68 of 77 people found the following review helpful
A Valuable Message; Details May Vary,
This review is from: Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time (Hardcover)
For all the five-star reviews that are going to pop up here in the next few days, be cognizant that the author of this book is a master networker, and is adept at calling in favors. What follows is an unbiased look at the book.
The author's message is simple yet powerful: Everything you do in life is enabled by others. The more people you know, the more you are capable of, and the more you are capable of helping others. The power of your network goes up exponentially with the number of relationships and with the strength of those relationships. Anyone who thinks that success is based solely on merit is sadly delusional.
The advice and techniques he gives are broken out by chapter. Some are insightful and useful, such as discovering what's important to people and finding ways to help them, how to work conferences, and how to connect with other well-connected people. Others are questionable from a style standpoint, and seem to serve as a boastful review of the author's own methods, such as his extravagant dinner parties, or interrupting a conversation midstream in order to call someone who is relevant to the current topic. He also emphasizes constant emailing and calling just so you don't fall off someone's radar, even if you have nothing to say to that person except "I exist". How annoying.
The book gets 3 stars for being important and relevant. It gets another for getting down and dirty in the details of connecting with people. It doesn't get the fifth star for being verbose, sometimes repetitive, and for taking such an extreme stance when most of us are mere networking mortals. At its core, the ideas in this book are incredibly valuable, once you adapt them to your own personality.