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on 20 February 2012
I think this is an important book. It picks up a trend that started in the last century with Charles Handy talking about "Cloverleaf" structures, annd grew quietly into this century with books from others increasingly concerned about the assyemtric and unsustainable nature of "growth", such as Porritt's "Capitalism as if thev World Mattered", and Umair Haque's "New Capitalist Manifesto" and "Betterness"
What Alan Moore does really effectively is create a bridge from this thinking to the observations and thoughts of people like Seth Godin, Stephen Pressfield, Derek Sivers and John Hagel to paint a picture of how to add the "What" and "How" to the very large "Why" he describes. The book is well written, thoroughly researched and is a great base refence source for those of us interested in and committed to helping enable the change he foresees. I found his references to Richard Sennet particularly helpful, as I find the analogy to Craft in the way we work compelling.
Perhaps most valuable of all is his synthesis of his arguments into six clear, actionable areas that give us, individually and collectively an outline of how to start getting "unstuck".
In conclusion, and to repeat; this is an important book.

Richard Merrick
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on 8 October 2013
The future of capitalism / economics / how we live is a fascinating topic. I'm hugely interested in people who take steps in this most difficult area - to start on a positive tone a great example is the Ellen MacArthur foundation.

According to the 'about the author section', Alan lectures at Judge and Said business schools, and is 'a great distiller of complex arguments into their most salient points'.

So this book promises a lot - a great topic and a seemingly great author. Yet what the book delivers is meaningless in the truest sense of the word.

I'm not saying the author is wrong. It's worse than that - I can't argue for or against the author as it's completely unclear what he is arguing. Even what topic he is on jumps all over the place, including lofty economic theorem and how the future of digital technology will affect us. And it's far less clear what it is he's proposing to better it with.

Where you want definition and clarity, you get long circular sentences. Where you want evidence, you get half-argued stories. It's not that the topic is big, or that the arguments are complex - if you can't make yourself clear it's because you do not know what you are saying.

Random examples are mentioned without supporting evidence or valid conclusion. Ones that spring to mind:
+ The connection between hospital management targets (presumably 'linear' thinking though it's never defined exactly what this means) and outbreaks of MRSA is potentially fascinating, but not backed up by any data or evidence, so why include?
+ A chapter begins with the tale of a chap stating Harry Potter is rubbish before realising he had been listening to a narrated version with his iPod on shuffle, and he could not fathom what a shuffle function would be for. Really? So what?
+ An example given as to how open-sourced business models can localise and share profits cites a car manufacturer... which when you look at their website sells cars for $100k. Fantastic, maybe there is something in this, but how is this applicable to the 99% of the world who don't live or work in such niche areas of wealth?

The writing is rambling and incoherent. The style has a lot in common with religious or cult books (reminds me of reading Gurdjieff or the philosophy in the last Matrix film): it promises enlightenment and throws plenty of barbs at the world, while never actually stating anything.

Really disappointing. Great topic. Really bad book.
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on 3 December 2012
This book is packed with thought-provoking anecdotes and references to a wide range of contemporary literature on managerialism, markets and the pursuit of happiness. If you ever wondered why your work is getting more and more stressful, joyless and pressurised (private or public sector) then this book has some insights for you. Better still, the author doesn't just paint a bleak no-hope picture: he describes the ways in which we (individually and as a society) can navigate a better way forward. 'Craftsmanship', openness, adaptability and accepting non-linearity (hence the title) seemed to me to be the keywords. Somehow the message needs to be condensed and made into a creed for politicians.
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on 1 June 2012
It's clear that Alan Moore has poured his heart and soul into this book, which manages to combine his considerable passion with a pretty astonishing collection of stories and examples from around the world. As well as being thought provoking, it has a strong moral backbone that you can like or dislike but can't ignore. It is, in part, a polemic but you don't have to agree with the author to find his ideas and examples engaging and generative.
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on 4 April 2012
No Straight Lines is a fascinating read and most importantly, one that provokes many moments of contemplation about one's current state and the possibilities in the future.

It resonates strongly if you sometimes feel overwhelmed by sheer pointlessness/selfishness/greed of so much political, social and corporate activity and by the prevaling dictum that everything must be managed from the top. Moore argues strongly and convincingly that this need not be so - indeed he shows just how effective things can be in an alternative world that is increasingly co-operative and participatory and explores what really motivates and incentivises production, effectivness and happiness in so many of us.

Perhaps the book's only flaw is that I thought it a little impenetrable in the opening pages, certainly if it were being read by someone approaching this genre of literature for the first time. Nevertheless, once we start to explore the real-world cases beyond the theory, the flow is easy and the book is hard to put down.

Highly recommended
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on 15 November 2016
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on 2 June 2012
A book well worth reading not only if you work in the world of marketing and management, but also if you have any interest in the changing political, economical and social environments around us. No Straight Lines will no doubt be referenced by many in the future due to its firm grasp on the important elements reshaping our world. Appropriate examples are given of companies and individuals who are adapting to the changing world. A great book highlighting the step change we need sooner rather than later.
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on 17 August 2012
I really enjoyed this book. It has an energy and an insight that I find compelling. Alan is obviously a very smart guy who is happy to play with different perspectives and provoke with surprising angles. Its a creative and punchy journey and I feel all the richer for it. Hopefully it will help me Shine brighter with some thoughts most won't have.
Nice work fella!
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on 26 November 2012
Great book to inspire new thinking & a new way to look at the business world. I just got a bit jaded towards the end - I'd kind of got it 80% of the way through, that's all.
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on 20 May 2012
To observe the situation of our society, objectively, requires a special eye and ear, not necessarily a degree (which the author propably has). We're on the edge of something but we don't know what. I think you're shaking up the matrix, Neo. A great book, an eyeopener!
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