One of the things I secretly enjoy are Robert Greene’s books. I’m a closeted fan because as a person of faith, I feel guilty enjoying his writings understanding he’s decidedly not religious. I see Greene as the author Malcom Gladwell 2.0. No insult to the 1.0. No one recommended Mastery, my first Greene book. There was just something about the cover, that title, that got me interested. Though it would take me a whole week each time, I read it about 5 times over through the years. I also fell in love with 48 Laws Of Power. And although that book had more of Greene’s non religious views it was very much in the same vein as Mastery. What I had to learn was to eat the meat and leave the bones. Compartmentalization was the name of the game. In both books were the makings of Greene’s latest effort. Each book delved deeper into the human condition, especially in the controls and parameters with which people behave, treat each other and rationalize things. While each successive book spent more and more time in each topic, Laws sits squarely in this space throughout it’s span. It’s as though Greene has discovered the true purpose of his writings, his core theme.
I pre-ordered this book in audio format, and began reading it at midnight the moment it was released. No small feat. Considering all three books are between 130,000 -150,000 words, with each successive book adding about ten thousand words. Some early reviewers called this release boring, but I’m not exactly sure if the topic is within their interest or if they ever read Greene’s previous books. For me, I was right at home. In the previous books, the juiciest parts were at the center like any good old fruit. However, with Laws, the fruit was sweet from skin to core. Again, the masterful Greene weaves tales of history with such deftness and colorfulness. In one chapter I’m in the 1920s, in another I’m in the Greek empire at its pinnacle. Each time, the common theme of the human condition rearing its head. Timeless and persistent, it was a birthmark that wasn’t going anywhere.
I’m actually yet to finish the book, but so far, so very good. While not having the magic of 48 Laws and Mastery, it’s undoubtedly another hit for Mr. Greene and a most welcome addition.