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The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? [Hardcover]

Seth Godin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 31 2012
In Seth Godin’s most inspiring book, he challenges readers to find the courage to treat their work as a form of art
Everyone knows that Icarus’s father made him wings and told him not to fly too close to the sun; he ignored the warning and plunged to his doom. The lesson: Play it safe. Listen to the experts. It was the perfect propaganda for the industrial economy. What boss wouldn’t want employees to believe that obedience and conformity are the keys to success?
But we tend to forget that Icarus was also warned not to fly too low, because seawater would ruin the lift in his wings. Flying too low is even more dangerous than flying too high, because it feels deceptively safe.
The safety zone has moved. Conformity no longer leads to comfort. But the good news is that creativity is scarce and more valuable than ever. So is choosing to do something unpredictable and brave: Make art. Being an artist isn’t a genetic disposition or a specific talent. It’s an attitude we can all adopt. It’s a hunger to seize new ground, make connections, and work without a map. If you do those things you’re an artist, no matter what it says on your business card.
Godin shows us how it’s possible and convinces us why it’s essential.

Frequently Bought Together

The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? + V Is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone + Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?: And Other Provocations, 2006-2012
Price For All Three: CDN$ 50.94

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover; 1 edition (Dec 31 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781591846079
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591846079
  • ASIN: 1591846072
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


If Seth Godin didn't exist, we'd need to invent him Fast Company Seth Godin is a demigod on the web, a bestselling author, highly sought-after lecturer, successful entrepreneur, respected pundit and high-profile blogger Forbes A wonderful manifesto in the author's characteristic style - pathological honesty, ruthless scepticism and generous intellect. The Icarus Deception turns society upside-down in order to awaken the reader's rebellious spirit and encourage him to create Management Today

About the Author

Seth Godin is the author of more than a dozen bestsellers that have changed the way people think about marketing, leadership, and change, including Permission Marketing, Purple Cow, All Marketers Are Liars, Small is the New Big, The Dip, Tribes, Linchpin, and Poke the Box. He is also the founder and CEO of and a very popular lecturer. He writes one of the most influential business blogs in the world at

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fly as high as the sun! Jan. 14 2013
I am a fan of Seth Godin's books.
But I have to admit, some of them leave me unsatisfied.
This one is truly a gem. This one pushes the reader to his maximum potential by guiding him through a path of fearless art!
Or rather Art.
Art as your True Talent, you upmost potential.
Seth urges us to pursue our passion, regardless of what others thinks. Especially what others thinks.
His latest book build , as usual, on his previous books but is self-contained.
And the fact that this book was published it a prof on the concept in itself. Seth used the Kickstater platform to get his latest achievement published. Again, the book reminds us that his author has put in practice what he preaches.
A page turner.
A great motivator.
A great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Typical Seth... Brilliant! May 22 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
See the changing global economy through a different set of glasses. Learn what you need to do to succeed in a world where opportunities abound. Read The Icarus Deception to expand your mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feeling frustrated with work? Pick this book up! May 10 2013
By CKitten
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Please, please buy this if you are unhappy at work or thinking of becoming self-employed. Seth Godin is brilliant. His ideas are complex but he is able to explain them in a way that anybody could understand (without being boring to more advanced readers). I have recommended this book to several people in my life, all of whom found it to be a great read. It even inspired my friend to quit her job and now she is working on several different projects and is loving life.

If you feel like a slave to the system, pick up this book right now. You won't regret it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Seth Godin Rocks! May 18 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is very motivational and important for people who are still caught in the cogs in the industrial machine. The connection economy is here and we have everything to gain by throwing caution to the wind and be coming leaders of our own tribe.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  251 reviews
263 of 282 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Deception Jan. 5 2013
By Faisal Nsour - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I give this book 3 stars to split the difference between the 1 star it deserves as a book, and the 5 it deserves as a marketing lesson.

Like most reviewers so far, I bought this book because I'm a fan of SG. However, while I do believe he is preaching his message with the sincere intention to serve us, his readers, I must disagree with the raving reviews. As I read the same message he's given us before, remixed with nuggets from his vast reading, I feel deja vu. The book is like a handful of fortune cookies from SG's all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.

The Icarus Deception is grab-bag of his market insight and signature motivational style, already well-expressed on his blog and in his other books. The references to SG's broad reading (even Ulysses gets a nod) was probably thrown in to mix things up, but all it does for this reader is mix up things.

The cajoling to seize your destiny, and live as an artist of life, is not without charm. But SG can do better. He is better than this book. His readers certainly deserve better. Mr. Godin, your readers deserve all of that enormous brain of yours, not just the clever marketing gland (which I can only assume is just above the lizard brain).

A good book on life and work as an artist is the "The Elephant and the Flea" by Charles Handy.
61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed SG Fan Jan. 9 2013
By Simon Prince - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
It troubles me to write this, but Seth Godin Im sure would want the honest feedback (if he is listening, which he states he no longer does). I too am a BIG fan of SG. I read the blog, all the books, and consume as much SG as I can. It was said before here, and I wholeheartedly agree... this is really just more of the same. There was scarcely anything new, and for that I am disappointed. If you are new to SG and his writing I would give it 5 stars. But, if you are like me... you may be left wondering if Seth shouldnt slow down with his art. While he is remarkable prolific, he may be better served waiting until he has new material to bless us with.
61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars TED talk turned into a novel Jan. 24 2013
By GHmike - Published on
I appreciate the concept that one should make art as their work. This book says this clearly but says little else. No examples are given, the narrative is not cohesive, and he expresses a lot of contempt for negative amazon reviews. I wrote one anyway.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 241 Pages of Nothing Aug. 23 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
This was my first Seth Godin book and it's nothing but disjointed pieces of obvious information that say the same thing over and over from beginning to end. It reads like he's trying desperately to be poetic and clever but can't quite find his rhythm or figure out how to organize what he wants to say. He seems to be a popular guy, in this field at least, and either he's published a book a thousand times better than this in the past, or his style is best kept to blogging - short bits of (forced)motivational fluff that are good in smaller doses but become repetitive preaching when combined to create a 241 page book.

Read these two sentence: Follow your passion, not others. Working for the man doesn't lead to happiness.

Congratulations, you just read the whole book.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware of blog dumps! Nov. 14 2013
By Jfred - Published on
This is a blog-dump if I've ever seen one and be warned - it is a bad one indeed. I kept waiting for him to get to the point, and trust me, it never happens. It's just one pithy, cliched observation to the next with little or no application. Publishers should be ashamed of this kind of "book." It ain't one!
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