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How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Paperback – April 12, 1995
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have education, intelligence, and ability, so much the better. But remember that thousands have reached the top without them."
The opening line of Shepherd Mead's unassuming and disarming satire says it all.
Mead speaks to you, the reader, and launches into his version of the "how to" of business with chapters like "How to Rise from the Mailroom", "How to Make Money" and of course, "How to Keep Money"...without lifting a single finger. You will chuckle as the main character (dubbed "Pierrepont Finch") cleverly climbs his way from average Joe Shmoe to president of the company with Mead as his tip-filled guide. Simply put, it "teaches" the reader to succeed with the most minimal effort exerted and with no business background whatsoever. Chapters are laid out plainly with section headings like "Stab the Right Backs", "The Look of Suffering", and "Be a Meeting-Leaver."
This book, though dated by today's business world standards, still packs a painful wallop of humor through satirical examples, dialogue, situations, and just plain terrific tomfoolery, all thanks to Mead's wit (and Finch's actions). When you get past the old fashioned references, this book is a quick and fun read, and you'll catch yourself rooting for Finch's sometimes dastardly antics as he climbs the corporate ladder, back-stabbing and shoving his way to the top rung. Business types will laugh and nod knowingly, while the rest of us will grin gleefully.
Fans of the musical on which this book is based will recognize the example names, such as "Bud Frump" and "J.B. Biggley." And those fans will certainly recognize the line: "A Secretary is NOT a Toy."
Highly recommended. And after reading: woe to those who stand in your way of success!
The book is well written, and funny. It is worth reading just for the historical perspective it brings to dealing with the business community. But, this is one of those times when I thought that I was better off watching the DVD, because there just isn't that much substance to the book.
The book was written for a different time, but I think the original movie version better makes the transition to the present day.
blu-ray of Office Space, a great movie. To me there is no doubt that
Shepard Mead's book keeps rolling through movies like Office Space, and
cartoons like Dilbert. Shepard mead did it first, and it is timeless,
regardless of the ways work has changed since he wrote it. I grew up with
my dad's copy of the book (he actually did work on a desk in rows in the
1950's). Later I "rediscovered" the book in a modern printing, but found
I missed the original illustrations, and so found a copy of the original
The book is very funny, and cuts so close to the truth that to this day,
I don't dare bring it into work. After 30+ years in the office world,
I would say that the book still is 90% true of the office environment
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Perhaps it's my fault, maybe this listing mentioned that there wasn't a dust jacket... Anyway, there was no cover, which is why I wanted the book. Disappointed.Published 15 months ago by Anne
Just as good and as relevant as when it was written 60 years ago, and when I first read it 40 years agoPublished 15 months ago by Ed Garvey
Old old musical, if you into Robert Morse or old musicals then this is a good buy good for select people who like the older musicals.Published on March 12, 2014 by Andrew Rabatin
My husband thought this was an entertaining book when it came out and thought we would still enjoy it. Which we did! Funny.Published on December 18, 2012 by MaryAnne