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I purchased this book based on a recommendation from a friend, who sold it to me as “What it is to be a man.” Interesting, I thought. I remember the speech my grandfather gave me when I was maybe only twelve years old on chivalry, etiquette, table manners, and how to shake a hand. I had so much hope that the book would similarly address a specific ethos or code for young men to aspire to; something that has traditionally been passed on by fathers, father figures, coaches, teachers, mentors and other strong role models for ages. I was hoping for a modern update to the education I received from my grandfather, my father, my step father- this is definitely not that.
The overwhelming impression I got from the first couple hours of this book was infomercial. While I don’t think he narration provided by Michler is terrible, he speaks with the cadence and tone of the “up-seller” we try to avoid while shopping. Strike one.
He gives examples of men driving minivans with loud kids and nagging wives who have essentially “given up their sovereignty” (my only assumption is that is his target audience) followed by snapshots of his life now that he’s regained his sovereignty. Basically, Michler is showing you the before and after Polaroid for OxyClean but with masculinity. Strike two.
Lastly, this book strikes such a causal tone, he could have added “Bro”, “Dude” and “Buddy” with a relatively short interval and you wouldn’t have noticed.
“Dude, she almost divorced me. But I made up my mind and changed myself. And you can too Bro. Now I’m married with a beautiful family and successful financial business. You got this, Buddy.”
He builds up with his past stories of battles at home and at work, citing a failing marriage, his family torn apart, and a failing career. The stories are honest but Michler makes the jumps so quickly from telling you about his problems to giving you his “solution” (spoiler alert: you’re in charge of you’re own actions- that’s basically it) that it really does not connect with me at all. He tries to make it relatable but for me, it just fails miserably. Strike three.
I do think Michler did a good good job of keeping this away from being chauvinistic. Respect remains a key concept even when acknowledging gender roles accepted by most as traditional (but not set in stone). Sovereignty seems like a forced term for a concept of self responsibility and ownership.
Michler’s honest portrayal of his experiences adds a measure of authenticity. His stories about his experience in the military speak to his honor, training and drive. Maybe this book just wasn’t written for me- I’m 32, happily married with a son on the way and have worked the better part of a decade as a Firefighter and Paramedic.
Maybe I was lucky and grandpa taught me the right things and the right age, learned early on to do the right thing, learned to own my own actions, and that integrity is above all else. Or maybe I just haven’t lost my sovereignty yet. Either way, for me, this book just struck out.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
If you read the title for this book and think, "finally a book that says some real sh*t and has a real path to figure out life", prepare to be disappointed. Not only does this books "path" to life reside in much better written books, "unf*ck yourself" and "the subtle art of not giving a f*ck", but it has a tendency to contradict and reiterate the same points, over and over.
Two main examples:
1. The author points to the fact that you should discern all sources of information. A mark of a true man is to be able to not take information at face value, but chapters before this, he sites a facebook post of people adding sugar to gas tanks and his revulsion that anyone would do this, using this as an example that men/ the world has gone astray. He mentions in the comments of this facebook post that people actually did this, but he has to realize that these are trolls on the internet, not real people doing this. To me this is a mark of a dumb man; why would you take facebook comments at face value?
2. I think he mentions his weight loss like 5 times to make several different points. This is a sign of a writer who did not have enough material to make a book. Plain and simple. You lost 50lbs, clap clap clap. MOVE ON.
But really my biggest problem with this book is that it is vague. There are no citations to back up claims, like the suicide stat that is mentioned, the crime stat that is mentioned, etc. His substance is on personal opinions of the world and his own fears, rather than true and factual arguments. He wants you to believe that the world is some crap shoot, that men have changed for the worse, but there is not real evidence to show that. SO either you have to believe that yourself (to which this book may be useful) or you will be turned off by the non-factual bull that is in every chapter. His world may be gutless, his world may be filled with men that are not living to his standard, but I know many good men and the world he describes does not reside in this reality. The authors reality is in a fiction world, and that might be the key to HIS (and only his) success.
Also reading speed for this book felt rushed, thats just me, but he seemed to be speed reading his own book at 1x speed. I couldnt really find a comfortable speed for this book to really be able to acknowledge what he was saying. I wish as a book, it was read slower but the narrator.
Using one of his own guides, dont read this books; its full of holes and vague platitudes. Read "unf*ck yourself" and then maybe things will change for you.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Very motivational book which makes you take a realistic look at your own life. The no excuses realistic viewpoints can be can be negative in other books, but this book mixs the 'get off your ass' harshness with motivational steps to achieve any of your goals, to overall stay positive.
Fantastic direct to the point life changer. Have been a huge order of man and Ryan Michler fan for some time now. Just completed and about to hit play for another go round. Great work Ryan
I love this book because it teaches men that we all have tough circumstances however we must take responsibility for what life throws our way.
We need to all work on our daily habits and have the strength to be the men we are supposed to be.
No more wallowing around like victims work hard to provide for our family, keep strong and have integrity.
A wonderful book for men and even women that want to understand a man. I will be reading this with my son a chapter at a time so he gets the lessons.
Thank you Ryan men need more people like you and I am inspired by reading this book.