This isn't really a book, it's a marketing scheme. It reminded me of the thousands of other rah-rah self-help books that used to flow across my desk oThis isn't really a book, it's a marketing scheme. It reminded me of the thousands of other rah-rah self-help books that used to flow across my desk on their way to the half-priced book store. It's message isn't something we haven't heard before: accentuate the positive, don't let the bastards get you down, if you see yourself doing it, you will achieve it. It's all wrapped up in a rather silly premise of a failing businessman who's forced to ride a bus for two weeks while his car is in the shop for a brake problem. Now, if you pay a mechanic to spend two weeks fixing your brakes, you need more help that this book can give you, but I digress.
The driver of the bus and the other occupants have all the answers George needs to save his marriage and his career, although little of the book explains how his home life improves. In fact, by the end he's staying at the office until 2 a.m. and having the time of his life. His wife thinks this is great, which makes me wonder if she's having an affair. Another annoying thing about this book: Joy, the bus driver, lapses into poorly constructed black dialect or idioms frequently. Dialect is a dangerous tool for any writer, and Jon Gordon definitely needs to steer clear of it. His well-off white guy view of the sassy African-American working stiff wise of the ways of the world does for race relations what "Pretty Woman" did for prostitution. Joy has all the answers, but she keeps driving the bus because she wants to, don't you see. She's so busy feeding the positive dog, yes, that's a term from the book, that she happily sends the white guys off her bus to make five times what she does using her advice.
Then again, writing and characterization isn't really Gordon's forte. Marketing is. The book frequently touts a web site where you can send bus tickets to your coworkers so that they can become "chief energy officers" like you. This is a clever way of plugging the book to the uninitiated. But it's marketing with little substance.
As with all of these types of books, there's some good ideas here that we generally know but never hurts to have reinforced. It would be more fun to spend an hour listening to words of wisdom from an old uncle on the front porch while sipping tea in a rocking chair, but if you don't have a wise old uncle, you can slog through the Energy Bus in a couple of sittings. ...more
I lived in Dallas during the time of Fred Cuny's disappearance, but I never knew the details of the story. Scott Anderson weaves together a compellingI lived in Dallas during the time of Fred Cuny's disappearance, but I never knew the details of the story. Scott Anderson weaves together a compelling narrative that makes a strong case for his conclusions of what happened to the "Master of Disaster." In some ways, the book reminded me of James Neff's "The Wrong Man." While different topics, both authors use investigative journalism to pose an answer to a lingering question. The difference: Anderson conducted his research in one of the most dangerous places on earth. ...more