Michael's Reviews > Imagine: How Creativity Works

Imagine by Jonah Lehrer
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's review
May 29, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: nonfiction-reference, inspirational-hoohah
Read in May, 2012

One of those rich-with-cool-anecdotes-and-yet-ultimately-disappointing nonfiction books that, say, Malcolm Gladwell specializes in. Fun but not particularly deep. In that sense, the beautiful cover and case are a perfect reflection of the contents.

Reading books like this (like Gladwell's eminently readable throwaway Blink), you feel like you're learning something new, but for me, at least, it was more a confirmation/restatement of common sense feelings, or of things I'd read elsewhere/experienced firsthand. "What a great background story!" you think about, say, the way innovation is bred by unplanned interactions at Pixar! But that's been documented elsewhere (in Anthony Lane's great NYer profile of the company, say). Or you read about how visionary breakthroughs always come after a period of frustrated banging-of-head-against-wall, but that's common sense, right? But the anecdotes here are great, and the book reads speedily, so I suppose those are virtues. And it's nice to have this stuff all gathered in one easy to access prettily bound book.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Tony Kliment Common sense yes, but that seems to elude many people these days so it's good to get reminders.

message 2: by K. A. (new)

K. A. O'Neil Poor Malcolm. He's so palatable.

message 3: by Joe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joe Wilson I think where this book shines is that it brings insight into a practice that is already happening, though perhaps beneath the level of awareness.

It can serve either as a validation of what you already are doing, or as a set of guidelines by which you can tweak your creative process.

So yes, on the surface the main theses of this book seem obvious or common-sensical. At some point, though it is nice to aggregate those ideas and put them in print.

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