Review of Who Moved my Cheese

January 19th, 2010

Disclaimer: This review may contain offensive language for readers who are faint of heart.  If so, do not, I repeat, do NOT continue reading this.  I am not responsible for your mental anguish, suffering, or any potentially harmful physical reaction that may result from reading this.

The Good

The good points of “Who Moved my Cheese” are as follows:

It’s an easy read—for a first-grader.

The story is mildly entertaining—for unimaginative children.

It’s the story of two little people and how they cope with the fact that all their cheese has been moved from their station.  It deals with one guy’s revelation that he should accept the fact that the cheese has been moved and go find more cheese.  The other guy just sits around waiting for more cheese.

It’s supposed to be a metaphor for accepting change.  That’s a good message in general.

So, to recap the good points.

It’s an easy read—for a first-grader.

The story is mildly entertaining—for unimaginative children.

The Bad

I find this book insulting on so many levels.  Let me count the ways:

1.  The size issue

The book is only about 71 pages but that 71 pages is in a huge font, the white space is huge, and then I am treated with an introduction full of inspiroof (proof by inspirational story) at the beginning of the book to fill up more pages.

Look, I have nothing against a short story.  But when you are purposely trying to make your 6-8 page story into a book by over-formatting, it’s dishonest.

I think this was originally a newsletter article that the author or publisher over-formatted to make into a book.

It reminds me of those thousand-dollar 300-page “courses” you get from BS gurus that could be condensed into a 40-50-page book.

2.  The intellectual level of this book

The book is shallow and frankly insulting to anyone possessing even a modicum of intelligence.  I thought the book was written for a group of kindergarteners who were told that recess time has been revoked.

I am NOT kidding.  As I noted in the good section, it is an easy read.  And maybe that accounts for its popularity.

3.  The message/metaphor of this book

Accepting change may be good.  But change itself is not always good.  In fact, change can be disastrous.  On a small level, if some corporate executive is tired of the way things are going (even if they are going great), he or she may get it in their head to “change” things.  Then when things don’t go well, just tell the employees it’s their fault for not embracing change.

To put it more bluntly, what do you do when someone moves your cheese, and there’s no more cheese to look for?  In reality, it’s called losing a job, having your savings taken away, etc.

You have a right to not only ask Who Moved Your Cheese, but to say “GIVE ME BACK MY GODDAMNED CHEESE!”   “Who Moved My Cheese?” seems to be saying, “Just accept whatever gets thrown at you.”

Well, that’s like telling a child to “just do what I tell you.”

Hmmm..maybe that is the message of the book.

Here’s the worst part of this book…the metaphor itself.

These little people live in a maze with rats.  Now, what does the maze represent?  Maybe, your job.   And the cheese is, maybe, your position.  So, if you get downsized, transferred, or told to mop the floor, you should embrace this change.

But there’s another option this book doesn’t even get close to approaching.

LEAVE THE MAZE!

You don’t need to stick around while someone is messing with you.  “Who Moved My Cheese” was right about one thing: it’s a book concerning “little people”.

Well, I’m not a little person.  I am a big person who can make big big decisions.  And I for one would choose to leave the maze.  When a game is rigged, your best option, no, your ONLY option is to stop playing the game.

In the book, one guy sits there and waits, the other goes to other parts of the maze to look for cheese.  They’re both idiots.

The Verdict

This has got to be one of the worst books I’ve ever read.

The fact that so many people find this book “life-changing” boggles my mind.  “Who Moved My Cheese” is just plain stupid.  I found it to be neither inspirational nor uplifting.  It did not give me any revelations or even one good idea.  It was a complete waste of time—albeit short since it is the size of a newsletter article.

The fact is I got this book as part of my divorce.  I wondered why my ex-wife would give up the book so quickly.  Now, I know why.

My hope is that if I can save just ONE person from reading this inane drivel then my life would be meaningful.

I recommend some other activities that are a better use of your time than reading this book.

They include:

Taking a nap

Playing Tetris

Drawing stick figures in a notebook

Coloring a picture

Playing with blocks

Going to the bathroom

Eating cheese (that is, good cheese, and don’t let anyone take that away from you.)

Trimming your nails

Those are just a few suggestions.

To end this review, I know that when I say don’t read this book, some of you will leave out the “don’t” and just see read this book.  Curiosity will get the better of some of you.  I understand that.

So, I let me summarize the book for you:

Embrace change.

There you go.  That’s it.  If you’d like to donate to my blog in lieu of buying the book, I won’t stop you.

But wait, there’s more….

For my blog readers, I am offering a free 1o-page cheesed* version of this review.  Download it for free and send it to 200 of your closest friends (or you could just share this link).

Cheesed Review of “Who Moved My Cheese”

* cheesed (adj): when content is formatted in such a way to make it appear that there are more pages than there actually are, a la “Who Moved my Cheese?”

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