Cover Image: Creativity


Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I'm not sure I'd even call this a book, it's more like a long article-however, it has lots of interesting thoughts in it. In a way, it's a better book on creativity and more inspiring it than most books out there as there's less to read before you can get creative.
Was this review helpful?
Funny, but practical, with a few personal stories in between. I almost feel silly pointing out the obvious point of the book, but there are no bells and whistles here. What you see is what you get! If you're facing a creative roadblock, at least you can diffuse that frustration by being entertained and mildly educated by one of the most creative people out there. Sometimes we need a little help tapping into our creativity and that's certainly accomplished here in a way that's at least sure to pluck you out of your funk.
Was this review helpful?
Cleese brings up all good and valid points, unfortunately, of which none are either original or new. He did bring in 1 new resource to me in Guy Claxton’s Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind. I believe in the concept of the book and adore the analogy. 

Other familiar and valid points he brought up
*conscious thought slows us down (concentrate on tuning your shoelaces vs stop thinking and do what’s now become natural or instinctive)
* creative people are better at tolerating vague sense of unresolved
* don’t ask who is right, ask which idea is better
Was this review helpful?
Creativity follows both the author, and the general person, on their road to creativity, while also providing helpful tips and tricks along the way! 
The writing was simply amazing, I like how it was relaxed and felt somewhat like a conversation - of course, in a written format. The tips were interesting and could be helpful to those constantly facing creative blocks. The book was short and compact, and it is a quick read. You don't need much brain power or a dictionary to get into this one, Overall, it was interesting and highly helpful! 
If you're looking for a book to help boost up your creativity, provide motivation, or even just get a quick book in before the end of the year, Creativity would be perfect for you!  

ᴛʜᴀɴᴋ ʏᴏᴜ ᴛᴏ ɴᴇᴛɢᴀʟʟᴇʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘᴜʙʟɪꜱʜᴇʀ ꜰᴏʀ ɢʀᴀɴᴛɪɴɢ ᴍᴇ ᴀᴄᴄᴇꜱꜱ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜɪꜱ ʙᴏᴏᴋ.
Was this review helpful?
A fun, quick read. This book is Cleese's voice through and through, and I loved it. This is not a scientific book, but a book of anecdotes and stories of someone who has remained at the top of his comedic game for many decades. I was pleased to know that his every effort was not 100% successful--it made his story relatable. What this book has in spades in permission: permission to be silly, permission to be creative, permission to color outside the lines, and permission to learn from both failure and success. Recommended for anyone who needs a boost in their creative confidence.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. My review opinion is my own. 
I happily recommend this short insightful guide to creativity. It is a unique perspective of this beloved actor and how to harness your inner creativity and find your skill  . I loved it and will be gifting it to friends. Very well done to the author !
Was this review helpful?
It’s a quick read that is pretty broad and abstract in concept but a worthwhile read for John Cleese fans if anyone interested in flexing their creative muscles.
Was this review helpful?
I received a complimentary ARC copy of "Creativity A Short and Cheerful Guide" by John Cleese from Netgalley and Crown Publishing to read and give an honest review.

... a practical short guide. filled with tips on the inner workings of the creative mind...

I really enjoyed this book, although a quick read, it is a down to earth primer on how to tap into one’s creativity.  Often creativity is viewed as something unreachable for mere mortals, yet John Cleese lays out the basics in a practical short guide. filled with tips on the inner workings of the creative mind such as learning how to be playful, finding inspiration and exploring ideas as well as personal anecdotes on Mr. Cleese’s creative journey giving the reader a user manual to access their own creativity..
Was this review helpful?
Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide by John Cleese is a highly recommended accessible and brief guide on developing creativity.

John Cleese shares his key ideas about creativity: that it’s a learnable, improvable skill. He makes it clear that "you can teach creativity. Or perhaps I should say, more accurately, you can teach people how to create circumstances in which they will become creative. And that’s what this little book is all about." It is a short, amusing, practical guide with encouraging advice to those who are interested in finding ways and techniques to increase their creativity. He includes some anecdotes from his own career.

The first suggestion, to allow your conscious and unconscious mind both work on the creative process. While your conscious mind can do much, your subconscious can often show you the resolution to a problem that has stymied your project. He also summarized Guy Glaxton’s Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind which suggests using quick, purposeful thinking with ruminating about a problem. The last section of the book is a collection of truisms that we may have all heard, but should be brought back to the forefront of your mind. Many of his observations may seem straightforward, his presentation and summary of the creative process makes his advice palatable and appealing.  This truly is a short and cheerful guide.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.
The review will be posted on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Was this review helpful?
It is short, pithy, and full of more wise feathers to get your silly walk on than a dead parrot. Oh, and it is written by John Cleese! hint: if you press your nose close the pages and inhale one might catch the slight whiff of Venezuelan Beaver Cheese.

Purchase this for any creative types or those who pine for the fjords of creativity.
Was this review helpful?
John Cleese, comedic master from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers, and movies like A Fish Called Wanda, is here with a few words on Creativity. This is a man who has been creative for decades, writing films, television shows, books, and sketches that have made us all laugh until we ached. Now he’s here to share his secrets with the rest of us. 

This brief book is not just for artists. He actually writes about creativity for those who have never thought they could be creative. He breaks it down into its most basic facets, so that even the most serious human, someone who would never think to try to write a screenplay or to walk funny to make people laugh or to draw or paint or play the guitar, can use this advice to make space for creativity in their decisions, in their relationships, in their lives. 

