Chapin City Blues

Writing is writing whether done for duty, profit, or fun.

Elan Gale wants to remind you that you’re not that great. Then again, neither is his book. In the same vein as Mark Manson’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, Mr. Gale provides a no holds barred anti-self-help book for people who are tired of being coddled while self-help gurus rip them off.You're Not That Great

There’s just one problem: there’s nothing Elan Gale in You’re Not That Great (but Neither is Anyone Else) that Manson’s book didn’t already offer. Well, nothing useful. Because, aside from the obviously useful slice of humble pie, the book only offers stale jokes and condescension.

Mr. Gale is right—we’re not great. Several people ooze with undeserved self-confidence, but can never amount to anything but ordinary. He notes that all the negative emotions we’re trained to ignore are useful tools to pull us out of the mundane. And even when we achieve greatness, we’re still not that great. Because you should always want to continue growing, continue reaching for the goddamn stars. He just wants us to know that we can always do better, be better, fuck better (yep, that’s also in the book). That’s what I love about the book. Sadly, it’s not enough to carry it.

Somewhere around page 100, it seemed like Mr. Gale ran out of things to talk about. The book becomes repetitive. And in an effort to cover up that fact, his descent into egotism begins. It began to feel that Mr. Gale began to shit on us not to help out, but for the sake of shitting on people who bought his book. He started fluffing up the chapters with anecdotes. Some of these were eye openers, sure. But several were just weird to the point where it was difficult to discern if he was trying to make a joke.

Could be that Mr. Gale was working against the clock, reaching a deadline. Or maybe he just ran out of nuggets of wisdom. It’s a fun book to read if you haven’t already done so. But as far as the genre goes, read Mark Manson’s book instead.

Until next time, keep on huntin’.

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