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The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World Paperback – Sep 7 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Trade (Sept. 7 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399536108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399536106
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 14 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #52,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By JEA on Oct. 26 2010
Format: Paperback
Bought this as a last minute impulse, wasn't too sure what it was about but maybe I was unfortunately pulled in by the front cover (which I hear you should never judge a book by). The start was interesting talking about how everyone does the same and you don't have to, but then it turns into a story of a guy that hated working for others and stopped doing it as soon as possible and followed personal goals like travelling to every country in the world. Now it is not in the normal sense where he started a little business and started making millions a year so that he had this freedom, no, he simply makes enough to support his lifestyle (why should you make more). Then it turns into a how to start a blog manual which was unexpected. Still eyeopening, it reminded me of my brother who has worked less than a quarter of the time since he graduated university then he's been unemployed for the other quarter and travelled the world the other half (it's been about 5 years) - so maybe that's why it wasn't too shocking. One part I didn't like was the evidence for his ideas or outlooks is a story of a friend or a someone he has heard of. It feels a little bit like the book is being written 1. to get the ideas out to the world (as stated in the book) but also 2. so that he can make a form of passive income while he travels (missing a lot of meat for what I'm used to)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul P. Alisauskas on Jan. 29 2012
Format: Paperback
It's hard not to LIKE Guillebeau; he's just so damn earnest. But this book suffers from the same dynamic that motivational speakers engender; post-talk letdown. Some meals consist of a number of tasty morsels, but not much actual nutrition. You're hungry almost immediately afterward. So it is here.

First the positive stuff: Yup, this will get you in the proper mindset for examining your priorities, needs and goals. (But, what self-help book doesn't?) It's encouraging to hear how the author has "made do" (and then some, apparently) with an unconventional approach to "making a living", while actually managing to have some fun. He's perhaps the ultimate paradigm for getting paid for play. An inspiration or model for others? Perhaps.

The book starts out as if it will really lead up to something, but peters out; a promising "let's get our thinking in order" platform kind of trails off into a series of vignettes concerning his quest to visit every country on earth, ramblings on "world domination" (his rather loose construct for living live on your own terms) and numerous appropriations from a number of other self-help guide authors (Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Chris Brogan, etc.) If cheer-leading is what you're looking for, this book never relents. If you want more, you'll be disappointed.

In sum, this is what I call a 'booklet' - a couple of core ideas that have been expanded and expounded on enough to fill several hundred pages. (Seth Godin is a master of churning out an endless series of flabby brochures of this kind.) EVERYTHING in this book is available for free on Gillebeau's blog. As much as I like Guillebeau and admire his feisty way of making a living, I can't avoid observing that a BIG part of this book is pure filler. On the other hand, if you want to get a (quick) handle on why Guillebeau's blog is so damn popular, this is probably as good a way as any. (Just don't expect to start issuing world orders right away.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kris on Dec 13 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The format of the "book" is set up like a blog post. Also, for the the majority of the first half of the book is a description on what the book is and isn't about.
I thought it was going to be full of antidotes, which I think I would of enjoyed a lot more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cargaut on Feb. 16 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everyone who feels unsatisfied with their work or with what is considered « normal » should read this book. It's inspiring, smart and full of great tips and examples.
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By ATC123 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 7 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Based upon the MBTI, I am a INTJ, which is normally classified as "life's independent thinker", so I was looking for insight into why being "independent" is ok or how this approach to life provides innovative insights. Also I know that non-conformity is not about having a bunch of body piercings like the rest of your friends, to show how different you are, while all the time fitting into your group. Rather non-conformity should be about have the capacity to reason through different topics and not necessarily arrive at the same conclusion as the group - Galileo, Copernicus, Newton were all non-conformists and their insights changed the way the world worked - and changed it for the better. This book is a rather shallow read and it seems like a condensed version of a PowerPoint slide presentation. It is about the author and largely does not address any intellectual concepts that might support the thesis that non-conformity is a positive trait and reminds me more of an info-mercial than anything else. While it is a quick read, I would not spend time reading it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ben on Oct. 11 2010
Format: Paperback
This author has a lot of great thoughts and lives what he is talking about. Have you ever thought that there is more to life? Do you have a nagging dissatisfaction with your life and yearn for a life that is truly aligned with who you are? Then you should pick this up book up and read it. My personal story is that the thoughts in this book compelled me to make a decision to leave a secure, good paying job that left me hollow, buy a plane ticket to South America and embark on a solo bicycle trip across that continent starting in January 2011....so from my personal standpoint, this guy definitely has something important to say (and maybe just a little crazy)...so be careful, if you listen and think hard about what he is saying, it just might change your entire life. good luck.
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