Top critical review
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What a waste of paper...
on January 25, 2010
Technically, my one-star rating is incorrect: when a book has no useful content whatsoever, it should be zero stars. Alas, such option is unavailable, so I'll have to make do with this...
I had high hopes for this book - I really did. It's written by a group of personal finance experts and it's got nothing but rave reviews on Amazon (I hope I won't be the sole dissenter) - what could possibly go wrong? Like most other projects put together by a committee, it feels raw and incomplete. To give you a basic idea, this is the kind of book that would have been useful 20 years ago, before the advent of the Internet. Every single tip listed in this book can be found with Google in less than a minute. Because of the space constraint (10,001 tips and only 346 pages), most of the tips get just one brief paragraph.
I'm a dedicated bachelor, I don't plan on getting married or having kids, I don't like to cook (other than the easiest dishes - pasta and boiled eggs), I have neither a car nor a garage, my landlord does all the "home improvement" in my house for free, and I don't buy into this pointless, feel-good "green living" fad. Because of all of the above, none of the tips in this book apply to me. Evidently, "living large" means keeping old rags all over your house instead of using paper towels, and giving your friend a measuring cup or a coloring book with crayons on his or her birthday. (I'm not making this up!) The sections on investing and money managing were marginally interesting, but like I said, one can find the same information (and more of it!) online in less than a minute.
Finally, the book is rather poorly edited. There is an overabundance of typos ("a tore-up baseball cap"), downright ridiculous errors that should have been caught by proofreaders ("$11 dollars"), constantly-changing pronouns (using either "he" or "she" throughout a section when referring to a person who is presumably not a hermaphrodite) and poor editing (references to wrong page numbers, etc.).
To summarize, the book has no original tips, it's over-hyped, can be replaced by Google (it saves time *and* money! haha) and, to be honest, is somewhat of an insult to one's intelligence. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody except for the people who spent their whole lives in coma and don't have access to Google, or those strange individuals who want to know what Linsey Knerl (one of the writers) wears to bed, where she hides her money (spoiler alert: in her tampon box - and no, I am not making this up), and how cold her toilet seat is in the morning. I refuse to believe that people who produced this rubbish got paid for their efforts (and I'm using the word "efforts" very, very loosely). Learn from my mistake and don't buy this book. If you're dead-set on reading it, get it from a library - but don't spend your hard-earned money.