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Christensen’s parody of instant-wealth self-help books explains how “abnormally-white teeth and that house in Vail” can be yours—if you write your own success book.

With sharp tongue firmly in cheek, the author skewers those who strive to bring profundity to the gullible. Christensen studies the works of “the masters”—from Awaken the Giant Within to Outliers—and concludes that they “have more poetic devices than Alexander Pope ever dreamed of” and also make generous use of “white space,” as Christensen also does to humorous effect. The book riffs on the theories of Freud, Jung and Pavlov and stresses the importance of knowing a few key Latin phrases in case you find yourself stumped in a business meeting. The author even invents his own mantra: “Seek a Eureka!©” and equates the importance of work, education and inheritance with the odds of winning Powerball, picking stocks like Warren Buffet and raising rabbits. One section focuses on bogus visualization techniques aimed at the “achievable goal” of purchasing a “301-acre dream property in Fiji.” The book also offers 26 principles, which run from A to Z in clichéd self-help fashion. “The Atlas Principle” advises readers to be kind to those “several orders of magnitude larger than you,” while “The Zucchini Principle” states, “If thou of thyself hath abundance, thou shalt squash thy neighbors.” A discussion on the overuse of the word “paradigm” drives the author to pen a poem: “Ode to St. Stephen”—aka Stephen R. Covey, the author of the best-selling Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This astute, irreverent book closes “with a brief hint of spirituality” and an appropriately absurd index that’s clever enough to work as a stand-alone piece.

A wit worthy of Tom Robbins takes on the platitudes of Tony Robbins and his ilk.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1470177928
Page count: 200pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2013