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Authors are not always the best people to narrate their own books. Fact. Here is a case in point. Maybe the paperback's really good, I don't know. But the audiobook is so rushed that it's almost impossible to get anything from it. The author / narrator starts off by telling you how each section is supposed to have action points and questions for you to go through to put his pearls of wisdom into practice. But he felt that it ruined the "flow" of his narration, so he's left all that stuff to the end. Listen to the whole thing first, then take action.
In doing so he's totally missed the point of how people use this kind of book. He whizzes through the book at such a pace, without pausing, that you can't actually take it all in anyway. Then if/when you do stick it out all the way to the end, he does the exact same thing with the action points and questions. Problem is that they're not put into context, so when he says something profound like "write a paragraph describing your secret self" you're thinking... "wait... what exactly is my secret self again?". Except if you're anything like me you really can't bring yourself to go back hunting through the audio to find out.
Add to that the super-helpful advice to "punch fear in the face". Well that's all very well but seriously, deeply ingrained personal fears about oneself do not, in practice, simply bugger off because you metaphorically punched them! I suspect that many people who click the "buy" button for this book will be left thinking "well how the heck do I do that?". Listen to Stephen Covey, Brian Tracey et al. Different ball park altogether.
I had high hopes for this book but it fell way short of the mark. I might even ask for my money back. Sorry & all that but very disappointing.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Start to be better than the print version?
John Acuff's personality and lighthearted approach brings the process of reinventing yourself into view much better than the print version.
What did you like best about this story?
The path to starting anew is not rocket science and the "One-Star" people are looking for the easy path that doesn't exist. The practical aspects of how to grow and develop are just that; practical. It isn't some voodoo like message of just believe and your dreams will come. They won't unless you get up and start taking action to improve your life and achieve your dreams. I went down the road to awesome once and it was awesome, at 47 I needed someone to say it is ok to start again. The difference is that at 22 most people are protected by their family and loved ones to start. In your 40s, most people feel that they should have figured it out. Start gives you the understanding that you can start again and you don't have to really go back to 22, you already have the knowledge and experience that the last 47 years have told you about where awesome is in your life, you just have to live it.
What did you learn from Start that you would use in your daily life?
To stop listening to the voices in my head. The fears and lies they tell do hold you back. Get them out into the open and you do see the absurdity of them.
The second things is that most of the answers you are looking for are right there in front of you, but you can't step back far enough to see them. Don't complicate the process, you don't have to 'start with the end carved in stone'. Start with your life today and move toward what you truly enjoy doing, everything will just start to fall into place.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Start?
Listening to an audiobook is one of the easiest ways a person can attain information, yet this audiobook somehow managed to make it feel like a chore.I really hoped to hear some useful ways to turn my work and experience into something greater than myself, i.e. "Do work that matters." Unfortunately START was so suffocated by pointless lackluster stories and name dropping that I completely lost track of why I purchased it in the first place (So you were on the news... Am I supposed to care? And what does that have to do with the purpose of this book again?).More importantly, Acuff as the narrator is the worst! His delivery reminds me of that cliche friend we all have, the one who thinks he's absolutely hilarious, reciting movie quotes and poor impressions, and we all just nod and put up with it because we've been friends since childhood. If I wanted a poorly written comedy, I would have purchased something by Tyler Perry. If I wanted adventure stories of an entrepreneur, I would have purchased Richard Branson's memoir. Stripped of all the filler, this book would be a pamphlet long, maybe a few paragraphs, or even just a quote that read, "Do you want to live an average life, or an awesome one?"For a book that claimed to "Punch Fear in the Face!" START delivered like a weak jab that missed the mark.
Has Start turned you off from other books in this genre?
Turned me off from this genre? No. START's poor performance just made me more wary of my selections in the future. I will ABSOLUTELY listen to a sample reading before purchasing another book of this kind. If I had listened to a sample of START before purchasing, I'd still have $13.95 in my pocket.
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
I appreciate Acuff's energy, but there's an unearned sense of overconfidence in his voice. If the material or substance was there to back it up, I'd be all for his delivery, I'd even give the tales of his "awesome life" a chance. Instead, I felt like I was listening to a D-list comedian trying to woo an empty night club. Maybe add some canned laughter or crickets in the background? You can use that zinger in your next book Jon.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
There were a few nuggets of actual useful material in the book, but really only stemmed from one basic concept: do you want to live an awesome life or average? Unfortunately anything redeeming was buried so deep under a thick gloss of pointless nostalgia and name dropping that I'd lose interest and tune out. I can't tell you how many times Acuff would be submerged in another story about how "awesome" his life is, and I'd think, "What the hell is he talking about? What does this have to do with anything? That really doesn't sound that awesome to me at all." I'm sure Acuff is the coolest/smartest guy he knows. Unfortunately his material isn't.
46 of 57 people found this review helpful