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The Curriculum

Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master of Business Arts
Narrated by: Stanley Bing
Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
3 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

From the mind of the ultimate corporate gunslinger comes this no-nonsense, real-world Curriculum, designed to augment - if not replace - the more traditional path to achieving mastery of the business universe. Conquer this sharp, practical and often amusing course of study and save $250,000 of wasted business school tuition.

Unlike those august, Ivy-encrusted factories that churn out masterful business administrators, The Curriculum will teach you the art of business, employing a smart, tactical battle plan that will prove infinitely more awesome as you make your way in the world.

We begin, in the Core Curriculum, with the acquisition and maintenance of Power. Included are such essentials as Not Appearing Stupid (an early career requirement), Fabricating A Sustainable Business Personality, and the arts of Management and Selling.

The Advanced Curriculum hones the skills that are required to seize Success by the throat and shake it until valuable prizes fall out of its pockets, including fundamentals on Strategic Thinking, Self-Branding, mastering Electronic Communications, and dealing with Crazy People.

Tutorials and Electives, which students may pursue as their interest or discretion advises, include lessons on Giving an Effective Presentation, Business Drinking, and the Care and Feeding of Ultra-Senior Officers.

Backed up by years of study from Mr. Bing’s proprietary research organization (The National Association of Serious Studies), The Curriculum is dedicated to the study of business, how it works, and how it can be used against those who don’t know how it works.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2014 Stanley Bing (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

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Profile Image for George Lillywhite
  • George Lillywhite
  • 14-03-19

Nuanced yet bombastic satirical take on business.

This isn't the first title by Stanley Bing that I have read, and I am beginning to see a pattern. For that reason this can be considered a joint review of the titles "The Curriculum" & "What Would Machiavelli Do?" as these books encompass the same core theme with very similar approaches.
I can recommend reading "What Would Machiavelli Do?" before "The Curriculum" as it's unique caricatured style is more obvious in Machiavelli.

Bing's work is often bashed by those who open his work expecting one of two things;

a) It is a serious book, to be taken literally and in doing so, the reader will be guaranteed success in all their professional endeavors. (finally, a cheat sheet to life!)

b) an overly moralistic reader chooses to read it for either genuine guidance or simply to scoff at the abhorrence of a narrator they would never associate with.

However, the truth is that Bing's work is a nuanced work of satire. that is as entertaining as it is because, of course, it's grounded in reality.
Truthfully, all the points laid bare by the bombastic narrator are factual. this is what makes Bing's work such a satisfying piece of literature. we would love to refute whats being said, but the well researched book provides example after example of these approaches working. from Warren Buffet to Muammar Gaddafi. Thiel to Bin Laden. the latter of both these examples being where the true nature of Bing's work shows it's head.

When writing satire two golden rules are 1. "To appear to be serious while delivering satire. It is subtle, but effective, when at first glance it looks like you are actually reporting on a real event." and 2. "take things farther than they have already gone". both of which Bing has followed to a Tee. It is the unwavering seriousness and exaggerated abhorrence that give these books their brilliance. However this approach has been a double edged sword, as many readers find themselves forgetting the true nature of these books and believing what is being said at face value.

Bing presents these points from the perspective of a caricatured business mogul who, although successful, is thoroughly and intentionally loathsome. This Character is able to give "unique" perspectives on the world of business, irrefutable by us mere plebeians. Often Bing will close a chapter with a quote from a "successful" business person, that elegantly communicates the ideologies of that chapter. only for it to turn out to be from a notoriously terrible person. Pol Pot for example. these techniques build a thriving and robust world of success among those without morals.

The Pacing of The Curriculum isn't as on the ball as Machiavelli, at 10 hours the joke can wear a little thin compared to the more succinct 3 hour read time of Machiavelli. this being said, I enjoyed all of both.

Philip Bosco is the perfect Narrator in Machiavelli, his austere voice and private school-boy oration build the aforementioned Business man character perfectly. Bing narrates The Curriculum himself, this is often a mistake for an author as they are rarely as good an orator as they are writer. This being said Bing's performance was neutral and unobtrusive to the message, which I mean as a good thing. if you notice the narrators voice it is usually because it is jarring.

The Writing style of both titles is as though it were spoken word. this works excellently for an audio book although I imagine it would grow tiring on print. in Machiavelli this paints a picture of the mogul narrator speaking at an assistant or ghost writer. (think Roger Stirling in the later seasons of Mad Men). While in The Curriculum this same technique gives the reader the impression they have attended a seminar on the subject. This is strengthened by the fact that The Curriculum comes with "Class Notes" in the form of a separate PDF showing graphs and diagrams discussed throughout the book.

Both Books are very entertaining as well as somewhat insightful. The reader should take any advice with a generous pinch of salt and not be to offended by the opinions of the fictional narrator.

I do highly recommend

G D Lillywhite


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Profile Image for Jane Austen
  • Jane Austen
  • 01-11-14

Hope our millennials do not read this book

Would you try another book from Stanley Bing and/or Stanley Bing?

No

If you’ve listened to books by Stanley Bing before, how does this one compare?

This was his first book I read

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Sadness.
Having earned a masters degree in engineering management, I read this book and realized that most of corporate America today must have read some form of this book.

Any additional comments?

It's a must read for every student to read AFTER they graduate with a masters degree and BEFORE they enter a large corporation, so they're more prepared to deal with the politics.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful