Most helpful critical review
266 of 307 people found the following review helpful
Will work for some, not for others
on June 9, 2004
I heard Rick Carson on NPR some time ago and was impressed with that he had to say. I had never heard of his book until then and I immediately wrote down the title so that I could buy it at a later date.
Now that I've read the book I'm trying to figure out why what I heard him say is so different than what I'm reading.
My problem with this book started right at the beginning with his "trademarked" Gremlin-Training Method (all caps, just as he does in the book). This seemed contrived to me, absolutely false. It was like reading a book talk about the author's patented passive solar windows as their own trademarked "Sun Energy Capture Device." In other words, like an infomercial. This intial reaction was confirmed as I continued to read. The tactics and topics Carson raises are extremely simplistic. Practical perhaps, but hardly worthy of a "trademark."
The other problem I had with the book is that Carson uses his metaphor to excess. This is a danger he should have been aware of. A Gremlin is a workable metaphor for most people as long as you make it abstract. That is, that voice in your head which puts you down. As soon as you start describing its supposed physical nature (the minister, the coach, the monster, etc.) the metaphor starts losing its audience. Not everyone wants or needs to describe that nasty voice in such terms.
I wished Carson had backed off the metaphor somewhat, backed off from from the hard sell on his "trademarked" method, and just gave an in-depth analysis of people's internal negative voices, where they come from, how to control them, etc. I don't want to read something that makes me feel like I'm buying a used car or the next TV control clapper.
This book, based on many previous glowing reviews, works for many people. No doubt that is true. Criticizing this book is rather subjective - if it works for you, it works, if it doesn't, it doesn't. You can't debate it. My recommendation is to really look at the text before buying and THEN decide if you want to purchase. You might find that you like it, or you might not.