Most helpful critical review
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Poor writing and poor substance
on July 23, 2014
I've been in the communications/public relations world for a number of years. I've worked for the U.S. federal government, private companies and non-profits. This book was referenced by a student in my master's program and I decided to pick it up at the local bookstore and give it a read.
It is not often I don't finish a book I start, but unfortunately I found "Trust Me, I'm Lying" to be a complete waste of time. Maybe I come at it from an angle to educated on the subject to be entertained by Ryan Holiday's "ground breaking" discoveries and maybe I just expect better writing.
First, discoveries: Nothing Holiday writes is "new." There are good actors and bad actors in the world of PR. This is true of any industry. The bad "flacks" tarnish the image of the good "flacks" just as a bad doctor tarnishes the image of a good doctor. Holiday comes from the world of "bad flacks." That's fine. The truth eventually catches up with them. Bad individuals and bad firms earn reputations that follow them around. Do they find work? Sure. So do criminals though. That's not a testiment to their virtue. "Look we can shape opinions with cleverly crafted lies." The crafting isn't clever and shaping opinions with lies is nothing new.
Second, the writing: Bad. Just bad. Holiday's writing reminds me of a few papers I wrote in my early high school days, where I was searching for filler. You know the kind of paper.... restating the exact same idea 10 ways to get 10 paragraphs. Now extend this idea from the early high school filler paper to an entire book. It's exhausting and sad. But then, this is what happens when someone writes "above their paygrade."
I have no doubt Holiday has SOME experience in the world of communications. I do doubt that extent of that experience. I don't agree with the techniques he describes in his book, but that's a discussion for another day, and not related to an Amazon review. And finally, I just find his writing style to be of a poor quality.
Poor writing and poor substance equal a poor Amazon review. Don't waste your money on this, it's a poor intellectual investment.