In pursuit of elegance is sort-of a follow-up on "The Elegant Solution" by the same author in which the author tries to discover what elegance is. The book is quite typical of its kind, where the author tries to make an interesting point by sharing lots of short stories and tries to extract deeper meaning out of them.
The first chapter is a roadmap chapter where the author first tries to define what "elegance" means in the first place and then based on that definition, he can pursuit the separate elements of elegance. Eventually he comes up with the definition: Symmetry, Seduction, Subtraction and Sustainability. The definition feels a bit arbitrary to me, but the rest of the book contains chapters for each of these.
The rest of the book is structured around stories... mostly not experiences but stories the author has read or researched. The stories are often interesting though. Examples of stories are Pollack paintings and the discovery of their fractal nature. A Dutch traffic square that become simpler when removing traffic signs. The sudden ending of a TV show and why that might have been a good idea. A French company called FAVI that is based on less management and roles. Problems of video rental and rewinding of tapes.
All stories were interesting and nice to read. The only, in retrospect perhaps, painful story relates to Lance Armstrong and his training program. I do think we can learn from that, but of course, the additional information about his doping usage makes it a lot less attractive.
All in all, it was an ok book to read. I enjoyed reading it but didn't have much WOW moments in the book either. I suspect it'll go on the shelf and in a couple of years I'll need to check this review to remember the book. Good book, good stories, not very special.
- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: BROADWAY; 1 edition (15 September 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385526504
- ISBN-13: 978-0385526500
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.2 x 20.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 159 g
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