A timely, authoritative portrait of a breakthrough company.



A business book offers an extended case study of the fitness phenomenon Peloton.

Miller tells this story utilizing an intriguing dual perspective—that of an academic with an interest in entrepreneurship as well as a self-described Peloton addict. After an amusing anecdote about how he was first introduced to a Peloton bike by his wife, the author gets down to business. He weaves together the tale of his own emerging enthusiasm for Peloton with an informed and thorough account of the company’s evolution. Even as Miller gets hooked on the Peloton system, he deftly relates the meteoric rise of the firm. Admittedly, it may seem difficult for the author to remain objective, so enamored is he of Peloton. But there is solid, substantive reportage here that should not be dismissed as merely a public relations ploy. On the contrary, Miller’s cleareyed observations of how and why Peloton has been so successful, particularly in growing a fanatical customer base, are salient and perceptive. In discussing Peloton’s trajectory, the author insightfully identifies attributes of the company’s business model that set it apart. One aspect he discusses is the clever combination of a piece of hardware (the bike and, later, other fitness equipment such as treadmills) with outstanding instruction. In fact, Peloton was originally unique in providing not just a stationary bike, but rich content for which users paid a monthly subscription fee. Miller rightly points out that the company effectively “merged two traditional models in the fitness space” with some modifications.

But Peloton went beyond that, developing “interactive, live instruction from some of the best instructors in the world. No one had tried this before.” This may well have been enough to distinguish Peloton, but the real differentiator, notes Miller, was community, which, he observes, “is unlike anything I have witnessed studying startups.” In fact, the community aspect of Peloton’s world is so unique that it pervades a number of chapters in the book. That is not a bad thing—Miller enthusiastically brings community to the forefront in discussing his own personal interaction with Peloton individuals and groups. He also profiles several “Pelo Celebrities”—not luminaries who do in fact use Peloton but rather “members who have become well known in the community.” The thumbnail sketches of these individuals, some of whom are social media stars, make for engaging reading. In addition to relating these personal anecdotes, the author is adept at assessing Peloton’s role in revolutionizing fitness specifically and business in general. But the content isn’t entirely positive; to his credit, Miller chronicles some of Peloton’s stumbles along the way, not the least of which include serious injuries and isolated deaths. Perhaps most intriguing is the author’s visionary thinking about the unlimited potential of Peloton’s future offerings. He believes Peloton “is on the path to fundamentally altering individual and societal approaches to health and well-being.” Still, serious challenges ahead cannot be minimized, as indicated recently in Peloton’s faltering profits, the resignation of its founder/CEO, and a round of layoffs.

A timely, authoritative portrait of a breakthrough company.

Pub Date: May 24, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-940858-97-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Ideapress Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller


The former iCarly star reflects on her difficult childhood.

In her debut memoir, titled after her 2020 one-woman show, singer and actor McCurdy (b. 1992) reveals the raw details of what she describes as years of emotional abuse at the hands of her demanding, emotionally unstable stage mom, Debra. Born in Los Angeles, the author, along with three older brothers, grew up in a home controlled by her mother. When McCurdy was 3, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she initially survived, the disease’s recurrence would ultimately take her life when the author was 21. McCurdy candidly reconstructs those in-between years, showing how “my mom emotionally, mentally, and physically abused me in ways that will forever impact me.” Insistent on molding her only daughter into “Mommy’s little actress,” Debra shuffled her to auditions beginning at age 6. As she matured and starting booking acting gigs, McCurdy remained “desperate to impress Mom,” while Debra became increasingly obsessive about her daughter’s physical appearance. She tinted her daughter’s eyelashes, whitened her teeth, enforced a tightly monitored regimen of “calorie restriction,” and performed regular genital exams on her as a teenager. Eventually, the author grew understandably resentful and tried to distance herself from her mother. As a young celebrity, however, McCurdy became vulnerable to eating disorders, alcohol addiction, self-loathing, and unstable relationships. Throughout the book, she honestly portrays Debra’s cruel perfectionist personality and abusive behavior patterns, showing a woman who could get enraged by everything from crooked eyeliner to spilled milk. At the same time, McCurdy exhibits compassion for her deeply flawed mother. Late in the book, she shares a crushing secret her father revealed to her as an adult. While McCurdy didn’t emerge from her childhood unscathed, she’s managed to spin her harrowing experience into a sold-out stage act and achieve a form of catharsis that puts her mind, body, and acting career at peace.

The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-982185-82-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

Did you like this book?