- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1186 KB
- Print Length: 53 pages
- Publisher: TED Conferences (18 July 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008JGSLGC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #378,166 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Cheating The Impossible: Ideas and Recipes from a Rebellious High-Wire Artist (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition
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If you've seen his TED Talk (I will provide a link in the comments section of this review), you'll know a lot of what Cheating The Impossible has to offer. Petit is a self-described man of passions, and this Kindle Single stresses his role as an artist above all else. Each brief chapter offers a musical accompaniment, literary suggestions, and the essay is littered with colorful photos and art. These additional bits do well to bring the reader into the mind of Petit, who, as it comes across, is constantly inspired by different media of art. Many of the lessons here (combining intellectual and physical efforts) can be extrapolated into almost any artistic arena, and need not only apply to walking on a high-wire. Petit is constantly pushing the limits of what is possible, and Cheating the Impossible focuses primarily on the kind of attitude needed to pull it off.
One of the things I really enjoyed about Cheating the Impossible is its voice. Where some ghost-written books eliminate some of the storyteller's voice, this Kindle Single is rife with Petit's manic, passionate voice. Both great in their own rights, TO REACH THE CLOUDS and MAN ON WIRE don't quite capture Petit's sense of storytelling like Cheating the Impossible does.
I would recommend this to anyone who loved MAN ON WIRE, his TED Talk, or anyone interested in diving into the mind of a man inspired enough to walk between the World Trade Center. It's a brief read (not too brief), and well worth the price.
(Additional release information:)
Readers would do well to view Cheating the Impossible on a color-enabled reading device. While not imperative, it will be needed to experience the color in many of the vivid photographs included herein.
Before each chapter, Petit recommends a song to listen as a backdrop to the story. I took the suggestion for one section and listened to Sting's "Let Your Soul be Your Pilot" while reading about the essential virtues of patience and virtue in achieving anything worthwhile in life. The trick worked. The song combined with the text turned the experience into one of artful introspection an intellectual exploration. It's a worthwhile idea that I've never seen done in a book before, and just one example of the many experiments he makes within the brief text.
The book is essentially a "self help" book, but the form of the text itself adopts the kind of joyful persistence he advises, contrasting with the businesslike tone of most such books. For Petit, solving problems and overcoming obstacles are things to be done for the sake of doing them, rather than for the external rewards they may bring. With each task achieved we are making our spirits wider, wiser, and more worthwhile.
Petit's obsession with the realization of impossible dreams is infectious. I put the book down feeling wholly inspired.
No passage in the book communicated his intent more clearly to me than the story he told about a woman he saw cleaning the floor in a Bombay airport.
This woman was crawling on her hands and knees across the airport, picking up every bit of detritus, from cigarette butts to strands of lint, and then placing each handful into a trash receptacle. Petit watched her work at her task undisturbed for three straight hours.
The lesson he garnered from the experience as that no task was impossible. If we focus with absolute conviction upon the next minuscule task ahead of us, we will achieve any larger goal composed of those smaller objectives.
In that way, a woman can clean up an entire airport by hand; likewise, a man can fly across the ocean, break into a skyscraper, and walk a tightrope between them.
I put the book thinking about the things I have left to do to achieve my own impossible dreams. Following his advice, I let the larger obstacle fade away, and focused all of my attention and intention instead upon the next tiny task at hand, understanding that in achieving that tiny task I am moving steadily forward towards my larger mission.
I recommend this book enthusiastically to anyone that is trying to make a dream happen. It will leave you more inspired, a bit wiser, and more confident that the impossible really is only a few small, precise steps away.
Jeff Suwak, Author
If you are looking for a book solely about that feat, this is not it.
At first read, the words were so deep they were hard to understand, but I stuck with it and was rewarded with great thoughts.
If you are willing Phillipe Petit's book will open a part of your mind and heart you didn't know was there.
My favorite part was his description of his first step onto the wire from the World Trade Center .
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