Customer Review

45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent read, but the suggestions will probably be dismissed, May 29, 2004
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This review is from: Master-Key to Riches (Mass Market Paperback)
You have to have a certain level of maturity or fandom to really appreciate Napoleon Hill. Many of the pearls of wisdom he has only make sense in hindsight. If you're adding this book to your Napoleon Hill collection, you'll love it.

If you've never read Hill before, you might have a hard time adjusting to him... and in that case, this review is meant for you.

The subject of this book is supposedly the business philosophy of Andrew Carnegie, as requested by Carnegie. I don't think this essay was quite what he wanted, though. The book may have some jewels of ideas in it, but it's so horribly written that they'll slip past you without notice, or be so mangled that you just won't care.

I don't really have the overly paranoid "Satan-is-coming!" view of this book that the reviewer a few slots before me does, but I suggest you read his qualms - it's a good overview of the truly weird New Age-ish approach this book takes. Instead of saying, "Be grateful for what you've got," Mr. Hill suggests you sit down with an imaginary "Eight Princes" around a table once a day, each named for something you're grateful for, and thank them. Um. Yeah. Loads of that sort of thing in here.

And the whole book reads like an infomercial. "We'll get to the Master Key soon... but first... let me tell you about this other exciting opportunity!" In fact, he tells you the Master Key in the very last sentences of the book(!), I suppose so you'll bother to read the rest.

The Master Key is absolutely a golden idea, truly. I just wouldn't suggest *this* book as an introduction to it.

Spoiler: don't read the rest of this review if you don't want to know the juicy tidbits.

The important ideas that this book actually gives you:
1) The Master Key: "You are in control of your own mind." You're in control of everything from which commercial music it listens to, to what your purpose will be in life and how you plan to get there. It may take a month or two of contemplation to truly "get" this and realize how powerful it can be.
2) "Going the extra mile." This is great for business; my roommate just got an award with exactly those words written on it.
3) "Positive Mental Attitude." This is SO important to health, opportunities, and quality of life, but Mr. Hill's ramblings don't go into all of that. Most of his chapters' ideas -- "When you're ready, an opportunity will appear," "Have faith in the outcome," "Do it, and you'll have the power," "The universe will align itself to your purposes," etc. -- are ALL wrapped up in this one principle, but even he didn't seem to understand it was all *perspective* and not some sort of mysterious "law of cosmic habitforce" (yes, he actually uses phrases like that!!!).

In conclusion: Get this book if you're interested in digging up info about Carnegie. Otherwise, get "The New Feeling Good Handbook" by David Burns; "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey; and "Learned Optimism" by Martin Seligman - to learn the points above, respectively, in a much less confusing manner.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 22, 2009 6:53:01 PM PDT
Earsby says:
Napoleon Hill never suggests one sit at a table with "imaginary people"; rather he's simply describing an excercise in imagination by personalizing certain people from the past who have qualities that one would want to emulate. There's a difference. This reviewer is close-minded and has trouble understanding Napoleon Hill's core message. I suggest any potential readers read this book instead of blindly following the suggestions of any of the reviewers and make up their own mind about Master Key To Riches. The book is certainly an easy read, I found Hill's writing style extremely easy to read and this book can be read by an average reader in an amount of a few days. After that, one can decide for him/herself whether or not to pursue a more in-depth study of this and other of Napoleon Hill's books.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2009 7:55:24 AM PST
tehuti_88 says:
"I suggest any potential readers read this book instead of blindly following the suggestions of any of the reviewers and make up their own mind..."

Does that equally pertain to people reading your comment on the review?

Most people don't blindly follow reviews, they just read them to get a few ideas of what the work is like and if it will appeal to them or not. Same goes with comments on reviews. Whether positive or negative, they can all serve a purpose. One shouldn't blindly follow them, but then again, they shouldn't be dismissed outright, either, as this comment seems to suggest. A positive review can be just as closeminded as a negative one.

Perhaps this reviewer mistook the suggestion to be about "imaginary people" as it might not have been written clearly enough for the average reader to understand what the author meant? It happens. Just because you found it easy to follow doesn't mean everyone will, so reviews--even ones that misunderstood the text--can help potential readers figure this out for themselves.

Would you comment on every positive review that anyone reading them should not blindly follow positive reviews, but make up their own minds? It goes both ways.
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