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on 25 January 2013
OK, let me get to the point really quickly in case you don't have time to tackle the whole review. But, to be honest, if you are following the sensible advice in The Slow Fix, you should slow down and give yourself plenty of time to read both the review and the book - it'll be much more rewarding!

So, in brief, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it. I thought it was well-written and thought-provoking with some original and interesting ideas and, no, I'm not related to the author and I'm not his agent!

I'm a bit of a sucker for books that offer to help me organise my life more efficiently, make the most of my money or work better. Yet so often I find them a disappointment - they fail to live up to the promises on the dust jacket - and I rarely reach the end.

Not so with this one. "Solve problems, work smarter and live better in a fast world", it says on the cover. Right, that's the sort of area in which I could do with some help. A good start, but then comes the real test; will I get past the first 30 pages and still be reading?

It probably helped that I started it on the top deck of a bus on a freezing cold night - little to distract me inside or out. By the time I reached my destination I was hooked. I kept on reading... and kept on reading.

Two things certainly help. I think Carl Honore has a really easy, fluent style: he seems comfortable with words and sets out his arguments cogently and entertainingly. And then there's the range of subjects he uses to support his case: a really eclectic, stimulating mix from RAF jets, failing schools in LA, bus systems in Bogota, and computer gaming (though I'm not sure I wholeheartedly agree with his argument that gamers may be a pool of hitherto untapped uber-problem solvers. Empirical observation of teenage boys knocks that one on the head for me!).

At the time of reading, The Slow Fix gave me much food for thought. Interestingly, I have also found it has made a lasting impression. When I'm battling my way through life, I find myself thinking: Did I rush that task? If I had done that job more slowly, would there have been a better, longer-lasting outcome? Should my boss have charged into that quick decision? Shouldn't we think through the underlying problem rather than do a quick patch-up? What is in the detail on this problem?

It's not a life-changing book - I don't think I have ever read one - but its ideas have quietly but insistently resonated, and continue to do so. And I think that's a pretty good endorsement!
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on 6 April 2014
I would very much like to believe that a 'slow fix' is often the answer both to personal problems and to social policy and workplace conundrums.

This book reads fluently but did not convince me. There is no discussion of the relative merits of quick and slow fixes. Rather it gives a series of examples of quick fixes arranged by theme. Some are well known. Many are not - at least to me. There is rarely any discussion of those responsible for slow fixes found the time to operate or WHY slowness was good. For example one theme is owning up to mistakes and learning from them...but we all like to think we are taking good decisions almost all the time and to blame others when things go wrong: the interesting question is how to overcome this, I think.

One example in the last chapter is Japan bombing Pearl Harbour. A quick fix and a would be silver bullet. A mistake in the event. But was there a slow fix available to Japan to achieve its military goals? I really don't know - but this is the territory I could wish the book to have explored...
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on 6 May 2014
I have just finished to read the "Slow Fix", and after reviewing my notes, I have decided that this is a 5 stars book for these reasons:
1) the book is well written.
2) it is not an article stretched to form a book, like many books today.
3) every chapter is well structured: it starts with a real example, then offers a lesson.
Here are some of his suggestions:
- Confess your mistakes.
- Think hard: there are always multiple factors to connect.
- Think long: invest on a long term objective.
- Think small: use check-list, to keep small stuff under control.
- Collaborate: two heads are better then one.

The only criticism I could find, is that these concepts are not new: think hard, think holistic, think small, etcetera.
So what? "repetita iuvat", said the Romans: "repeating helps".
Everyday there are people who try a quick fix, and cause tragedies. Better the slow fix.
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on 26 June 2013
Following on from his excellent In Praise of Slow, this is Honoré's look at practical ways to achieve by thinking about a problem first.

His theory is that by rushing into solving a problem then you are not considering the full implications of your decisions and actions, and that by taking time and effort to get it right you only need to do it once. He does accept that quick fixes are sometime necessary; to get a car running again to get home, but proper consideration on a problem will lead to long term benefits.

The book is stuffed full of examples and case studies and he picks examples from other titles that I have read, such as The Wisdom of Crowds, Blink and Good to Great. Al lot of what he says is very true; the churn of stocks and share has no benefit to society or companies, as the long term investments made by Warren Buffet prove. The examples of the way that the RAF looks at pilot error and other mistake make all the flying by them safer, and looks at the check list now used by surgeons the world over to minimise errors.

Overall it is not a bad read, but not as ground breaking as his first book.
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on 8 April 2016
absolutely loved this book and can honestly say have changed my outlook as a result. Fascinating case studies of places and people taking a more holistic approach to challenging problems.
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on 7 November 2015
Manual for life!
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