Freedom Is Blogging in Your Underwear Hardcover – Apr 26 2012
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“Hugh Macleod blah blah blah genius blah blah artist blah blah read this now!”
—–Seth Godin, author of WE ARE ALL WEIRD
“This book is a benevolent kick in the pants. Hugh loves you, so he won’t sit idly by while you drown your muse. Freedom is a gift. Open it. Go romp in the creative grass. And then write Hugh a long, tender thank-you note.”
—–Sunni Brown, leader of the Doodle Revolution and author of GAMESTORMING
“Hugh is once again dead-on right—–about blogging, publishing, thinking, and underwear. Nobody figures it all out and says it better with a few wonderfully terrifying pictures than Hugh. And I know: after all, I’ve written and drawn entire books in my PJs! (Shhh, don’t tell my publisher!)”
—–Dan Roam, author of THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN and BLAH BLAH BLAH
“The Web ninja-guru-maven faction has saturated our lives with books purporting to teach us how to succeed online. This irreverent book from Hugh MacLeod, filled with his trademark cartoons, will knock them off the shelf—for good.”
—–A. V. Flox, editor for BlogHer.com
About the Author
Hugh MacLeod is the cartoonist and acclaimed blogger behind gapingvoid.com and the bestselling author of Ignore Everybody and Evil Plans. After a decade working as an advertising copywriter, he started to publish his “cartoons drawn on the back of business cards” online, which eventually he turned into a full-time job. He is known for both his art and for his thoughts on marketing and has become a popular speaker.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
But the main reason why I'm giving this 2 stars is because of the actual content. See, Hugh MacLeod's previous books inspired me a great deal. I would write tons of ideas of the back cover, several of which I've used afterwards. In this book, I wrote nothing. I didn't feel inspired. I'm a blogger, so I can related to what Hugh is trying to say here, but the advice he gives is fair at best, and sometimes a bit far-fetched.
Bottom line : read "Ignore Everybody" and "Evil plans" right now if you haven't, but skip this one.
Throughout most of my life thus far, books have been a "magic carpet" that enable me to visit almost anyone, anywhere, throughout human history. Amazon now sells more eBooks than bound volumes and the gap widens rapidly and significantly. Meanwhile, the number and nature of "destinations" for our "journeys" increase, especially for those undertaken electronically.
Of course, MacLeod understands all this and, in fact suggests what he thinks the Internet is REALLY all about: "Finding your freedom. Finding your wings. Using a computer instead of a guitar. This is the appeal of the Internet - the sense of freedom that it gives us, the kind of people it allows us to be. The fact that it happens via computers is secondary." I agree while presuming to suggest that "electronics" is a more accurate term than "computers" as well as more inclusive, given the ever-more-rapid development and proliferation of new devices.
Although MacLeod's core insights within his narrative are underdeveloped, the captions for his drawings as well as their style are first-rate, within the tradition of other artists such as Al Hirshfeld, William Steig, and Shel Silverstein. For example:
"only you can decide what is meaningful.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
So here it is...
It was the hugest letdown I've had in a book since I can remember. I was SO excited when this book was announced for pre-order and I even posted it on my Fan Page, Twitter and LinkedIn. I adore Hugh and Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity was flippin' brilliant and I'm rereading it now to re-instill my faith in how amazing he is. And even Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination was good, although a little less potent.
That being said, the book was way too short (I read it in something like 20 minutes - I was shocked) and the content was so thin that the only value I got were in his cartoons, because those are always good.
I felt like it was a mix between wanting to be Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, which is hard to play off of and I just find Gary Vee generally annoying, which is just fine, and Seth Godin. Hugh has a whole other appeal that he just didn't play into. I could read Hugh's author style for as long as there's content.
The rest of the book was the 'get out there and do it' tone that Seth Godin loves to do (which is great when you're expecting/needing it), but again, that's Seth's tone like he's been doing with Poke the Box.
So, Hugh, I want to encourage you. You rock. Ignore Everybody took me and my business to a whole new level and I'm still loyal to you. But being formerly in publishing myself (especially as an editor), it's hard to stay potent, but please, don't water yourself down. You have a following, a voice and that "something" that only YOU can bring us. Go into your own hole and come out with another Sex & Cash Theory - we are waiting and need it! Or maybe that's just me...
I only beat you because I love you.
All that said, this book is 65% images of Hugh's drawings. I like them and everything, but I expected the book to be filled with words rather than images (like his previous books). I read the whole thing in about 35 minutes. The written content is good, but it stings a little knowing that I paid $14 for so little.
I'm not normally the type to leave negative reviews (really), but I feel people who order this expecting another book like Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity or Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination should know that it's a big departure from these other books.
I was disappointed. This book is filled with Hugh's cartoons from his site with a few short one or two page essays in between them. I was able to finish the book in less than an hour, which is quite a bit shorter than I'd expect a $10 book on the Kindle store to be.
Still a great read, still a great book, just can't agree with the price tag.
My advice: snag this one from the library for a week, read it a couple times, and give it back when you're done with it. Then go buy his other two books.
Each chapter is anywhere from a single-digit number of sentences to a page and a half of waxing poetic about the Internet and blogging. Hugh has stated before that it's his own little love letter to the blog, and that's exactly what this comes across as. This book doesn't tell you how to blog. It doesn't go into any details about voice, consistency, how to set one up. It just tells you that the blog format is amazing you too should be taking advantage of it if you're not already.
But since it's so brief, maybe that's the point. Stop reading about blogging and start *actually* blogging.
I'll give it a 4 for that, but personally I got much more value out of Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination, and to an ever so slightly lesser extent Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity.
But not of this book.
I'm not sure if I was expecting something more, or if the content was just...light, but this book feels like a trinket. You know how some authors make stickers and posters that they then give away to people when they buy their book?
Now, light on content means that the writing part of the book felt lacking. Hugh peppers the book with plenty of illustrations I've never seen, so it's not that the book offered me nothing, it just didn't feel like enough. I expect more of Hugh.
Yes, I'm nitpicking. Yes, I'm okay with that. There's nothing wrong with setting high expectations for someone you're a fan of and help to support financially. If I didn't care, or felt that he didn't, I wouldn't be a fan.
If you're already a Gaping Void fan, buy the book. You'll like it.
If you're not a Gaping Void fan, don't start with this one. His previous two are far better.
Oh, and keep buying his art. It's amazing.
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