I´ve got a few book reviews backed up, and Danger Quicksand is gonna get it started"?¦
If you´ve flitted around business blogs for any length of time, you´ve probably seen the cover of Danger Quicksand gracing a few sidebars. David St. Lawrence put tremendous effort into writing the book, starting a publishing company and then publishing the book. And along the way, he´s been mighty generous with doling out the wisdom that he packs in the book. You can download the full version of the pre-press book, or read up on the manifesto at ChangeThis.com. David has been one of my favorite business bloggers for a while. Which is a bit unusual because we really don´t have much in common-he´s a little older than me; he´s been in the workforce for a long time (let´s just say that Elvis was still rocking the charts when David was getting his foot in the door); he´s rolled through way more jobs than I have; and we don´t exactly share the same political outlooks. Regardless, I´ve enjoyed his blog because I always feel like reading his posts is like getting a little shot of country wisdom or something. Hard to put my finger on it, but-and this´ll sound weird-it´s oddly comforting to me.
Enough with the intro, then. I´ve got to admit, I took a long time to finish this book. I read it in fits and starts. I´d read a bit, get frustrated and put it away, then pick it up a while later. Sometimes days would pass between readings. Like Dwayne, I was especially frustrated toward the beginning of the book. It just felt grim. Like you´d expect to turn the page and the Four Managers of The Apocalypse would come rushing out of the page at you. Or something. You get the idea. My general outlook is a little"?¦sunnier. So it was tough reading, but eventually two things happened. First, I began to recognize that I was staring into the gaping maw of raw experience. David was really letting it all hang out there. And second, I got past the first part of the book.
The middle-to-end of the book takes on a decidely more upbeat tone. David begins to advise on interviews, resumes, ideal jobs, etc. He´s got a pretty firm opinion of how things work, and though I didn´t always agree with the words on the page, I understood that this was the fruit of a whole lot of life experience. Even toward the latter part of the book, there´s still an undercurrent of grimness or, at least, that´s how it seemed to me. I think in reality, David´s training as an engineer comes out pretty strongly through the pages. There´s not much fluffy stuff here, it´s all rational, clear-eyed thinking, and sometimes it´s not pretty. What´s always gratifying, though, is the constant sense of stewardship that you get while reading. Even though it often seemed grim to me, I sensed that there was a larger purpose to the book-that David was really pulling together the sum of his experience and laying it out there in plain language for the benefit of others coming along behind him. As you can imagine, chapter 8, titled "Keeping Your Spirits Up´ was my favorite chapter.