I’m going to begin at the end and tell you that I dislike these books – both of ’em – and frankly, all books that do this. What is “this”? Well, lemme tell ya:
In both cases, an original book was written:
Both were bestsellers and (mostly) beloved, depending on who you ask. If it was me, for example, loved them!
Both books had a limited number of … we’ll call them “things” to learn, believe, do or notice. You, the reader, will be better for it. Or at least, wiser. The End.
Not so fast, Speedy! Because later.
What happened later? Oh, lookie!! We found more!
Or did we?
And who is this “we” I speak of? The authors of the books, of course!
I would suggest that new “things” were NOT in fact found, but manufactured to sell more books.
Did I say that?
It’s not a whole new book, which would (of course!) be fine. It is an extension of the first… that was, remember, a bestseller… and we wish to recapture those numbers, that money, those sales… er, I mean, that feeling.
I know it’s not really fair to James Redfield or Don Miguel Ruiz (and his co-author son Don Jose Ruiz) but that’s how I feel about it. They may feel free to slam my books when (if) they come out and cross their desks.
That said, here are my thoughts about the books.
The Tenth Insight felt like it was written – or perhaps edited – by a completely different person. The writing was miles (and miles and miles) further along than its predecessor, which stunk on ice. The content was great, the writing was terrible! The 10th of the insights is simply holding the vision of the first nine. There, now you don’t need to read it. You’re welcome.
Oh my gosh, I’m getting snarky in my old age!
The Fifth Agreement is a pumped-up version of its predecessor and there’s nothing wrong with it except everything.
I bet you can name one or more of The Four Agreements or at least give me the gist (like, “Don’t take anything personally”). Pssst: Don’t worry if you can’t, they’re rehashed extensively in the first 97 pages of the second book.
Anyway, can you name the 5th Agreement or even give me the gist? Yeah, me neither.
Please twiddle your thumbs while I go find it.
Okay, here it is, as it follows the first four:
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
- Be skeptical but learn to listen
Now, you tell me… does that make sense there? I mean, on its own, yes. It pays to be skeptical. I guess. Kinda? Actually, I say, no. Just no.
I feel like these two books were each a cash grab banking off the first(s) and not very good ones at that.
This is probably the snarl-i-est I’ve ever been on a blog post and really, I do NOT like giving icky reviews. But I gotta be honest. Don’t waste your time on these. Stick with the originals and you’ll be just fine.
PS: If you must read them, they’re both heading to my local thrift store this week.