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Publisher's Summary

The eagerly anticipated new book from the author of the best-selling The 48 Laws of Power

What did Charles Darwin, middling schoolboy and underachieving second son, do to become one of the earliest and greatest naturalists the world has known? What were the similar choices made by Mozart and by Caesar Rodriguez, the U.S. Air Force's last ace fighter pilot? In Mastery, Robert Greene's fifth book, he mines the biographies of great historical figures for clues about gaining control over our own lives and destinies. Picking up where The 48 Laws of Power left off, Greene culls years of research and original interviews to blend historical anecdote and psychological insight, distilling the universal ingredients of the world's masters.

Temple Grandin, Martha Graham, Henry Ford, Buckminster Fuller - all have lessons to offer about how the love for doing one thing exceptionally well can lead to mastery. Yet the secret, Greene maintains, is already in our heads. Debunking long-held cultural myths, he demonstrates just how we, as humans, are hardwired for achievement and supremacy. Fans of Greene's earlier work and Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers will eagerly devour this canny and erudite explanation of just what it takes to be great.

©2012 Robert Greene (P)2012 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Too much repetition in the story

This book is pretty solid but he reuses the same anecdotes too often which sometimes made me tune out.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Phenomenal

What a knowledgeable journey and soothing voice by the narrator. A+ read /listen would read again

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Mastery - the only way to get anywhere

This is perhaps one of the few complete instances of why common misconceptions of talent and achievement exist and gives the framework on how to do away with them. The story’s of the contemporary masters, not only, inspire the listener to search deep within themselves but also give the first few step in the path to mastering one of the hardest and common skills. That of self mastery. Amazing. The content makes up for any choppiness or pitch change in the performance.

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Mastery

Robert Greene debunks genius as a natural ability to coming from years of intensive study and experience in ones field. From breaking down the science of the brain to many life stories of Masters that have lived you can't help but to agree with him.

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A bit long winded but drives the point home

Great book to lay out the foundations of mastery. The biographical information on the different masters was a bit repetitive however probably necessary if you don't listen to the book in a while and start it up again

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truely masterful !!

great to listen and life changing. I will listen to it again and again I believe. the book also encourages you to read on more subjects.

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Life changing book!

We are all looking for happiness and the only way to get it is to find your vocation. In this book, Robert Greene is brilliantly demonstrating the way to identified your personnel path to happiness and become a master in your domain of interest. Great book, Robert Greene is again working on your blind spots and leave your feeling inspired and powerful. Every body should read this book.

Pour les francophones, le narrateur anglophone est très bon et clair, le contenu est incroyablement puissant.

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Rewards Repeated Listening

One of my favourite titles to listen while on the way to work. He has a lot of very entertaining stories of brilliant masters from the past to illustrate his many insights. Rewards repeated listening. I also highly recommend the 50th Law.

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y wh

change my whole perception of life and this world we live in and in the time in my life right now just the book i needed to read

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Geoff
  • 2013-04-14

Classic Robert Greene

I haven't listened to or read another author that tries to teach life lessons that are relevant today through historic stories from the past. Is he always successfull? No, not always. Is it entertaining and will you learn some cool stories about great masters of the past (think Mozart, Da Vinci)? Yes!

This book may or may not change your life. The lessons are great and the stories are interesting, however, as with all these self help types of books, you will only see change if you apply it. Fred Sanders does a great job narrating this book (one of the better Narrations I've listed to on a Robert Greene book).

31 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 2015-05-04

Focus on passion=Less stress and more success

If you could sum up Mastery in three words, what would they be?

Clarity of purpose

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Being great at something and to truly arrive at being great takes 10,000 hours or more. This is a message that is not being presented in today's age. Students think that they can cheat their way to greatness or be distracted by their phones and think that they can delve deep enough into a subject matter to earn a great job. Shortcuts are preached by many in education and politics. We are not meant to multi-task. Success is not a quick-fix away.

