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Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not as helpful as I had hoped, 4 April 2010
This review is from: Freeing Yourself From The Narcissist In Your Life: At Home, at Work, with Friends (Hardcover)
I purchased this book to evaluate and then hopefully to pass on to someone who is struggling with a relative who is somewhat narcissistic. The book (as its write-ups say) is filled with interesting case studies which helpfully reveal and highlight narcissistic tendencies. For some, that will be good enough reason to buy the book.

However, ultimately, I found the book disappointing for five main reasons:

Firstly, it consciously focusses almost entirely on "high-level" or "super" narcissists who manifest the various narcissistic tendencies in their more extreme forms. It also mostly deals with those in positions of considerable wealth, power or influence. But most of us -- my contact included -- are likely to encounter narcissism in a less extreme form and such situations are covered only very briefly, though it could be argued that the same extreme tendencies would simply be manifested in more diluted form.

Secondly, the book was relatively very thin on what its title conveyed: how to handle, even be free from, the power of a narcissist, and my contact needs a good deal of practical help in that department. In all, three sections are designed to help you recognize and understand the narcissist, which is indeed helpful, but when it comes to other practical measures, the one final section basically says: "OK. You know the narcissist. Now know yourself and to yourself be true. Oh, and I also recommend various practices of Eastern religions to keep your own equilibrium."

Thirdly, although the case studies were helpful and very interesting, their contents were frequently repetitive, the same points being made repeatedly.

Fourthly, although the book consciously does not set out to probe deeply into the psychological origins, it really does treat that domain quite superficially and while indicating that there are several possible reasons for the development of narcissism, generally only focusses on one.

Finally, the book is written in a rather overly graphic style that initially engages the reader, but by the end, I found to be less than fully helpful.

Will I pass the book on as planned? Yes, but with some clear disclaimers.
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