Read: July 25 – 29, 2013
I really wanted to like it. The basic premise of non-conformity is something that crosses my mind daily (I did move to Vietnam for 6 months and plan to work for myself) and something I completely agree with. Even with this bias going in, I was still extremely disappointed.
The book reads like one long blog post, or many blog posts strung together (there are many typos, some glaringly obvious). Chris’ writing style really turned me off from the start.
A large part of the book is spent dedicated to himself and his story. Yes its awesome that you’ve visited 193 countries, but we don’t really need to hear about throughout the entire book (he even mentions how he cut an entire section on travel hacking, thank goodness ). His motivation as stated, “I travel for the sake of travel itself” just seems wrong. How much can you really experience other cultures when you visit 193 countries before the time you are 35?
Chris even directly refers to his “amazon.com reviews” for the book which comes across as extremely tacky.
…I’ll deserve one-star reviews on Amazon.com…
…Amazon.com reviewers, here is your chance to nail me…
Chris general view on investing and saving money is dismissive and considered to be an unnecessary delaying of gratification. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have ‘struck it rich’ in the blogging popularity contest and gotten book deals out of it. In this respect I think his views are irresponsible and dangerous.
It is refreshing to read his take on how our work effects other people. I completely agree that the world is not a zero sum game. Success shouldn’t come at the cost of someone else. The most rewarding work is in fact that which helps others.
The book is short and its an easy read. I finished it in a couple of sittings. I agree with and try to follow most of the principles set forth in the book, but I did not like they way they are presented. Nothing is presented that can’t be read for free on hundred of travel and entrepreneurial blogs.
The Art of Non-Conformity was unfortunately a let down and not one I would recommend to anyone else.
Note: This post is part of my 26 Books in 26 Weeks Goal.