This is a really fun book, on a lot of levels. I’ll admit to expecting it to be a bit of a “novelty book.” You know, something that you put on the coffeetable for friends to chuckle over. It’s nothing like that. It is, however, a physically beautiful book, which actually would look fine on any coffeetable (it’s a permanent fixture on mine). It’s hardcover, wider than it is tall, seems to have excellent production value and the illustrations are wonderful. But more on the illustrations later.
Earlier this year, I hosted a three-day “blog showdown” between Fred and Steve Pavlina. If you read through that, you’ll get a pretty good idea of Fred’s outlook. The book follows the same line of reasoning which, in essence, goes something like “Work is hard and it sucks, why do that to yourself? Be lazy and prosper.” The key, of course, is what’s meant by “lazy.” Fred means that when you’re being lazy, you’re doing what you love—he even goes so far to say that you’re doing what you’re created to do, whatever that might be. Your laziness may very well be another person’s work.
Probably because of my initial expectation of the book, it has surprised me in a number of ways. The two biggest surprises, though, are how spiritual it is, and how intelligent it is. The spiritual theme runs through the book and colors every chapter, though some are less veiled than others. This is likely due to Fred’s long-time practice of TM. Also, pretty much every page has little quotes from famous and not-so-famous folks and icons (in what other book would you find quotes from both Yoda and Napoleon Bonaparte?), many of which seem to point to the spiritual nature of finding one’s calling and authentically pursuing it.
The intelligent theme is equally evident. Fred pulls in evidence for his theory of laziness from such disparate disciplines as quantum physics, theology and literature. He does a masterful job of explaining difficult ideas and leading you gently, and with great humor, down the path of understanding. Frankly, this was the most surprising facet of the book for me.
There is much to enjoy about The Lazy Way to Success, but the number one fun thing is the fantastic illustrations on each page. Literally every single page of the main text has at least one illustration, hand-drawn by Fred’s old friend Lawrence Sheaff. The illustrations, amazingly, are always perfectly synchronized with the text on the page and often provide extra little nuggets of thought for the reader who takes the time to enjoy them.
I can’t imagine how anyone would be disappointed with this book. It’s beautifully produced, well written, intelligent, humourous and fun to look at. I love it, and I’m quite sure a few friends and family members will be getting copies for Christmas!