Initially I was expecting a self-help book, based on inward reflection and psychological therapy, but straight away I realized I was wrong, and what George Kouloukis’s book actually is is a mathematical theory, suggesting the existence of some natural global phenomenon which directly influences our luck in life, influencing good and bad “seasons” which change every 16-17 years. In fairness to the author, the book’s blurb does explain this quite clearly. Still, its content came as somewhat unexpected; in this respect, it is fair to say that George has created something quite unique – I have certainly never heard of or considered the existence of such a force.
Importantly, the theory suggests that the cycle and its transitions are at fixed calendar points, and identically timed for all of us, even if the cycle of good and bad luck – what the author calls “seasons” – is inverted from one person to another. George “proves” this theory by citing events in the lives of a range of influential, famous historical figures, and identifying that the fixed points in which their “seasons” changed are around the same dates on the 16-17 year cycle. He then invites us to identify these transition points and seasons in our own lives, with the benefit to optimize our luck in the good ones, and minimize the effects of the imminent bad ones.
It is not clear what initially prompted George to hypothesize this science, only that he is absolutely assured of it; I think I would have liked a touch more background on the author, and to be informed what was his Newton’s apple moment – the moment he decided to study this theory with relish, which he definitely has. The book is incredibly well-researched, but it certainly has its limitations. While I definitely have no desire to question or discredit his theory in any way – nor is it my place to do so – I do have a couple of issues with this book: my first is that I simply don’t believe in luck, so I am immediately predisposed to skepticism. What the author calls good and bad seasons in the lives of the famous figures does seem, to me, incredibly subjective. Every piece of evidence George provides is the date of a positive or negative life event, but I feel there are countless figures for George to draw from to support or discredit his theory – for every one he has chosen to support it, there are another million that he hasn’t.
His efforts to explain the phenomenon’s actual cause look to be limited to citing how magnetic changes in the Earth’s opposing hemisphere have a natural effect on our behaviour and decision making, which, in turn, directly affects our luck – this explanation is a part of the theory that I do actually embrace quite credulously, in principle, and I would have liked to have seen George make a lot more of the geological factor of his theory. I believe this would have made it much more engrossing; as it is, he simply doesn’t do enough to convince me.
While I like this author a lot, and consider him very good at his work, I did observe that the version I received was not formatted for publication at all, and also contained a significant number of word errors. However, I was given a Word document for my ARC, so I will give George the benefit of the doubt that these issues have been redeemed before publication. If not, I would definitely implore him to do so.
He is an incredibly conscientious and intricate researcher, a quality which I hugely admire. The book itself is an encyclopaedia of data, facts and other information, and reads more like an academic textbook than the usual inwardly reflective non-fiction. Each chapter is simply the biography of a different figure, summarized by a collection of data to support the theory. Though I’ve no doubt that George is a very high quality author, whose intensive sourcing requires respect, much of the book is quoted and paraphrased – personally, I would have liked to have seen a great deal more of George’s own personality in his work. His writing is utterly compelling, and I couldn’t stop reading it; but, I have to be honest, I found it gripping and entertaining as a historical biography – unfortunately, of course, this is not what the book is supposed to be about. Still, George does this part so well, I wonder if the biographical commonalities of these figures generally might not be a better concept for this book. For entertainment and interest value, I rate this author highly.
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