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What's stopping me liking this book?
on 3 January 2013
I normally enjoy a good self-help book so feel a bit embarrassed to write that I didn't really enjoy this book. The premise is that there is a certain group of people who fear failure, leading them to avoid confronting their career desires and developing to their full potential.
Though I can certainly see the logic of this, for me, the book had two main problems. One is that personally I didn't warm to Robert Kelsey and his own story (though lots of other reviewers did, I notice with relief). Kelsey writes a lot about his struggles to deal with his career in finance and then writing and publishing a novel and I found it a bit hard to really feel for him as a 'under-achiever' when clearly he has achieved a lot (he now runs his own PR company).
Secondly, and for me more serious a criticism: I felt that much of the text was made up of sections from other self-help books. Kelsey is totally open about this - he quotes from writers he finds inspirational, studies and statistics too, but I just felt that it ended up feeling a bit like a compilation or review of other books without much to amaze, enlighten or interest me.
The irony is that in all the case studies he gives absolutely grounded, intelligent advice to the people he deals with and I imagine that in real life I would find him convincing and charming. But I just didn't really like the book.