I saw Will Gompertz talk about the ideas of this book last month at Edinburgh Book Festival and thought, you know, that sounds like a great idea of a book. Just celebrating creativity, perseverance, a new way of thinking.
I’m of his opinion in many areas where creativity can be beneficial, and should indeed be celebrated. When you have governments playing down the importance of arts and humanities, and flat out saying they won’t set you up for life, it just feels quite a shitty, mundane landscape if that’s what we have to look forward to.
So, Will spoke: he showed how people tackled creativity, how it had a knock on effect in several people to follow, he just deconstructed so much of it that it was fascinating. You kind of felt you could leave the event, pick up a pen and change the world. Or, at least, you felt like you wanted to.
The problem is that the book isn’t quite as lively a format as the spoken arena. Where he oozed enthusiasm, the pages fall a little flat. There are so many pull quotes (own pet peeve) that I was jumping between things. His thought process is brilliant, that creativity is such a wonderful thing, and so on; it is a fascinating book full of interesting stories and facts about creative types across the centuries, but the book falters a little compared to his live reverie.
Penguin Random House