The Knowledge

Fuck a review. Instead, I will share the impression the story has on my life.

There is a fraught philosophy that the protagonist operates on called WHATTHEFUCK. 

You live this philosophy in both of its conventional meanings. One, ‘Whatthefuck?’ as in, ‘Why not?’ Why not leap into bed with any slut who slows down long enough for you to stick your dick into her? Why not say yes to any cockamamie and probably illegal scheme that gets put in front of you by any obviously-out-of-his-mind maniac? And two, Whatthefuck in the sense of an exclamation of surprise. As in, ‘Hey, whatthefuck happened? I just got run over by a truck. Wherethefuck did that come from?
— Excerpt from “The Knowledge”

Having operated on this philosophy myself, I can vouch for the selfish highs, heart breaks, professional failures, and defeats of resistance.

The story is based on a low point in the life of the author, Steven Pressfield, and contains elements and events that are fictionalized. Many of the dangers and conflicts that the main character, Stretch, finds himself in are dilemmas that he unawarely creates or puts himself through so he can cover up the main problem in his life. It's like a diabetic who won't make the necessary changes to live a healthy life and instead cuts her wrist so the immediate problem becomes her loss of blood. This is the approach Stretch takes throughout the story. Rather than divorcing his wife and finishing his novel on time, he takes a job offer that has him follow the wife of a New York gangster. This job leads him down a series of events that involve murder, infidelity, lost friendships, failed deadlines, and a missing cat. 

WHATTHEFUCK and I have been through betrayal, debt, divorce, and the real possibility of impregnating two women at the same time. Not only is the work further delayed but it takes the self inflicting victim maximum effort to get back on track. That is the knowledge gained from personal experience and it is the knowledge that is shared in this book.

Kudos to Steven Pressfield for releasing two worth my time reads in 2016. 

Read If: You are your own worst enemy.

Do Not Read If: You blame everyone else for your problems in life.

The Knowledge by Steven Pressfield