“Make Your Own Damn Cheese” by John Chuback

Make Your Own Damn Cheese: Understanding, Navigating, and Mastering the 3 Mazes of SuccessMake Your Own Damn Cheese: Understanding, Navigating, and Mastering the 3 Mazes of Success by John Chuback
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I once reviewed “The Traveler” by Andy Stanley. Much like that book, this work is also based on a narrative metaphor to teach the reader business acumen.

Using a mouse named Earl, a visitor named Napoleon, and four teachers, Earl learns what type of mouse he is, his relation to the maze he is in, and what the end result is with the pursuit of cheese. The author uses Stanley’s storytelling approach but is written specifically in the vein of “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson and “I Moved Your Cheese” by Deepak Malhotra. The teachers, Napoleon, and Earl are all representative of personal development gurus Earl Nightingale, Napoleon Hill, Jim Rohn, Price Pritchett, Bob Proctor, Brian Tracy, and Denis Waitley.

The reader is taken along an adventure to learn what these self-help gurus have to say. The parable holds up enough to maintain the narrative and help the reader get the picture. Nonetheless, the author could benefit from spending more time perfecting the narrative craft. My review focuses primarily on that. After all, the characters that Chuback is basing this work off of are all known for their words and guidance to freedom and happiness. A strong narrative is one that allows the reader to learn incidentally (although intentionally), not primarily. The reader should be taking along a journey that entertains. Within that entertainment, characters will face challenges that they must overcome, and in the process of the character learning how to progress, the reader gains the understanding of the character’s success. This permits the reader to be entertained while learning new methods and skills.

In the case of this work, while the content is definitely geared for a self-help audience, the narrative struggles to maintain a consistent flow. The author’s voice is weak in this area and could use improvement. It would help take this book from being a non-engaging, average reader to one that captures the reader’s attention and keeps them going to the end. The work is short enough to be an easy sit and finish, and could still maintain this length, if desired, by working the art of the narrative metaphor into a higher-quality product.

Disclosure: I have received a reviewer copy and/or payment in exchange for an honest review of the product mentioned in this post. This product is reviewed based on content and quality in consideration of the intended audience. Review or recommendation of this product does not solicit endorsement from Reviews by J or the reviewer.

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