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Customer Review

on October 6, 2011
So many people seem to miss the key points this book is trying to make...

1. Why are the references relevant? If it's sound advice, it matters not who gave it. You can agree or disagree with the point or analogy, but why shoot down Grayling for not telling you who it is you are disagreeing with...

2. Writing it in the format of the Bible is simply a stylistic choice. In the same way that the authors "Meaning of" series rarely has a chapter longer than 4 pages, the Bible-style chapter/verse system allows you to dip in and out of the text for nuggets of thought when you need them. As much as he could have strung the themes into a more obvious narrative, the book needn't be a start to finish thriller. It's a contemplative piece full of millennia old fruits of wisdom, and needed bash from start to finish like a Hollywood thriller.

3. Not everyone will see the significance of every allegory or nugget in the book. Being a compendium, I feel Grayling has been quite broad in his range of sources, and in doing so, was almost bound to find stuff that would be hit and miss for different parts of his audience. I myself have read verses that have seemed more pointless than others, indeed I very much doubt the author himself ranks every tale in his book on par. Just because it went over my head or didn't resonate doesn't make it a pointless entry. It means I'm thinking about it in the wrong way, or I haven't the points of reference to give the idea the right context

Anyway... The book is good. If you want something easier to pin down on it's directive, try his "Meaning of" series. If you want a worldly collection of historically significant ideas on life, but with the authors name referenced, try Alain De Bottons "Consolations Of Philosophy"
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