Rating: 3 out of 5.

Oh dear, a three star review. It’s not that this book was bad, and please don’t accuse me of some sort of non-fiction bias, but it was not quite as strong as other books I’ve read of similar nature. There were some interesting parts, but much of the book didn’t seem especially helpful. Therein lay the problem.

Non-fiction books, especially ones about behavior, follow something of a pattern. About the first third of the book contains useful and relevant information, interesting background, and helpful premises. The book then spends the remaining two thirds repeating everything it said in the first third in different ways. In other words, if this had been about 60% shorter, it would have been a strong book. I have nothing against long books – I read books topping 400,000 words on a regular basis – but those words need to be there for a reason other than just to fill up pages.

That being said, the first third of the book really did have some useful information. I find books on human behavior useful not just for interactions with real people – it actually helps me write more believable characters. So future characters will be better liars, as will I. After all, I tell lies for a hobby (and maybe one day for a living).

My final recommendation: don’t rush out to read this book, but if you have the time, maybe read the first 30% or so.

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