by Jordan Peterson
Publisher: Random House Canada
Published: 23rd January 2018
Jordan Peterson does not explain in short, but is ever in-depth and exhaustive. He tells of the gestation of the volume, of there being many more rules in the beginning of the writing process and that they were distilled to only twelve. Each rule is scientific in the most part, but also draws on a wide breadth of knowledge in philosophy, literature and religion. Peterson’s aim is to show the wisdom of the ages and how the religious rules put forward over the millennia make sense, why we should still give them credence.
There are times when one may wonder if Peterson is aiming to make the reader a fundamentalist Christian, or whether he is laying out the scientific and philosophical rules that will lead to a more ordered and less chaotic life. By the end, you may not be certain which aim takes precedence. It is however worth persevering and seeing each of the twelve arguments to the end.
What helps greatly are the scenes and circumstances throughout Peterson’s life upon which he draws as examples of how order and chaos arise. For instance, memories of his childhood friends who descended into drug use and destruction, to the terrible pain of his young daughter with her rheumatoid arthritis. These move the voice from blunt and pointed, to that of a sincere man who draws on life experience to enrich and better the reader’s life.
Should you choose to take on the book, as I recommend you do, and you choose to listen to it, you may find Peterson’s style, as he narrates, worthy of note. As you may see in Peterson’s YouTube videos, he does not hold back. You will hear when he is irate, and you will pick up the tears and the grief when he tells of painful times. You may also, possibly for the only time, hear the ‘b’ in subtle pronounced throughout.