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David

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A compelling fantasy novel

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-07-2020

I think my issue with this book is an issue I have with most books of this genre. There is a compelling question, drawing me in, with thoughtful arguments. But as soon as I leave Epstein’s world of ultra intelligent / effective / successful / perfect human case studies, and I try to fit his conclusions to the actual world that exists before me, it becomes apparent how vapid and meaningless his thesis is. Focusing exclusively on the 0.00001% of people who achieve greatness is a textbook example of confirmation bias. It doesn’t examine whether similar people who made similar decisions achieve abject failure or silent mediocrity. The longer the book went on, the less I was confident in his assertions, because even if he isn’t cherry-picking examples to fit what he wants to say, he’s certainly cherry-picking by focussing on people who have really made a name for themselves. And the longer the book went on, the less I was able to identify with his points, because his examples of stand-out people are by definition not most people, and surely not me. This book is a fantasy novel. Sure, it’s written in the style of pop psychology / sociology / business, but don’t be fooled, it’s still a fantasy novel. I enjoyed the main character, because I tend to be the sort of person that exhibits range in my life. Does that make me more likely to be successful? Probably not! Are you not that sort of person? It probably doesn’t matter! If you’re looking to get absorbed into an amazing world where everyone is Somebody Important And Amazing, this book is a real page-turner. And it does explore interesting questions in a digestible way. Who says fantasy novels can’t deal with real-world issues? I only advise against reading this under the impression it’s non-fiction. This book doesn’t tell us how the world, or humans, or you really work. It would be refreshing if authors like Epstein could be honest about this, but that’s not how this cottage industry works. When you close the pages of Range, no matter how enthralling a story, you must face the fact that your broom is certainly just a broom, and you are not Harry Potter.

6 people found this helpful

This is from 2005

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-07-2018

These lectures are good but who knows how research has progressed since. Unfortunately The Great Courses leave out the date the lectures were given from their description, and its a little misleading that its stated they were “released” in 2013. So FYI this is from 2005.

19 people found this helpful

Great book, terrible narration

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-05-2018

This is the second Holiday book I've read, and he's certainly improved as a writer. I was captivated by the narrative throughout, and even though there's perhaps a little too much analysis the paving was good enough to keep me enthralled. But Holiday. Stop. Reading. Your own. Books. Your pauses. Hurt. My ears. You are far. Too. Monotonous. You are not. A good. Narrator. I don't know if it's a cost saving tactic, but it really doesn't make me want to read another of your books. Overall a great read, I can't deny that. I'm glad I got the book. But geez Holiday you make it a difficult decision.

3 people found this helpful