Title: Big Magic: Creative living beyond fear
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Date of Publication: 22 September 2015
Number of Pages: 288
Summary: Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.
Review: Contradictory, condescending, ego driven clap trap. I’m sorry. This book is all the reasons I don’t like self-help books (which this is even though Gilbert claims it’s not).
Big Magic might be just what some people are needing to read. For me it didn’t help and it certainly didn’t make me feel confident in my own creativity. It actually had the opposite effect. Some points;
– I don’t want to feel as though I’m being patronised by someone who keeps calling me “you guys”. I’m not Gilbert’s friend, I’m her reader. I don’t want a relationship with her and I don’t want to be addressed as though she’s some street smart kid talking to the boys.
– The idea that when she embraced another author her idea about the Amazon rainforest deserted her is load of claptrap. What universe is Gilbert living in?
– The self-effacing, faux modest, name dropping was a trope that didn’t work well at any point in the text.
– Conflicting ideas and motivations. Plumbers are necessary but art isn’t. Doesn’t that completely defeat the point of the entire book?
– If you’re going to write what is essentially an autobiography, you need to work really hard to keep the tone right. This book was all about Gilbert. Only about Gilbert and good grief didn’t we know it. Personally, I don’t like autobiographies. They’re dishonest and made up of anecdotes that make the individual look good. Not many are warts and all, to quote Cromwell.
– One reviewer states that the “level of bullshit reached astronomic proportions” and there is just no way to argue this point. It’s 100% true.
– I know I’ll be in the minority for not liking this book and I’m not going to apologise for that. I’m allowed to not like something I’ve read BUT if it does help someone achieve their potential that’s a very good thing.