Most helpful critical review
73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Just steal it
on 27 March 2011
Never heard of Paul Arden before borrowing this book, and now that I have read it - about 30 minutes later - I don't much care if I never hear of him again.
It is entertaining. You can tell it is by an adman, as it is very well laid out graphically and short. In fact, it is really short. There are those who are allergic to text - to reading, really - and prefer to look at pictures. They should like this. But for others, they might feel short-changed. There is nothing in this book that isn't in a lot of other books. If you haven't read many "self-fulfilment" books, you might find it enlightening, but I can't say that I did.
Of course, by producing a book that contains perhaps ten pages of text at best, Paul Arden is no doubt practising what he preaches - doing what most authors wouldn't dare to do. You don't like it? Gotcha! You must be a reader who thinks inside the box.
But what really annoyed me was the smugness of the author. There is a page on ego and how marvellous it is to have a big one; a thought that would appear to come straight from Arden's heart. Where I really started to feel annoyed was when Arden tells you not to go to university but learn in the university of life instead. University is, apparently, for people who are too pusillanimous to know what they want to do with their lives. Fine then. Let's pick up medicine, quantum physics, molecular biology and law as we go along. How facile can you get? The fact that he should even have included this thought casts doubts on the whole text. Oh, but he just wrote that to provoke me and make me reassess my life. Gotcha again! It's exactly the same mechanism as that employed by gurus of sects the world over.
I also started doubting the wisdom of this book when the cover proudly proclaims that Arden is going to write his next book explaining the meaning of God in the time it takes to make a taxi ride, despite more human endeavour having been spent thinking about this than anything else throughout the ages. There is clearly no limit to his ego and gall.
My advice: think the opposite. You thought a book was something you bought to read at home. Don't. Go to a bookshop, read the book in the shop and fail to buy it. As Arden points out, stealing other people's ideas is a great thing to do. Alternatively, you could just thieve it - seeing as Arden scorns those who play by the rules. This may be a bit tricky from Amazon, though.