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Customer Review

on December 7, 2011
I never thought I'd be leaving a one-star review--for any book, especially since I always try to make careful, informed decisions about the books I purchase--but this one is an exception, and a disappointing one at that.

After previewing the first chapter of the book, I was hooked. As other reviewers have noted, the first two chapters are a breeze (save for the stories: each time a story came along, reading it felt akin to slowly disembowelling myself: unnecessary details, detours, and an overall sense of boredom is what characterises the case studies).

By the time I got to chapter four, however, I wanted to scream. No, not because the book was necessarily bad--I still enjoyed reading most parts of it--but because it felt like a blatant rip-off Tim Ferriss' 4-Hour Workweek, down to the quotes from writers and thinkers (of the numerous quotations strewn all over the book, the strongest and the most relevant seem to have been hand-picked from Tim's book), key ideas (asking for permission vs. asking for forgiveness, anyone?), terminology and writing style, without so much as a bow to the author of said book.

There's nothing wrong with taking an excellent idea, such as the one behind the 4-Hour Workweek, and building upon it--with one's own example, case studies, and reflexion. It's a wholly different thing to use another person's words without even bothering to rephrase them.

In the end, the only original thing about this book turned out to be not-so-original.

I don't regret shelling out the $13.90 for the Kindle edition though, careful as I am about my book selection. It was a lesson well-learned.

As for Chris, I hope the liberal feeding off others' ideas wasn't intentional and he did at least try to create a work of some originality. Sad to see that he (and I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt here) ran out of steam a few chapters into the book. As for the quality of writing... good writing it ain't, even for this fairly undemanding genre.
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