With apologies to the excellent XKCD I think this pretty much sums up my view of Thomas Friedmans new book 'Hot, Flat, and Crowded'
Friedman's book is about 1/3 too long, in large part because he has this ingrating desire to be the first to coin a new term, to tag and bag the changes in world politics and so (with dreams of historical recognition beckoning) creates many new words, subverts words "the green peril" even time periods like "ECE" or Energy Climate Era.
I can understand the desire to be the one who coins the new term, that offers certain power in how the topic is defined (climate change and global warming being two obvious, non-value-netural recent terms). But for all the benefits of the book, in examining how his conclusions from his last book The World Is Flat will be save or doom the effort to fix the climate, its hard to take it seriously when theres so much excess "look at me" effort spattered throughout what is supposed to be a serious book by a serious thinker. His style has always had a journalistic, folksy style, and thats a good thing, it makes the world is flat and the lexus and the olive tree very readable. And whilst he created dozens of terms in both those books, placing them along side hundreads of little anacdotes, this time the forumla feels forced and clumsy. You can let your eyes blur and wander down the page regularly whilst reading and usually never miss a single important point.
Borrow a copy off a friend, its readable, and for those like me who arn't particularly interested in climate change, but recognise its importance it offers some good insights and facts. But instead of being fun, his general style and desire to be 'the one' to tag and identify everything first ends up making the book a bit of a slog.
(Ohh yeah, and why does the UK/Australian cover feature a particularly lush and green earth ? Not all environmental books need to be green.