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What did you love best about The Culture Map?
This book is extremely useful for people who travel or work internationally (regardless of where you call home.) There are many "aha" insights.
What did you like best about this story?
Although I generally have a mistrust of anything attempting to legitimize cultural stereotypes, this particular book and the research on which it is based are useful in part because they help explain some cultural stereotypes and why, in some settings, those stereotypes might be a valid point from which to begin understanding behavior.
How could the performance have been better?
The performer, who I've admired on other audiobooks, nearly ruins this book by attempting to impose stereotyped accents on people being quoted. It moves from comical to offensive to infuriating. Likely, it was the producer's choice not the performer's; but it doesn't matter -- the audiobook is nearly unlistenable and only the highly interesting content made it possible for me to make it all the way to the end.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Turn down the sound and read the subtitles.
Any additional comments?
If there is any way to have the same performer re-read this book without accents, please do it.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
As for The Culture Map as a book, I found it to be well-written and very useful. Erin Meyer is very knowledgeable and experienced, and her analysis matched much of what I have learned from other respected sources. She not only draws from much of the cultural research, but she also uses a lot of examples either from her own experiences or from experiences of others.
My only minor criticism is that at a few points she presents the visual figures in the book admitting that she based the data for them off of research collected from respected sources (Hofstede model of cultural dimensions, for example) and tweaked them a bit based her on own experiences and her own surveys. It is important that she uses research of others - so good so far. I'm also glad that she tweaked the data to match her own findings - still good. But she doesn't explain just exactly how her own findings were from the other models used, doesn't mention how much weight she assigns to her own data versus others, etc. In other words, we don't know what methodology she used to tweak the data. My own experience in doing business all over the world tends to validate her analysis, so it appears to be sound. Nonetheless, in order to let the reader check her data she could have presented how exactly her own findings were slightly different than others.
I read the other reviews for this audiobook and noted that other listeners have said that the narrator was either racist or borderline racist because of her poor impersonations of accents of people from various countries.
I had no problem finishing the book. The narrator's accent impersonations were pretty bad, no doubt. (Her Brazilian Portuguese accent, for example, sounds distinctly like a bad Mexican Spanish accent). I am a very well-traveled individual, so I am as qualified as anyone to recognize when the accents are off-target. However, her poor impersonations merely reflected her own lack of exposure to many peoples of the world, and in no way whatsoever were her impersonations necessarily racist. She did her best to imitate accents that she just hadn't been exposed to. The other reviewers that call the narrator racist do so by arguing that the book's purpose was to foster understanding among the many different peoples of the world and the narrator presents the people she impersonates in a stereotypical manner, yet these reviewers fail to acknowledge or understand that most people in the world are unable to impersonate a wide range of accents accurately. Those reviewers don't care to learn anything about the narrator and who she is, but they are perfectly happy to put her into a little box and stereotype her as "racist." Hmm...
I found the narrator's voice is very pleasant to listen to and would have no problem listening to more audiobooks from her in the future.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful