I applaud Chris Guillebeau for his efforts to collect stories and data from around the world and organizing them well instead of simply casting off advice and anecdotes from the top of his head. This book offers a really solid chunk of information and advice, focused on ordinary people, not superhumans or stellar idols, who were often motivated by unexpected life challenges or opportunities to start a business. The book is grounded in reality and connects with readers' aspirations. Excellent!
You can read and enjoy it just for the story line, which involves lonely characters who connect with one another in a world that has turned uncanny on them. Or you can ponder deeper metaphysical questions about reality along with the author and the characters.
I think you have to be an introvert and willing to suspend belief about abnormal events to appreciate what Murakami has to offer. But this work is rich, involving and perfectly constructed.
Don't be surprised when Murakami wins the Nobel Prize eventually.
I did not like this book one bit! It reads like an endless graduation speech. Superficial but trying hard to be profound and witty. The author is too flippant or sardonic about important topics for my taste. Maybe the book was designed to appeal to 20-year-olds, which I am not.
I adored "Norwegian by Night," as a charming mystery with vivid characters and lots of cultural insights. This sort-of-sequel was disappointing. There's some intercultural insight when the Norwegian characters come to the US, but the author brings in US race relations in a very heavy-handed way that spoiled the storytelling. Not a recommended read.
Please be aware before you order or buy this book that it has been fiercely criticized by many American Latino authors and critics for harmful stereotypes of Mexicans, for having taken some scenes from other authors and for having received a huge publishers' advance when Latino authors who have more authentic stories grounded in their own experiences and observations struggle to feed themselves. Yes, it may be an exciting story but completely from the American white person's point of view. Personally, I found it inferior to the Mexican-produced telenovelas I sometimes watch.
A lot of unexpected aspects to this book. Even if you've read a lot of spy novels, this one is different, in its premise, its hazy politics, its psychology and its plotting. Many surprises; many plot turns revealed in a single sly sentence here or there. The writing style is extremely confident and accomplished. I would read the next book by this author in a heartbeat!
This book is nowhere as solid as the same author's book "The $100 Startup," which was based on wide research and a broad range of examples. This one offers more of the author pontificating, using his own life and personality as exemplars and adding a few anecdotes about other people here and there. I am not sure who the intended audience is, and I didn't find it that useful or inspiring.
This is a picture book! I would not have ordered it had I realized that. It doesn't seem to be quite intended for grownups. I don't know who its audience was supposed to be. Thew book description claims it is a " a complete guide to more mindful travel," but how can it be complete when there are so few words in the book??