Top critical review
38 people found this helpful
I've had enough of this book!
on 18 June 2011
I recently read this book as it was suggested by someone in my bookclub, they said how it was inspiring and they carried on reflecting on it etc. Unfortunately I didn't find it inspiring,didn't think it was particularly well written, and can't fathom why it has such outstanding reviews. My main grievances with the book are as follows:
- It is essentially a book of common sense. Nothing he says is new, and what is new is superflous.
- The author occasionally comes across as smug.. particularly when he purposely goes to an all you can eat chinese and gives 'unsubtle' glances at the fat people, while he boasts of his self-control
-Although I agree with the concepts in essence, there are times when he just gives bad advice. The most infuriating piece of advice was where he tells you that if anyone sends you a high priority email, you should 'delete it without reading'- I mean if it's important enough they will email again apparently- how dare they push in your email queue! What sheer arrogance. It may well be different in the world of journalism, but in my world (academia), prioritisation of emails is a useful tool that more often than not is of benefit to you not to the person sending it.
- The book focuses too much on lack of consumption etc and briefly touches on the fact that the economy would collapse if people did practice 'enoughism', but doesn't provide any solutions other thant the fact that experts should be working on this. It's not exactly inspiring. The focus should have been more on plausible methods for balancing disparity between 3rd world countries and ours, rather than 'stop consuming', since this is not going to resolve the worlds problems on its own.
-Finally I think the book is much longer than it needs to be. It is largely a repetition of the same point over 200 odd pages (what a waste of paper and resources etc!).
I can only assume that the positive reviews reflect the fact that only the type of people who already agree with anti-consumerism, materialism etc buy this book and feel affirmed by reading it. While I agree with the sentiments, it is very wearing being told how inadequate our behaviour is and how we can't possibly be happy etc. It creates a sense of guilt that I don't think is necessarily fair. If the author really believes all these things he should chuck in his western life, give all his money away and go and live in Africa.