What about Fred Sanders’s performance did you like?

Fred Sanders is the best narrator of a Robert Greene book. He tells the stories well and with just enough passion to keep the listener engaged. I wish that the other books were also available unabridged and read by the same performer. The reader of the abridged Power and Seduction books was too smarmy and took away the credibility of the text.

If you could give Mastery a new subtitle, what would it be?

Master your passion, or be mastered by others.

Any additional comments?

This is a great book and I will read it again. I also purchased the print copy. It is easy to become sidetracked by the media and all of the various forms of entertainment and news that is "so important." Even at work, it is easy to major in the minor things and fall prey to the tyranny of the urgent. This book encourages a person to focus on one thing. To do that separates you out from the 99.999% who dabble and waste their potential and their lives never accomplishing anything worthwhile. What sounds like sacrifice actually is a gift of time and clarity of mind. It takes less time to prioritize when there is a singular goal and less time is needed when the goal is so clear.

46 of 48 people found this review helpful

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  • Irina
  • 2014-03-30

Must read

The books gives a big incentive to create. Moreover, reading this books definitely has a positive impact on the mood!
This is definitely one of my favorite books now.
Really enjoyed this audio version.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • john cook
  • 2013-06-16

WOW, I CANT STOP LISTENING

I loved this book, very exciting stories and examples of masters being taught by themselves and stories of their apprenticeships. I have listened to this book over 5 times in the first month and I keep getting more and more out of this book. Instant favorite in my collection of over 500 books. Daily listener and this book has excited me more than most.

45 of 52 people found this review helpful

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  • Regis
  • 2015-05-10

Amazing

I changed my life because of this book. I was trough some depressing times but thanks to Mastery I became more productive.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Adnan Maddix
  • 2017-10-12

Its starts of really well but becomes repetitive.

The book started of really well, however it became repetitive. 16 hours is far too long. 10 hours would of been great. he lost me at 12.5 hours He repeats some stories at least three times. What i took from the book, anything you want to be great at you have to work work work.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Steven
  • 2013-04-23

Myopic at times, with some useful stuff thrown in.

Would you try another book from Robert Greene and/or Fred Sanders?

Maybe, but I would be cautious.

Would you ever listen to anything by Robert Greene again?

Maybe.

Which character – as performed by Fred Sanders – was your favorite?

He didn't perform characters. This was written in the third person throughout.

Do you think Mastery needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No

Any additional comments?

Some exceptional concepts and ideas are buried within this book. However, the author cannot seem to get past the idea that parents are all overbearing, non-nurturing, stifling, and have to be "overthrown". Are you kidding me? I get the idea that we have to unshackle ourselves, but I get the feeling the author is projecting, and it significantly takes away from the enjoyment and message of this book.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy
  • 2013-01-21

what it takes, beyond hard work, to really know it

Detailed and far ranging discussion of what it takes to be the best you can be. Examples of both widely known and not so widely known domain experts help illuminate what is required.
When the author starts riffing on the malevolent aspects of the mentor/mentee relationship, I think he is off base. Setting that aside, any person that has the drive to be the best will learn something from this book. Super narration.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Carlos
  • 2017-10-16

Great book

Goes over common characteristics of historical figures that mastered something in their lives and explains how to take those traits and apply them to whatever you do in life

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ironlironzion
  • 2012-12-16

An amazing listen!

Would you consider the audio edition of Mastery to be better than the print version?

This is a fantastic collection of biographies and lessons. A very pleasant education on just about everything

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Laszlo Papp
  • 2016-05-13

Interesting but lengthy and sometimes repetitive

the book is very lengthy and often repetitive: same story of the same person. it could have been much shorter. other than that I totally recommend it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • anja bolbjerg
  • 2017-05-19

this will become a new classic

really well composed, good sense storytelling with excellent real life examples from all eras and walks of life. i really enjoyed it and learnt a lot.