Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative” as Want to Read:
A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,155 ratings  ·  132 reviews
This is the 25th anniversary edition of the creativity classic by Dr. Roger von Oech.


Over the years, A WHACK ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD has been praised by business people, educators, scientists, homemakers, artists, youth leaders, and many more. The book has been stimulating creativity in millions of readers, translated into eleven languages, and used in seminars around th
...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 5th 2008 by Grand Central Publishing (first published February 1st 1973)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,155 ratings  ·  132 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Mary
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book to always come back to. When I am in a slump and not feeling "it" I turn to Roger Von Oech. A mentor 16 years ago highly recommended this book. It is one of the well worn books on my shelf!
Tatjana
Jun 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Tatjana by: No One
I read this book in a couple of hours.
It's an older book that has been on my shelves for an age. Maybe two ages. It's the 1983 version and lacks the slick, over-designed look of today's books. It has comments by people relevant at the time. In fact, it was from a time when our industries were still relevant. Before we started truly believing that Americans are no longer innovative industrialists.
This book made it clear to me what thinking has made it so.
This book also made it clear how I've part
...more
Steven Cole
Sep 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I read this because Mark Rosewater (of Magic the Gathering fame) recommended it in a number of his podcasts.

It's sort of a self-help book for people who want to be more creative. Or a study in the whys and wherefores of creativity. And if you're truly in a position where constantly reinventing your approach to become essentially institutionally (or even industrially) creative, this book has a lot of great approaches.

For the rest of us... It's nice to look back on when we're stumped about stuff,
...more
Karen Burton
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of all the "how to" books I've read, this is the one that really stuck with me. I often think of the simple principles so vividly presented in this book, and employ them at every opportunity. Stuck in a rut? Drive a different way to work, take a different set of stairs, shop the grocery store in the opposite direction of the way you normally go. Most memorable is the exercise in looking at common, every day experiences in a new way. For example, a revolving door as a merry go round. I read this ...more
Kathleen
Jan 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was honestly an awesome book I read after it was given to me from a work colleague. It helps you look at things differently, problem solve differently, etc. I think this would be a great tool for anyone in any field of work- from real estate, to legal work, to being a stay at home mom. It's an easy read and one that can be read quickly-
Judy
Feb 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a wonderful book for anyone - teachers, office workers, students, salesmen - anyone can get something helpful out of spending a little time with this book. It gives you methods for looking at problems from outside the box - WAY outside the box in some cases! But it can help you break out of the, "we've always done it this way..." solutions to problems!
Eric Maziade
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved that one. I bought a few extra copies and gave to a few of my most creative friends.

