It's up there. The narration was great, keeping one interested throughout the book. Really enjoyed how the narrator could adopt the tone of the various characters. The stories were great too, I just would have liked to see more contemporary examples of power plays. I read 33 strategies of war by the same author, so I knew the story was likely to be good, and I was not disappointed. Lots of vignettes and short chapters, so easy to pick up again if your attention wanders.
This is a book that I have been meaning to read for years. It was very close to what I expected it to be. I didn't expect it to be as contradictory as it was. Every law has a caveat. So laws only work up to a certain point then they backfire.
What I liked were the historical references, as I appreciated concrete examples. In the future I'll listen to it again and maybe I'll like it a bit more. Given that the manipulative aspect of so many of the 'laws' are so different from how I go about the world maybe I'm uncomfortable feeling so naive. I'll stay open to give it another shot someday as one never knows how one will feel. Also, it ended too abruptly.
Unlike many others who dislike the book I don't find the content immoral. It does spell out human nature accurately. However many of the stories are related and interpreted in a retrospective and highly arbitrary way. Did the manipulators and the executors of these tricks and strategies intentionally behave the way they did? Some sure did vast majority probably did not.
Their actions turned out well because of good fortune and retrospective reinterpretation. To deliberate apply these tricks would promise only disaster. Also it is ridiculous for anyone to assimilate these 48 laws- how much conscious effort must you possess? I believe mindfulness of your surroundings and a cultivated sensitivity (ability to read the air) are all you need to achieve success, effortlessly, without you even being aware of it, and often in a much more moral way without hurting as many people. For these reasons this is perhaps one of the most worthless books I have ever read because the idea of learning "social tricks"; promises functionality but is misleading in practice.
We Chinese have a saying, there are countless tricks/techniques to conquer the world, the highest one being a sincere and kind heart. It's too damn easy to be calculating and mean, it's next to impossible to remain sincere and kind. I guess that's where the real magic is.
If this is what you need to do to be powerful then, I'm out. It was all about make people believe your illusions and essentially lying to them. They even have a chapter adorably named "5 steps of cult making", yup five simple steps.
Once you get beyond 10 laws of anything,, what do you expect? This book is much more of an exhaustive treating of how power works than a "how to be powerful" self-help book. And the lesson the listener quickly learns is that power is highly situational, the laws of power are not mutually exclusive. They overlap in a complex landscape in which the author shares many stories about how things can go wrong. Any one law is later refuted by another law and it is never simple to know which one is the better way. This is not lost on the author. I believe this is much more of a reference book. An encyclopedia of power that one should keep handy and review every once in a while. Listening to it, front-to-back is not the best way to approach and appreciate this book.
This is an absolutely amazing book. It will help you to tell your true friends apart from people who just want to use you. It will tell when to give more to your employer, or when to tone down your enthusiasm. It will warn you about going too far in your quest for power.
If you really are a power-hungry maniac, this book will do just as much to help you reach your goals as it will if you are an average joe with no ambitions. I'm an idealist myself - I like to see the good in everyone and I don't like to think of myself as someone who wants "power" over other people. But that is not an excuse to avoid encountering the incredibly valuable information in this book. At the very least, it will keep you from making poor moves that will cause you to fall out of favor with others. At the most, you will be able to spot when someone else is playing "the game" and use their techniques against them.
I don't like to play the game myself; I don't think power is a game. But I sure as hell like to watch the people who DO live like it's a game spin their wheels as they try and fail to pin me down and make themselves look totally incompetent in the process. If you're an honest person and if you think rewards and status should be earned by merit and not by raw power or deception, then your reputation and character will go before you and these laws of power will walk behind you.
Don't use this book to grow in power for power's sake. This is a fool's errand, and ends in your annihilation. Rather learn the laws of power to attain mastery over your own spirit, and to defend against those who would prey upon your honesty and integrity.
This is excellent. I'm glad Robert Greene put this unabridged book out. Loved the many examples given. A must read for anyone truly interested in taking back control of their lives and understanding why people act and do what they do. ... A Masterpiece