Many months ago, I received a free copy of Never Eat Alone through the Goodreads First Reads program. I took the book to work with me, reading a page or section or chapter each day with my co-workers, sharing the valuable insights I was gaining by reading Mr. Ferrazzi’s advice.
The very beginning of the book was helpful. The very end off the book was helpful. The middle 200 or so pages? Not so much.
I honestly hope that I never have to work with someone who thinks that what Mr. Ferrazzi promotes in this book is acceptable behavior. It is not. Much of what he discusses is creepy, annoying, rude, or just downright inappropriate.
He suggests thoroughly researching the person you’re looking to meet with, so that you can discuss your shared interests. I’m sorry, but if I’ve just met you three seconds ago, please do not let on that you know where I went to high school, the names of my pets, and that I enjoy reading and reviewing young adult novels, despite being in my mid-twenties. I will politely excuse myself from this potential stalker before things get out of hand.
He suggests throwing dinner parties with two waves of friends – one wave which is only invited to come after dinner, but that wouldn’t be offended by not being good enough to attend your actual event. If you don’t want them there for the full event, why are you bothering inviting them at all?
He suggests ranking your friends and contacts from 1-3, signifying how often you need to contact them. What if they films out that they’re a 3 for you (meaning you contact them once a year), but to them, you’re a 1 (frequent contact)? Feelings are bound to get hurt, and then that relationship you’ve spent so long curating goes right out the window.
There is some good advice in here, don’t get me wrong. I particularly liked the advice on building your brand. But overall, the advice is questionable – I think only very specific personality types in very specific industries could pull off everything that’s been suggested here – and a lot of the chapters seem to solely consist of Mr. Ferrazzi patting himself on the back for being successful, or firing off a string of people he considers friends.
Never Eat Alone isn’t exactly a waste of time, but I wouldn’t suggest running out to immediately buy a copy, either.
Final rating: ★★☆☆☆