The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Susan Cain’s groundbreaking book Quiet, brilliantly read by Kathe Mazur.
In Quiet, the international best seller, Susan Cain shows how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs, and how society misunderstands and undervalues introverts. She gives introverts the tools to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with real stories, Quiet will permanently change how we see introverts - and how you see yourself.
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Flawed and preachy
As an introvert, this book sounded very interesting, especially since I've seen it mentioned a number of times around the internet as "life changing". Unfortunately, this book definitely didn't alter my life in any significant way. I already knew about a vast majority of the concepts since I've experienced most of the cases that are common for introverts. Some of the history and case studies were mildly interesting in explaining why some people are introverts, but the author just kept going on and on about certain topics for what seemed like forever.
The writing style in general was very tedious since most of the chapters start out in a weird faux documentary style of the author visiting different people and places to try to learn from different people's experiences on certain topics. I suspect this was to make it seem more intimate and less of a "knowledge dump", but instead it makes the book feel forced and less scientific. One major flaw that I noticed multiple times was that the author extrapolated meaning out of cherry picked anecdotes and then proceeded to talk about them as fact.
If I did learn anything, it's that the term introvert encompasses a huge spectrum of personal traits and characteristics. It's actually mentioned a few times, that a certain trait is common in most introverts, but not all. This makes the parts where the author proceeds to give advice on dealing with introverts that much more confusing since the advice will not cater for every person. Yes, most of the advice is a good starting point, but each person is different and as a manager, partner, friend or parent, you would be better served by actually talking to the person and working things out with them as individuals.
The general tone of the book was also overly "introverts are special", which is a shame, since the people who would actually benefit from this book more are the extroverted people who have an overly simplistic view on the topic of introversion. However, because of the tone, I doubt they'd enjoy reading it since half the time, they're made out to be this evil entity that's oppressing the poor, helpless introverts. I guess teenagers who struggle with being social would get a lot out of this book as well, but that's about the only audience that will enjoy it. Most adult introverts already know how to live with their personality and understand their situation in a society that prefers extroversion. This book is disturbingly flawed, often boring and preachy, so while there is definitely some useful information contained within, I'd be hesitant to recommend it.
Perceptive, compassionate, brilliant.
I loved this book. It made me look at myself and many other people I know in an entirely different light.
I haven't listened to any other of Kathe Mazur's performances.
I did shed a tear or two, especially when the author wrote about her grandfather and people like him. People who achieve great and noble things in a self-effacing and humble manner.
Everyone should read it - there are just so many introverts in the world whose great qualities are not nurtured or valued.