Big magic – a long review


Originally, I started writing this review on GoodReads, but it became too long and I thought I should move it hear. Enjoy.


I feel like I should transform this rant into a stand-up comedy piece. I could go on and on.

No rating yet, I’m still reading, but I can’t help myself from commenting. There are few books that make me want to write while I’m reading them and this is one of them.

First of all, to be clear, this is not a hate-read. I have heard of Eat Pray Love before, was never interested in it. I recently heard the interview Elizabeth Gilbert gave in Marie Forleo’s show and I really liked it (parts of it, anyway). I liked her voice and how she modulated her voice while speaking. Nevertheless, a good speaker does not a good writer make!


I’ve read 10 percent of this book (on a Kindle, not sure what that means in print pages) and I’m already wondering what is going on here. Fear? I’m not afraid of anything but high speed trains and cars passing me by at too short a distance. I’m not afraid of creating and I’m sure many other people aren’t. Lazy? Yes. Afraid? Not really. This first part of the book made me realize how lazy I really am, if laziness keeps me from creating more. Also, that “If you don’t do it, nobody will do it for you” is a good motivational mantra. I should stick to that one (it’s not from this book).


I got to the part about magic and geniuses (genies, inspiration, ideas with their own lives) and tried to ignore all that, hoping for some substance. I might repeat myself, but I really don’t have a problem with creativity/inspiration.

If I do, it’s that I have too much inspiration and can’t concentrate on things because every time I start working on something I get so many ideas that I can’t focus on the one that I started with. And you’re telling me that you work “like a farmer” (yeah, right, guess you never worked on a farm) and once every twenty years you get a little bit of inspiration? Hmm, that sounds not really true. I’m pissed now and will continue reading just to see where this whole pointless rhetoric can lead to.

Also, I thought the magic was metaphorical.


Hey, maybe my parents are cool people who, although extremely introverted, taught me a lot of stuff. Maybe I shouldn’t blame my parents for my own flaws, now that I’m old enough and maybe I don’t need a permission slip to “live creatively” because that’s what we’ve been doing for the past several decades.


Oh, I get it now. This book is about making things because human make things and the big magic is just smoke, because we’re creative by default.


I can’t read one page without getting irritated. I would really like to meet one person from the audience that this book is dedicated to, because I really feel I’m not in that audience. I should feel insulted on behalf of that audience because the author keeps trying to insult it.


Did nobody read this book before publishing? There are ideas that contradict each other every two pages. Literally.

“Your parents suck. Oh, but we are all born creative. Still, you are a potato because you grew up in front of the TV. You should feel entitled to call yourself an artist and tell the whole world how talented you are!”.


Just because the author feels that her inner voices are violent psychopaths, it doesn’t mean we all do. My voices are quite nice to each other, thank you very much.

I am baffled and can’t imagine how in the world I will finish this book. I can’t publicly review something unless I read the whole damned thing!


I know, I know! If the author had sat down to write Eat Pray Love with the sole aim of helping others, she would have written this book (by her own definition of self-help books, which I don’t agree with)!

Oh noes, she never studied writing. *That’s why* I’m cringing while reading this pile of words. You don’t just write a book, there are so many steps that are missing here (planning, for one, editing, even more important).

Funny thing there. I’m risk averse and never gambled in my life and yet people in my life call me an artist (I don’t, but that’s another thing). I’m a paradox, yay.


Nope, school is not where people go to learn a profession. At most it’s a place where people go to learn about professions. In most cases, school is where you go to learn to read and write and it’s obvious someone skipped some crucial classes.


Art is not meaningless just because some people love/hate your work and you got an interview of some singer who told you that he creates jewelry for the inside of your head. That’s not how one makes an argument. You don’t have to live in a paradox because there is no paradox. Art and creativity have a very important role in human culture, it’s what made us develop our brains.


Finally, something we can agree on. We all need to create things in order to not destroy things. That’s why I can’t stop.


The second half of the book is decent. I didn’t feel like commenting on every single page, so I was able to read it and let it go. Thankfully, I had written all of this and so I didn’t have to go back through all the things that were wrong with this book and write them down.

Now you have my experience of this book. It might help nobody, but I don’t care, because I needed to write it down.

I’m just like the author of this book that I’m criticizing. Oh no.

Find my other book reviews on my goodreads profile.

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