This book gives a few tricks to unlock creative potential, as well as guidelines on how and when to use your creativity.
Michael
Feb 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended for everyone. If God is the Creator and we're made in His image, then to be creative is to be more like God. This book is a fun and practical guide to awakening and encouraging your creative side.
Stacey
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lots of tips and strategies for jump-starting your students' creativity.
Carl King
Dec 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a classic. I don't know what else to say, but definitely read this if you intend to have a creative career.
Cristobal
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Don Gubler
Aug 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: improvement
Lots of good ideas on how to be creative and improve your creative thinking.
Todd
May 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100-best
This book was included in my book: The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. www.100bestbiz.com
Steve
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I re-read it every few years. It makes me feel centered and is a wellspring of great ideas.
Rhys Leclair
Jun 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: creativity
Very approachable in that you can basically open to any chapter and jump right in. Also check out the "Creative Whack Pack" cards, great for brainstorming.
Tom Bentley
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a fair amount of posts on LinkedIn, Medium and other sources on productivity and creative thinking (which is probably why I don't get around to being productive). So, when I see that this book, written 35 years ago, espouses the same themes of listening to your unconscious, bending the rules, being willing to be foolish, and so many other axioms of accessing your creative self, I understand that these contemporary scribes have been drawing on the original gangster of innovative thinking, ...more
Shhhhh Ahhhhh
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My new primer of choice on the subject of creativity. Excellent advice and great practical examples. I wouldn't go back to this to annotate it but I would recommend it to anyone looking to have more and better ideas. Especially interesting is the unstated (but obvious) cross-section between the 4 creativity archetypes Von Oech lists (warrior, judge, artist, explorer) and the 4 main masculine archetypes from Jung (king, warrior, magician, lover), as well as Von Oech's discussion on using randomne ...more
Robin
It's a quick read, and probably a useful refresher. I didn't enjoy it much, mostly because I'm currently experiencing a creative block and reading this book just made me uncomfortable. I think that's good and healthy, hence the three stars, but it just felt like forcing myself to eat my vegetables at the moment. Definitely dogeared a few pages as reminders to myself though, and hopefully I can get out of my rut soon.
Yudhistira Adriansyah
Truly one of a kind from all of the "how to" book i've read so far. The author gives us a chance to play with our mind, that to be more creative you need to become your young-curious-self. To see the problem from a different angle. To seek the answer from an unthinkable place. It was fun. Reading it bring a smile to my face
Prabhu R
A nice entertaining book. You get to learn a lot of interesting facts from history that the author has collated to explain the different scenarios in the book. Overall, a good book and a quick read too!
Brooke
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-adult
It took me awhile and many different attempts to get through. There is definitely some good and relevant info in it- for problem solving and becoming more creative. It’s just not my flavor of book. But I can see how others would find it very beneficial.
Henrique Alves
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
An insightful and humorous approach on creativity, even if somewhat repetitive when read in a short amount of time. Not sure about the older editions, but the 25th anniversary one has beautiful illustrations through the whole book.
Frank
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
평이 좋아서 읽었는데 별로였다. 헤라클레이토스 명언집을 구해서 읽어봐야겠다는 정도.
Mary Kelly
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun, fast and innovative. I love the drawings and the ideas are pretty good too. I highly recommend it.
Leigh Freeman
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty cool ideas for stimulating creativity - worth the read
Oleg Paralyush
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It contains actionable advises nearly on each page. Read it and go create.
Ryan
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun and easy book about breaking through routine patterns of thinking and finding our creativity. Very insightful, if a bit silly.
Susan
May 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Rather disappointing. I am not sure why people still recommend this book. Most of the information is commonplace now. Dated.
Milind Nair
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite illuminating

Find the second right answer
Rules need to be challenged
Hats to be worn by innovators
Use of paradox and metaphors in thinking
Hardy Bazyani
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
a very easy read..
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. "Updated for 90's" creativity nonfiction [s] 2 16 Jan 10, 2015 12:05PM  
  • Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques
  • Moments of Truth
  • Jump Start Your Business Brain: Scientific Ideas and Advice That Will Immediately Double Your Business Success Rate
  • Handbook of Creativity
  • The Zen of Creativity: Cultivating Your Artistic Life
  • How to Get Ideas
  • The Age of Unreason
  • Up the Organization: How to Stop the Corporation from Stifling People and Strangling Profits
  • Sparks of Genius: The Thirteen Thinking Tools of the World's Most Creative People
  • Think Better: An Innovator's Guide to Productive Thinking
  • Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas
  • The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All
  • Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will
  • Discovering the Soul of Service: The Nine Drivers of Sustainable Business Success
  • Use Both Sides of Your Brain: New Mind-Mapping Techniques
  • Serious Play: How the World's Best Companies Simulate to Innovate
  • Caffeine for the Creative Mind: 250 Exercises to Wake Up Your Brain
  • Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity as Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Gandhi
“Flexibility is a requirement for survival.” 9 likes
“It's difficult to get your creative juices flowing if you're always being practical, following rules, afraid to make mistakes, not looking into outside areas, or under the influence of any of the other mental locks.” 5 likes
More quotes…