A lovely turn of phrase. Not mine, though. It’s what Danielle LaPorte of whitehottruth.com, author of the Fire Starter Sessions, had to say about Hugh Macleod’s latest book, Evil Plans: Having Fun On The Road to World Domination.
I agree completely with her. I got my hands on a copy earlier today, and it was a bracing, enjoyable read. Refreshing. I’m not usually one to read books about world domination. But with this one I made an exception.
Why refreshing? For a number of reasons. Firstly (and this is particularly true for a long-term fan like me), it blends the familiar and the known into the undiscovered and the unknown. Smoothly, subtly. An effortless read. Secondly, as human beings, we live through stories, we learn through stories. And Hugh has been doing what he does for so long and so well that each chapter is a story, each cartoon is a story, each anecdote refreshes in its telling and its retelling. Thirdly, Hugh manages to tell you things you think you may know already, but in a way that lets you discover it again for yourself.
We may all have learnt about the democratising power of the internet by now, yet despite it Hugh manages to bring the lesson back to life in a way that leaves you feeling you learnt it afresh.
You see, in some ways, Hugh inhabits a corner of a foreign field that is forever Hughland. When you read Dilbert, your normal reaction is “Dilbert must work here!”. When you read Hugh Macleod, your normal reaction is “I wish he did work here!”.
Sometimes Hugh can be an uncomfortable read: he spends time reminding you of the clothes you’ve been trying to put on the emperors that inhabit your life, gently ensuring you’re aware of the nakedness. Awaking you from your trance of compromise.
The core theme of the book, that of unifying work and love, comes through in every argument. The challenges spoken of are largely to do with work, with creating, with creativity; those challenges are repeatedly discussed in the context of differentiation and uniqueness and entrepreneurship; these two threads are themselves deeply interwined with the heart of the book, which is the passion, the love, the hunger that drives all this.
Unifying work and love.
That’s Hugh. All the way.
And so is this book. Hugh. All the way. Uncompromised, uncompromising.
A different perspective on things you see everyday, things to do with work and love. A welcome “tonic for the trance of compromise”.
I’m not going to say any more, it would spoil the book for you. Which would be a shame.
So go out and buy the book. If you know where you can find an analog bookshop. If one still exists near you.
Or let your fingers do the walking. The book launches today, so you don’t have to wait.
[Disclosure: I've known Hugh for many years, and count him as a friend. So much of a friend that, if I'd panned the book, we would have remained friends. But I didn't pan the book. You know why? Because I loved it, that's why].