This book sprung from a list of 40 brief rules that Jordan Peterson wrote on quora. The list itself is freely available and worth a read in itself. Some rules will speak more to people than others. Some will seem a little obscure. It is against this backdrop that i bought this book pretty much immediately on kindle as soon as it was released about 10 months ago. That and i had been watching bits and pieces of his maps of meaning lectures on youtube at the time.
So what do i think of the book? Its not a classic, its just good. Peterson does meander a bit and go off and tangents. Many times when i was reading 12 rules i found myself asking what has this got to do with the actual rule at the start of the chapter. But thats just his style if you happen to watch his youtube lectures. Petersons will be talking about one thing and then go off on a tangent and all of a sudden be talking about something completely different. But the thing with his lectures is that his deliver is rather good that you are not necessarily aware that he just flipped topics on you. He can weave a slightly hypnotic spell when speaking. But with writing Jordan doesnt have the same delivery punch and it becomes a bit more obvious that he is changing topics and waffling on. To me there was a lot of filler in this book and it really could have been a lot shorter and more to the point. In fact i think it really needed to be.
There is also the issue of hype surrounding Jordan Peterson that i have become increasingly uncomfortable with. Some people will have you believe he is one of the greatest minds of our time which i just cant agree with, especially when i see him talk on topics outside his area of expertise, or politics, or in debate with someone as smart as sam harris who can pull him up quickly when he starts to obfuscate and go off on tangents. At times the atmosphere around Jordan can all feel rather cult like and this makes me uncomfortable and wary. But in the end i would say its a good book with some useful advice and anecdotes. Go read his 40 rules list first and watch some of his youtube interviews and lectures. Then buy the book. I personally got more out of the former than the latter but who knows you may be different