I have just finished reading REVOLUTION by British comedian and actor Russell Brand, and to feel moved enough to HAVE to write this review now and not later is a testament to how strong the ideas in this book are and how well written it is.
You could argue that I am just another blogger with ADD or something and my rush to review the book says more about me than the book itself. Could be true. I have no way of proving to you that this is not a habit of mine, but despite what our opinion of me or my reasons for writing are review is, please don't make it stop you from picking up this book and giving it a go.
Russell Brand (I just found this out after buying the book) is not only a comedian and actor, he also does stand-up comedy and has published to other books before this one. For me, I had only heard of him because I watched Get Him To The Greek, and I know he starred in Arthur. I didn't really consider him funny and his portrayal of the characters he played was too over the top. As you read this book you will find him admitting to this persona and he doesn't hide it, so I wasn't mistaken in my opinion, but when I turned to the first page of the book when I saw it on the shelf in the bookshop, and after reading the first few paragraphs, I knew I was in for a treat, and that not only is this guy funny, but as one review says on the dust jacket "the bloke can write".
The message of the book basically is that we need a revolution, based on love, non-violence, and more importantly is that it is a personal revolution from within first.
As much as the book is funny it is heavy with information, and IDEAS. And that's why I don't think I can or should try tackling these ideas here in this review, I wouldn't want to ruin it for you anyway.
So since this is a review of the book, I'll stick to the broader elements. First off let me say it again if you missed the point up till now: I believe you should read it.
The writing is witty and funny, so you are guaranteed a few laughs, dependant on your understanding of British humour in general and Brand's brand (see what I did there?!) of humour specifically. At times I did find the topics tedious and repetitive, but thankfully this doesn't happen a lot and usually took place in the last third of the book so you won't be cheated or anything. Also, considering that this is non-fiction and the chapters are short, you can just skip what you don't like and still get huge value for the money you will have paid.
The author is promoting a spiritual revolution and is obviously very invested in spiritual practices that I can't really elaborate on because I didn't understand all of them. Because of this, at time he can get bogged down by talking about what I considered to be esoteric topics that I didn't always grasp. Again, this doesn't happen too often and is grossly outweighed by the value of all other ideas presented in this book. And if you are thinking "what great ideas could a recovering drug addict comedian bring that I don't already know?", let me tell you that the good thing Brand does here is collect for you the ideas of other men much smarter (and socially active) than himself or most of his readers, and that's why you are probably going to pick up a few new things you never really knew about.
That being said, the great thing about this book; the thing that has gotten me to rush to the laptop to send this review out into the world, is that it moves you. After reading through 300 pages of Russell's words most of the time hearing his characteristic British, Essex accent echoing in your head (could be just me?) you can't help but feel a revelation, an epiphany, even if only a minor one. He presents ideas, theories and statistics in a simple, easy and approachable manner that eventually they stick, they get you to think and if you do your own research, you will be unable to deny them.
I am not sure if I should share with you some examples of these revelations that I had after reading this book, because I don't want to spoil it, but I could tell you this, there are statistics here about imports, exports, politics, elections, agriculture and homelessness that will force you to question many of your own beliefs and all of those that have been forced upon you.
In short, Revolution is an eye opener. They could put the book's cover in the dictionary next to FOOD FOR THOUGHT.