Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Alternative Review of Anderson's FREE

A few months back I posted a long, detailed review of my thoughts after having read Chris Anderson's book Free: The Future of a Radical Price. Shortly after I posted my review, my friend, Paula B of The Writing Show blog and podcast commented that she had a very different experience with the book and would also be reviewing it.

Paula recently did her review in podcast form. Click here to check out the review -- the full text is posted on the blog, or you can download the mp3 or listen to it online.

I have long been a fan of Paula's podcasts, and I really like her voice and style, so I preferred to listen to it. (Besides, it's easier listening to a podcast while driving -- police officers tend to frown upon me trying to read while I'm zooming down the highway)

The first thing you'll notice is that Paula and I had quite different reactions to the book.

I like that.

Because in two "writer" types (and similar writer types I might add, if I'm allowed to compliment myself by comparing Paula and I), you get almost completely opposing viewpoints of a single book -- that alone has to be interesting in and of itself.

Further, I wish she lived closer so that I could get a chance to sit down over a coffee (or two or three) and engage in a healthy debate and discussion about our differing viewpoints. But, as it stands, that's not possible, which is too bad. At least we can engage in our discussions via Skype, email and other social media comments.

The running time for the podcast is just under 40 minutes. That should tell you something about the amount of effort and detail that went into it. And that's exactly what you get in Paula's review. She doesn't just gloss over the surface of the book, doesn't just touch upon particular points, but she engages in a thoughtful analysis of some of the things that she liked and disliked about the book.

I found Paula's review immediately fascinating and I quite admire the method by which she goes through and discusses particular comments and contradictions she found in Anderson's writing. Her review and analysis certainly made me think and though I might not see things from the same viewpoint, I can definitely appreciate where she is coming from and why she was challenged by some of the statements Anderson makes.

Of course, if you read my review, then read or listen to Paula's review you hopefully come away with a balanced look at this interesting book. It would seem that I took a more "gut reaction" approach in my review and Paula took a thoughtful and analytical one. Put the two together and it makes for an intriguing well-rounded effort. (Of course, that's just me elevating my own status by comparing myself to Paula again)

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