17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
THOUGHT PROVOKING, 1 Dec 2009
I must admit, when I noticed `the 50th law staring back at me in the book shop, I was pleasantly surprised to see it had been co-written by Robert Greene and 50 Cent. I am more than familiar with Green's work, having read his previous three books, but nothing could have prepared me for this literary feast.
Knowing about Green's background in philosophy and 50's mean image as a stereotypical gangsta, I found this a rather odd combination. I initially thought that Greene had made a big mistake in enlisting 50 to contribute, however this is the underlying strength of the book. This surprising combination of philosopher and gangsta, has produced what could undoubtedly become one of the most important books in recent years.
The whole experience begins when you pick up the book - its appearance is almost biblical - and as you begin to read the book, and delve further and further into the material, every time you pick it up, you feel you are indeed holding something of great importance.
Essentially, the essence of the book is each person's battle against fear - it even states this on the back of the book, where it says `fear nothing'. And this is indeed what the work concentrates on - the overcoming of fear. The material does this in a masterful way. Green has an excellent grasp of the English language and his style and prose make the words flow. He is the 50 cent of the literary world, and like 50, he has managed to deliver his message in a smooth and sublime manner.
The book is delivered through ten well - developed chapters, and the more you read the book (and you will want to read it more than once) the more that these chapters become profound and start to resemble your own personal version of the ten commandments, with the essence of each of these chapters being the dissolution of fear.
From the very beginning, Greene distils upon the reader the essence of the struggle `we are all too afraid, of offending people, of stirring up conflict, of standing out from the crowd, of taking bold action' the truth contained in the words are prophetic. Generally people are afraid - however by reading this book, you actually start to feel bolder, and by feeling bolder you subsequently become bolder.
After reading the book I subsequently altered my behaviour, and found that it did indeed make a marked difference, both to myself and those around me. By following what is set out in the book I feel much more assertive, I feel better about myself and am treated better by others. The book is akin to a self help manual, except without all the psychobabble. It speaks straight to the reader, and because of 50's time in the hood, it gives it even more credibility.
Had Greene written this book alone, I'm sure I would have enjoyed it, but 50's impetus adds so much more to the mix. The combination of Greene's power with words, and 50's life story, create a powerful guideline for living. This is certainly one of the underpinning strengths, without 50's input then I have no doubt, that it would have been a good book, but 50's input has elevated this into a great book. Greene is able to eloquently mingle 50`s life story combined with his own examples to create a textbook for living The book emphasise noble virtues such as assertiveness, persistence, self belief confidence, self reliance and appreciation. Reading the book is incredibly educational, and it actually makes you feel good. Having read a number of self help and self improvement books, I would have to say, without a shadow of a doubt, that this is the cream of the crop.
However, unlike most self help books, much of the language used is not the typical coddling and mothering vocabulary that is often used, on the contrary the language encapsulates the essence of the book, it is bold and assertive. If you want to feel better about yourself, life, and the world around you, then I highly recommend this book. The book makes you think, its makes you question your actions and your behaviours, and makes you realise where you have gone wrong, and how you can amend those behaviours. The book is best described as empowering. Through using 50 as an example - the reader is inspired to believe that anything is possible. Greene's decision to include 50 in this book was indeed a literary masterstroke.
He has used 50's life experience to full advantage, in sublimely describing how to become a modern day hustler. I think I can say, without a shadow doubt, this is one the best books that I have ever read. Since purchasing it a few weeks ago I have read it on numerous occasions, and have indeed started to implement elements from the book in my own life.
However, eliminating fears is only one aspect of the book, there is so much more to it than that. It also emphasises the importance of time, not to waste time, and to make every second count `Time is the most critical factor in our lives, our most precious resource', again, this advice certainly rings true, which is highlighted even further by the recollection of 50's near fatal shooting.
Since reading this, my productivity has increased tenfold, I am also developing a more fearless approach to life in general, I now feel less afraid of people and circumstance beyond my control. Now, believe it or not, I almost unwelcome uncertainty and conflict, through these experiences I believe I can become stronger. Prior to reading this book, my thinking was completely the opposite; I would shy away from challenges and detest confrontation. Now I am less afraid to take bold action, I realise that if I am to be a whole and complete person, conflict is sometimes unavoidable and necessary.
Sentences like the following: `people who cannot suffer can never grow up, can never discover who they are' imbue the reader with a self realisation that conflict can indeed have positive consequences, therefore changing my whole perspective on confrontational situations. Through studying the contents of the book, I have also strengthened my determination. Having read several self help books and following their instructions to no avail, the 50th law finally gives me the answers that I was looking for.
Now, I must admit, since reading this book, I do care less and less what people think of me. This has propelled me forward and given me a new found confidence. If I took a certain course of action, I used to be afraid and concerned of what others would think of me, but the fear has now become less of a concern. I can attribute this to what I have gained from the book, invaluable knowledge on how to live life and how to become a better person.
Whatever your background, I would highly recommend this book, its teachings are timeless and invaluable, and are applicable virtually anywhere, from the boardroom to the hood, this book has got all corners covered. And because the content is dealing with human nature - it will always be applicable. Greene effectively dissects basic human nature, and has produced a guidebook to deal with our conflicting natures. Essentially the teaching of the book is: `Nihil Timendum est' - `Fear Nothing', something which I intend to follow as much as possible. The authors deserve the utmost respect, for producing such a wonderful piece of work.