Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book:             The Optimist’s Creed


Author:          Gideon Mutai
Reviewer:     Vincent de Paul

Disclaimer: I am not a reviewer, needless to say a critic. Perhaps this is a perfect example of irony.

Even the strongest of chains has a weak point. I give both the strong and the weak points of a book, but that doesn’t mean I am a qualified reviewer/critic. I just do it – for fun? Perhaps. But mostly I do it because I owe my writer friends that. My feedback, even if uncalled for, would help my writer friend to improve.

Now, The Optimist’s Creed. The book begins with an encouragement. ‘Don’t give (your efforts would bear) and Don’t give in (to failure?)’. Well, don’t give up even if the book is boring, read till the last page perhaps it’d get better in the middle, and don’t give in to what? You need to read it.
One of the strong points that come out clearly is that the book is well researched (read the author plagiarized many writers) with quotes here and there from but not limited to famous writers, philosophers, and business people amongst others like Confucius, Aeschylus, Benjamin Franklin, Wander Carter, Albert Einstein, et al.

Bible allusions and religious leaders’ teachings like those of Rabbi Kushner bring in a blend of divine guidance and believe, the style is just captivating. The religious angle was brought in without the author preaching or propagating his religious beliefs.  

The language is simple and Gideon brought about the relatable aspects of everyday practices like team work and time management amongst others to show how one can achieve purpose through them. As the title suggests, it is the book every optimist should have. The pessimist would perhaps see light (of an oncoming train) at the end of the tunnel.

Now, the turn-off of the book. Right from a thousand miles away it screams self-published. Not with the missing front and back matter, widows and orphans (whatever they are) starting right from Pg.9 in the ‘About the Author’, and editorial mistakes amongst other things that make the book yell ‘I was not professionally born’ to the end.


Which is better, content or form? You are the judge. 

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