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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-09-18

A tremendous well of wisdom.

There's not much I can say about this book that has not already been said. It's brilliant.

Peterson has an uncanny ability to perceive and describe the fundamental psychological processes behind the problems afflicting both our society and ourselves as individuals. He diagnoses with laser precision the crises that has been created by the past 50 years of wrong-headed thinking about human nature and about social constructs. He knows how to write his ideas succinctly, and he offers both scientific evidence to back it up, and anecdotal evidence to make you remember it. His breadth of reading comes through strongly as he uses stories from the great religious, ethical and literary works of the past to illustrate fundamental truths about why we make the choices we do.

The author reads his own work - which turned out to be a good decision, and added to my enjoyment of it.

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-18

Cliched advice dressed as radicalism.

The author opens by confidently predicting the years following 2012 will be a "secular bear market". Not a good start.

There are IMO two different kinds of books about markets: those intended to to help you trade better, and those that bury you in analysis. This is the later. The author spends a long time bashing Mutual Funds and regaling you with "technology waves", "60 year cycles", "modern investment theory" and various other concepts that will be of very little use to you when you're sitting at your desk trying to decide what to do with your savings.

His criticism of efficient markets theory and "buy and hold" funds is valid, and introduced a few concepts I had not heard of before. But having spent most of the book doing this, he then unveils in the last coupe of chapters his grand solution ---------- (drum roll) ------------- buy "value stocks", and diversify.

After 10 chapters attacking conventional long-only equities funds, that was somewhat underwhelming. And if you want to learn value investing - I would suggest there are much better works on the subject out there than the very brief and inadequate treatment of it here.

Narrator is fine.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-09-18

Good blaggers guide.

A concise, clear and well laid-out introduction that will allow you to convince anyone who meet that you have in fact read the book.

Narrator was a touch robotic for my taste.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-09-18

Informative and opinionated.

I can't actually think of any reason why I would need to buy something of dubious legality over the dark-web, but it's good to know that after reading this book: I could do if I wanted.

In this book, Henderson brings his distinctive blend of technical expertise, nerdy references and libertarian rants to the subject of TOR and internet anonymity. I certainly learned a great deal, more than I will probably ever need to know about the subject of staying anonymous online, and frankly more than I really understood. It was undeniably fascinating. The author still spends too much time ranting about various authority figures he dislikes, but has managed to reign-in his habit from previous books of adding too many personal anecdotes.

The main message to take away is "You are the weakest link in any security system". A lesson applicable to everyone in a world where cyber security now has to be a major concern of every business, and organization. Even those who have nothing to do with the political dissidents and anonymity nuts Henderson is focused on.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-09-18

A powerful and entertaining tritise.

The latest edition of Covel's crusade to convert the world to trend following is a well-researched, well argued, and unashamedly partisan argument against the "buy and hold" mantra so popular in the mutual fund industry. Covel can be more than a little scathing about his critics and about some of the argument's used against trend-following, and his wit livens up a serious and compelling look at this particular strategy.

The numerous appendices and interviews in the 2nd half of the book are an diverse and rewarding addition to the main text, and I recommend the book to anyone interested in financial markets. Even if you don't think trend following is a fit for your trading personality.

Narrator is fine.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-07-18

Really good intorduction to the industry.

I've found the "Little Books" series to be somewhat hit and miss, but this one is a hit. It avoids the trap some of its sister books fall into of either skimming over too much material, or covering too little. Scaramucci provides a comprehensive introduction that will give you a much better idea how this vast industry operates, and dispels some of the common myths around it. He also explains some of the common strategies HF use and how they differ from traditional Long-Only funds.

Oh and if you're buying this to find out how to get into the industry, Scaramucci will provide some advice, but he will also give you some truths that will make you think very carefully about whether this is *really* what you want.

Narrator is fine.

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-07-18

Lots that's interesting but hard to digest.

I struggled a bit with this book, not because the information isn't worth a listen for those interesting in financial markets, but because it lacks shape and focus. I've listened to it twice and it feels like four hours of almost random sentences, many of which say something interesting, but with little that ties it all together and makes it coherent and memorable.

I'm sure it's a style that will suit someone out there, but I found it unsatisfying despite the authors obvious knowledge in the field.

Narrator is fine.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-07-18

A lengthy, but rewarding listen.

I came to this with slight trepidation partly due to its length, and partly because of Evan's well known feud with one of my favorite historians, Niall Ferguson. I'm glad I made the effort though. As with every historian, Evan's brings his own perspectives and biases to the table, but I didn't find his views became hectoring, or were ever less than well argued.

I won't pretend it was easy to get to the end of this 42 hour marathon, but you certainly can't say you don't get your money's worth. Evan's manages to cover a truly astounding array of aspects of 19th century European existence: everything from diplomacy, to the to the rise of organized sports, to the development of psychoanalysis and even what it was like to take a journey along Europe's roads of the period. Every subject seems well researched and cogently written, and Evans has a good eye for the absurdity and farces of history, which help to lighten a heavy-weight historical work. I came away feeling I had a much better understanding of the human beings who lived through this extraordinary time of change, what moved them to make the decisions they made, and support the causes they supported.

I know a lot of reviewers disliked the narrator - but I found his rich, fruity voice a pleasure to listen to.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-07-18

"It was quite simply a very bad plan"

There has been a long debate over whether the disaster at Arnhem was the result of a bold plan that didn't come off, or a foolish plan that was unlikely to ever work. Beevor nails his colours firmly to the latter position, and lays the blame squarely at the feet of the British senior commanders, who came up with a plan that ignored basic problems of geography and supply: and seems to have been dictated as much by political as military concerns.

I came away from this dreary story full of admiration for two groups. The British paras who showed astonishing resilience and tenacity in the face of vastly superior German forces: and the Dutch civilian population who displayed unstinting humanity and generosity in spite of the hardships they themselves were enduring. The Poles also deserve an honorable mention, despite having been unfairly blamed by some for the failure.

I expect high quality history from Antony Beevor, and high quality narration from Sean Barrett, neither disappoints here. Beevor taps non-British sources to give a wider and more complete picture of events, and combines traditional operational history with a sympathetic, but never mawkish sensitivity for the very ordinary people caught up in the vast calamity that was world war two.

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-06-18

OK, but covers too much ground too quickly.

This is another book that zips over the whole landscape of finance, from debt reduction, to personal investing to macro-economics in just a few hours. A lot of the material is solid (although it can all be found more fully elsewhere) but nothing is really covered in enough depth to give real understanding.

Narrator is a bit dull IMO.

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