Todd N's Reviews > The 4-Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
267189
's review
Sep 06, 2009

it was ok
Read in January, 2008

Timothy Ferriss spoke at a management meeting last week where I work. A few of the managers came back pretty impressed, so I cadged a copy off of a manager and skimmed/read it one sitting Friday night.

The effect of this book is like being trapped in a room with a manic-depressive during the manic part of his cycle. Imagine a cross between Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys and a late-night infomercial. Then add a dash of narcissistic personality disorder to get an idea of the tone of this book.

This book is one in a series of books lately -- including Rich Dad, Poor Dad -- that damns the middle class for a lack of imagination as demonstrated by showing up for work every day and upholding the social contract, among other things. The middle class, far from being admired for being the people that the economy and that this country is built on, should be pitied as they pathetically roll down 101 in their Civics and Jettas to their white collar jobs. Why build a career when you could be selling can openers at a profit through the miracle of AdWords?

Offered as an example of the breakthrough thinking in this book is the time the author won a kickboxing championship by reading the rules, finding loopholes, and then winning on a technicality. It's hard to imagine an attitude further from the Renaissance concept of virtu than this.

The part of the book that I greatly enjoyed concerned "time management" and gave valuable tips on how not to be such a fucking patsy at work. I put "time management" in quotes because he believes that time management is part of the problem. He offers great advice on handling email (check only twice a day) and handling it (send clear if-then emails). He also gives great advice on how to make yourself valuable and productive enough to negotiate a better work-life balance, assuming you have the talent and energy to pull it off. But in this day of telecommuting, this is really less radical than he makes it sound. He makes a good case for quitting any job that doesn't allow working from home on a regular basis.

Another highlight of this book is a reprint of a hilarious article from Esquire about outsourcing personal chores to India. It's too bad that the rest of the book couldn't take on the same humorous and likable tone while making its sometimes valid points.

I guess you could sum up this book like this: "There's no TEAM in I."
325 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The 4-Hour Workweek.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

01/30/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by susan (new)

susan This is the type of book we used to be beaten over the head with by Managers at businesses I have worked. The author necessarily has a book full of information here-to-for unknown to brillent people such as himself. Many of these pep talk authors have a non-tenure track job at a good university, in this case Princeton. For some reason, every lecture I have been forced to sit through, is manic. Generally speaking, their advice is essentially worthless to the everyday person. How these people are able to trick "the Emporer" (managers) "that he has new clothes" when in fact he is naked, is far beyond my simple self. Oh yes, I forgot, he (the author) always assures everyone at the conference that if they are for some reason, unable to use his stellar information, it is their fault. All those that "get it" are the person's who this brillent book was meant. Enjoyed your review. Susan


Naveed And on top of that -- he's so generous in actually giving us a SCRIPT to use with our senior managers so we can launch into a virtual office based in Costa Rica!

This book is really only for those who ignore their own self-worth and need to be reaffirmed by someone likely not as good as they are - that there are choices in life other than what you're doing right now. Be creative - do it yourself. Great review Todd/Susan.


message 3: by Eric (new) - rated it 1 star

Eric I agree that the advice regarding time management was good, but then, they were actually borrowed from somewhere else. So I felt that this book had little original insights or content.


Петър Стойков Well said!


gina "Imagine a cross between Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys and a late-night infomercial. Then add a dash of narcissistic personality disorder to get an idea of the tone of this book." Well said! I'm listening to the audio book and I just keep thinking how much it sounds like a crazy narcissistic infomercial. It makes me feel the manic...it's oozing in through the head phones. Thank you for your review! It's dead on.


John I agree why build a career when you can be making a profit. If this was intended to be sarcastic, I think your more right in your statement than you realize.

Maybe not in your current paradigm, but for a generation that is not going to get "help" from social programs or the government it is. We don't have a middle class option. Be the employer or the employee, that's the choice.

Im not a fan boy of Kiosaki, I flat out disagree that you "get rich" with real estate anymore. But I do agree that you can't depend on an employer to give you everything. Why trade your time for money, I send my money out to make me money everyday.

I love your review of this book though. Thank you for your candor and honest review of the book, Ill skim it at the library or book store but not buying.


message 7: by Jessica (new) - added it

Jessica John, great comment on a great review!


message 8: by Michele (new) - added it

Michele Anderson Todd, did you read Rich Dad Poor Dad? It had a message about being an entrepreneur.


message 9: by Seth (new)

Seth Thanks for the head shake!


message 10: by Omcn (new) - rated it 2 stars

Omcn Well put! Although, my friends and I simply call this the "how to be an a$$hole book" :)


message 11: by Collin (new) - added it

Collin well played sir.


Matthew Turner Fantastic (and accurate) review. And Nathan, that is a brilliant alternative title for this book!


message 13: by Talia (new)

Talia Gee Your review is spot on. Exactly what I thought when I read the book. It's basically geared towards entrepreneurs and if you don't want to own your own business your worthless in the author's eyes.


message 14: by Talia (new)

Talia Gee Your review is spot on. Exactly what I thought when I read the book. It's basically geared towards entrepreneurs and if you don't want to own your own business your worthless in the author's eyes.


message 15: by Talia (new)

Talia Gee Your review is spot on. Exactly what I thought when I read the book. It's basically geared towards entrepreneurs and if you don't want to own your own business your worthless in the author's eyes.


message 16: by J. (new) - rated it 4 stars

J. Hopkin Very well put! I thought the first few chapters were good, but it I can't seem to finish this book. The Brad Pitt comment is so spot on perfect, lol.


message 17: by Deborah (new)

Deborah M Thanks for saving me the annoyance of reading a crappy book!


message 18: by Mike (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mike Hunt The author lost all credibility the moment he claimed he once lost 26 pounds in 18 hours (chapter 2). I could no longer take anything he said seriously or believe anything he said.


Петър Стойков Mike, you have to read his "4 hour body" - the nonsense there will make this one seem almost credible.


message 20: by Mike (new) - added it

Mike Wow. Impressive review. I think you should write a book. And I learned a new word "cadged". Thanks.


message 21: by Christine (new) - added it

Christine Great review, and I agree the author sounds like he wrote the entire thing in one epic manic phase without sleep. I'm surprised business managers would recommend this book to employees, since it tells you how to play hooky and outsource the work they hired you to do. It made me think though, and generated some ideas I just might pursue.


message 22: by Talina (new) - added it

Talina Leah Great review, Its always a strange feeling when you start to read a book you think might completely shift the way you think and do things. About a quarter in I felt less optimistic.
This review absolutely sums up the tone. I will continue to finish it in hope I can gain some better understanding around my bad work habits and flip it on it's head


message 23: by T (new)

T Not gonna read it now ;)


back to top