Ever since Chris Anderson mooted the idea of Free in an article in Wired I have questioned if the idea justifies a whole book. Now Wired has a follow up article taken from the book, which is due for release in July. I’m still far from convinced.
Some reviews are starting to come in, and they – too – are critical of the message Anderson is promoting. For example, The Observer:
Free observes an interesting phenomenon, but doesn’t take the reader far beyond the notion that there’s a lot of free stuff about. It pulls together information about current trends… But it doesn’t have the weight of a fully worked-through idea
Then the Sunday Times:
I’m afraid the under-thirties are wrong: there is no such thing as a free lunch. And this one is beginning to look terrifyingly expensive.
It’s strange that Anderson is calling these good reviews:
They may be good reviews but they are not glowing with praise.
Malcolm Gladwell has the best critique of the book so far – well worth a read: Priced to Sell
I want to read the book, so that hopefully Anderson can prove me wrong – but I want it for free. I have reserved the book at my local library, but that will still cost me 25p. I want £0.00. There will be a few options:
“Free” will be free. Ebooks free for first week, web book (Google Books) free for first month, abridged audiobook free to all hardcover purchasers and unabridged audiobook (the whole thing) free to everyone forever. All starting on pub date (July 9th).
I’ll go for the unabridged audio and hope for the best.
UPDATE: The debate over the validity of the Free arguments continue. Check out: