunities for bettering our lives. I put some of the recommendations to action (the physical and mental ones) and was ashamed to realize that first; I couldn't even do 5 push-ups and second; that after relying on a calculator for my daily tasks for so long, my mental "muscle" "objected" when I tried to add two numbers in my head. Not good...

The rest of the advise given in this book (on education, writing, housing, stocks, entrepreneurship, health, negotiating, customer service, etc.) is brutally honest (I laughed a lot about the "functional idiot" comment) and very much real life. On the surface this may cause the reader to form an opinion that Mr. Althucher is not a very nice person and that maybe work ethics are not his strong point. Digging deeper will make you realize that there's solid reasoning and, for a relatively young fellow, a lot of experience behind his recommendations (in his case, the old saying "it's not the age, but the mileage" rings very true).

I warmly recommend this book - if you strayed from your chosen path, it will help you prioritize your responsibilities and get back on track; or on the other hand, maybe it will even help you challenge your assumptions about the chosen path in the first place, causing you to reshape your life.

You may or may not like or agree with what Mr. Althucher is proposing, but one thing is for sure - you will definitely not be indifferent to it.
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on June 4, 2011
I read this kindle during break times over four days. It was a fast read and a great read. I love the start up world and the swirl of tales that go with it. I think for many of us it will be like what the sixties were to the certain segment of the population that did the Haight Ashbury thing and all the stories and bands and thinkers and philosophies that emerged in and around that. If there was one solid you could take away and use starting this minute it is the technique to generate ideas. That alone is worth a million dollars.
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on February 9, 2012
I have to say I was at first immediately offended by James. He seemed to be espousing a philosophy of "wealth is the measure of success". But the more I read, I realized he was preaching something altogether different. He is talking about putting yourself in a position where you can be a content creator. Where you can join in with the brave new media world that is developing before our eyes. You have to work to read this book. His stream of consciousness writing style does not flow. Its gritty. But worth it. His descriptions of his own failures are probably the most endearing thing about his writing. I think that is were he bares himself the most. I highly recommend this book.
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on July 10, 2011
Why do I like James Altucher so much? Is it his brutal honesty? Is it is rapid-fire writing style, half comedy, half serious great advice? This little "book" is actually a collection of his blog postings over the last couple of years- but that is not an insult. Who wouldn't pay for what is essentially a notebook of his ideas, lessons learned, and tips on entrepreneurship?

How to live forever, how to succeed in LA, how to steal and get rich- these are just a few of the provocative chapter titles in this book.

Quit smoking. Sleep a full 7-8 hours a night. Exercise. Have frequent sex. Start your own company. Don't send your kids to college. Try yoga. How to write effectively. Why you should never buy a house again. You name it; James deals the advice, and backs it up with experience.

This book is a must-read if you are an entrepreneur, budding, or already an your way to a "liquidity event." For the rest of us, his thoughts on the "Daily Practice" are worth a thousand times the price of the book. Well done.
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on November 22, 2013
I tried to read this but it was an inane drivel of repetition.

There's a lot of lists of what to do every day. Ironically, they seem to add up to a few more hours than can exist.

The content is superficial. There's no depth in the content.
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on October 4, 2011
This is an excellent book. A very quick read. Its amazing that this one book covers health, wellness, etc and also provides a very useful guide for entrepreneurs. A must read.
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on May 30, 2011
"Disclaimer" I used to be part of Mr. Altucher's on-line entourage, commenting on his blogs and egging him on to put this book together. So my review might be a little biased.

There are two fantastic things about this book. First, the content. Very few people have had the life experiences of Mr. Altucher, and the very few that have walked paths similar to his don't write half as well as he does. If the world was fair, this book would be a runaway bestseller, and the debauched memoirs of people like Augusten Burroughs and James Frey would languish in relative obscurity. By purchasing this book, you can help rectify this injustice.

Secondly, Mr. Altucher is pricing the book at the lowest possible e-price. (One dollar). Clearly, he's not looking to make a lot of money here. This book is his gift to society, and he's pricing it accordingly.

Thanks James!
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