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House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time Paperback – March 8, 2006
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is especially useful for those who are trying to decide whether or not to go into consulting; many people become consultants just because that's what others do or because there is supposedly a lot of money to be made. Read this book before you make the decision to target consulting firms in your job hunt. If you read it and still are excited about consulting, then you will probably be a pretty good "fit' for consulting.
There are some good points in the book:
1. The consulting feedback and review process is a joke
2. All consulting firms are the same, except McKinsey which is just the same but better
3. Travel is probably the worst part of the job and points are mostly worthless
There are some things that made me think:
1. Why do I hate Sheratons but tolerate Marriott
2. Why am I obsessed with my luggage
3. Why do I get so excited at recruiting events
He also accurately describes a lot of the unspoken rules. Such as never eating in groups in the caffeteria.
There are a few funny bits as well.
I certanly wouldn't compare it to Liars Poker (not even in the same league) and the point about not having a point is well taken, its a bit rambling.
If you are a consultant you won't be able to put it down. Everyone else will just scratch their heads.
The other key question is whether the book accurately portrays management consulting (mc), whether mc is really a 'house of lies'. I have no firsthand experience in that regard, but I certainly want to know, so I read every prior review to help me judge that. My conclusion? The negatives of mc are somewhat exaggerated, and the positives are downplayed (I'm inclined to think that if mc always has zero to negative value, never being able to add positive value, it wouldn't have survived and grown over the course of decades). But, sadly, a somewhat negative overall assessment may not be off the mark.
So I give the book 4 stars for writing and 4 stars for accuracy of content, thus 4 stars overall. Recommended if you have an interest in mc or business in general.
PS - A TV series of the same title was created based on this book, and is worth watching, but note that the series takes many liberties relative to the book.
Profanity and political opinions (perhaps a more accurate, if not better, title for this book) are interspersed among the chapters of this work. While they may serve the function of signaling to his NYC friends that despite going corporate he's still a stand-up guy who holds the "correct" views, they have no place in this book and do nothing to provide insight into the topic at hand. I can, however, see where those interjections might have helped to get the author's book optioned for TV.
Although I spent years as a consultant, I never worked as a management consultant and have no stake in the industry. I feel no obligation to defend management consulting when its members go astray or are improperly employed. I appreciate the humor at the expense of those who blindly use consulting terminology to cover for a dearth of knowledge that is applicable and useful in addressing a real business problem. Nevertheless, a work of non-fiction (even a biographical one) shouldn't wallow in subjective experience if it aims to characterize an entire sphere of activity. I can't help but think that a lot of what Mr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked Martin's book. I bought it because, as a consultant, I wanted to get that insider view of how big consulting firms work. How they get their clients. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jason K.
Entertaining quick read for the management consultants out there. Some parts where actually very relatable, so much so that I laughed out loud a few times.Published 14 months ago by Adrian West
House of Lies is the story of Marty who joins a bit management consulting firm and a criticism of management consulting firms mixed in one. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Bas Vodde
Quoted this book many times in essays etc actually has some gems of advise to use in organisational management. Written fictionally of course.Published 19 months ago by Michael O
Fantastic book. Martin takes you all the way through management consulting with his take and experience. Hilarious and well written.Published 22 months ago by Jim Gibson
Being sort of a consultant in my previous life, I enjoyed reading this, and I suspect people who are curious about the lives in top tier consulting firms would enjoy it as well. Read morePublished 24 months ago by jeffrey wong