This is an insightful book about what it really takes to become Master (Robert Greene always used this word with a capital M) in your field of study – hours and years of commitment, lack of distractions along the way, enrichment of your knowledge in as many fields as possible (thinking of the world as a whole where aspects that you would never otherwise believe to be relevant to your field of study, due to bias or conformism, turn out to be quite applicable).
The author also very explicitly explained why not everyone becomes a Master – for example, people tend to blame it on the environment that they are in such as lack of connections with the right people or they use self-reassuring thoughts to boost their ego of the likes of “it’s all god’s will” or “only crazy people become Masters”.
The reason why I am giving three stars to this book is that it is too repetitive. First of all, Robert Greene discussed all of the Masters of his choice to substantiate his theories at least twice throughout the book essentially saying the same thing. For example, a Master that he introduced the reader to on page 30 is discussed on page 150 as well but re-introduced in slightly different words but essentially giving the same introduction. What is even more annoying is that it’s discouraging to skip or skim the repetitions because occasionally – an emphasis on occasionally – there will be new information that is worth reading.
Second of all, the concepts that he discussed separately had plenty of overlaps. Because of all those repetitions the book could have actually be halved – around 150 pages – essentially containing the same information. And even though plenty of books repeat themselves – to Robert Greene’s defense – this book is among the most repetitive books that I have ever read. In other words, Mastery is too repetitive and, I dare say, terribly structured which at one point made it too annoying to read therefore inflating the value it has inspiring the Master in its readers.