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These sorts of populist pseudo science books invariably race along and carry you with them until you are pulled up by a ‘fact’ that you happen to know isn’t true. David Epstein’s somewhat counter intuitive notion that generalists triumph over specialists may or may have some merit. However, a key argument that the 2014 German World Cup winning squad was stacked with players who’d come late to football and were ‘typically late specialists’ simply isn’t correct. Many of them had played for their national side at Under 17, 19 and 21 level and were attached during that time to major clubs. This might not leap out at American readers but European sports fans would know Epstein’s claim doesn’t ring true. Which, of course, makes you wonder what else he glosses over or fudges. Despite having shelled out on an appealing looking book and thesis I gave up at that point- page 8!
I was encouraged by the early chapters, first 80 pages or so, it kept to the point of the title and gave good examples.
Unfortunately at around 100 pages or so - Chapter 5 or thereabouts - the quality of writing deteriorated significantly with normal conventions on grammar and punctuation seemingly ignored. I gave up soon after that as the writing became so disjointed and irritating.
I tried dipping in to later chapters and the quality of writing had seemed to improve but there was so much rambling that by the time the point of each description had been reached I didn't care.
I was disappointed since I have long been a believer in what was said in the early pages but the book just didn't do it justice.
I kept waiting and waiting for this book to pick up steam/interest, but it never got there for me. The stories and examples the author tells are well-researched, but they were boring as hell. Save yourself some time and agony and head right to the Conclusion of the book. These 5 pages encapsulate the author's thesis.
The book is a combination of random stories that are loosely connected to the author’s main points. There is very little useful knowledge that can be applied to our daily lives and a lot of rambling on anecdotal stories.