Cleese has worked for years as a speaker for businesses, teaching creativity to companies all over the world, and he has refined his ideas into a handful of concepts that can make anyone more creative. He talks about what he calls “Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind,” the idea of letting your unconscious mind help you make leaps in your decision making. He talks about inspiration, about setbacks, about when to panic, and about when to seek another’s opinion. 

Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide is just over 100 pages, and it’s a great gift for students, for artists, for non-artists, for anyone who wants to stretch their creative muscles, and for anyone who understands the question, “How do you come up with a dead parrot sketch?” (Okay, he doesn’t answer that specifically, but he does talk some about his early days writing sketch comedy and working on the screenplay for A Fish Called Wanda). 

In short, he’s John Cleese. He’s a comedic master. Any advice he wants to give about being creative, I’m all in for. And if you’re smart, you’d go all in too! 

Egalleys for Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide were provided by Crown Publishing through NetGalley, with many thanks.
Was this review helpful?
Any Monty Python fans out there? If so, I highly recommend checking out John Cleese's book Creativity when it hits the shelves on September 8th. In this book, he provides a pretty enjoyable and practical guide to demystifying the illusive idea of creativity. ⁣⁣As a writer, some of the things that really resonated with were:⁣⁣
1) The idea of Play: Cleese discusses how children at play are so free and able to exist in the moment "because their play has no purpose, they feel utterly free from anxiety". 
2) Uncertainty is OK: Cleese notes that "creative people are much better at tolerating the vague sense of worry that we all get when we leave something unresolved". 

3) Do You, Boo: He writes " are most likely to be creative in an area that you already know and care about".
Was this review helpful?
A short book, one which mainly focuses on hare brain vs. turtle mind as a way of creative thinking. Interesting enough, but an idea which Cleese has explored before.
Was this review helpful?
Cleese is brilliant in his own way. I believe he's been teaching this subject in a variety forms over the years in corporate settings. So he's probably honed the info and put it in writing. Whatever the case. he's done an excellent job of concisely providing some great approaches to creativity. This is indeed fun and well written. Recommended.

I really appreciate the ARC for review!!
Was this review helpful?
This was a unique take on what it means to be creative. But I'd expect nothing less from John Cleese. My partner is a big Monty Python fan, and this is one I'd recommend to him and others who are fans as well or just want a fresh take on creativity.
Was this review helpful?
A little somethin'-somethin' from a comedy great--I guess if you read it out loud it would be like a TED Talk. 

It's incredibly enjoyable insofar as it's able to help you realize how your full capabilities can be stifled by, well, yourself. Loosening up and opening your mind to that part of you that's a little less reigned in can have its benefits, and giving up conscious control--just letting loose for a while--can help you achieve your goals, at the very least. 

Much of what Cleese is saying is already in plain sight, but we either choose to ignore it, figure it's for someone else, give its implementation a rain check, nod in agreement about its potential but still go on with our day...whether you're a waiter, a writer, or a wedding coordinator, this has serious applicability for everyday life. 

It doesn't take that long to read, and it's something that you can refer back to for guidance time and again. 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for the advance read.
Was this review helpful?
Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide is an examination of the creative process by the inimitable John Cleese. Due out 8th Sept 2020 from Crown Publishing, it's a concise 112 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats.

This is exactly as advertized. It's cheerfully humorous and lighthearted but at the same time, a fairly rigorous examination of writing and the creative process from the prodigious experience acquired by Mr. Cleese over his long (and illustrious) career.

The book is broken into shorter chapters (some of them are 1 page(ish) - very short indeed) which illuminate one or more points. Many of the larger ideas will be familiar to fanatical followers of the author from his series of lectures at Cornell as a professor-at-large. They're expanded upon in this book and there are some pretty profound ideas included for a humorous little book.

In the current culture of anti-intellectualism it's all too easy to become disillusioned and exhausted by all of the backlash against well spoken prose, language, literature, intelligence... This book (and Cleese) are erudite and unapologetically intelligent.

There's a lot of material here for fans of Monty Python and Cleese the Actor, but there's also a lot to love here for anyone who loves to read intelligent well spoken people talking about an interesting topic.

I enjoyed it hugely and recommend it to everyone.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
Was this review helpful?
In this book, Mr. Cleese has distilled creativity down to its essential parts with no filler. Creativity is necessary in many areas, not just the arts. If you think you're not creative, think again! Start by reading this book. And the ring-tailed lemurs are adorable!
Was this review helpful?
Who better to write a book about creativity than John Cleese?!

If you pick up this book thinking it will be a Monty Python-like humor book, you might be disappointed.  But if you pick this up hoping to find some tips on how to discover or enhance your own creativity (as well as why it's important), in a light, cheerful, and ... dare I say it ... creative manner, then you should be thoroughly pleased.

If you are familiar with John Cleese (and if you aren't you probably wouldn't bother picking this up) you can probably 'hear' him reading this.  He writes just as he speaks, making this easy and delightful to read.

Cleese wasn't always a creative comic (actor and writer) ... he initially studied to become a lawyer before getting involved with "the nicest bunch of people" while studying at Cambridge. Since that time, he's discovered a few tips and tricks about being creative.

What Cleese writes makes a lot of sense, and it comes from research which he quotes, and his own observations. If you were to sum it up, I believe it would be that creativity can't be forced, but it can be coerced and sometimes we need to recognize it for what it is.  This latter part is particularly important.  Cleese notes that when he and friend Graham Chapman were trying to write together they would grow frustrated during periods of creative 'blockages' - though after an entire week of work, they would typically come up with a certain amount of good material, week after week.

"We came to understand that the blockages weren’t an interruption in the process, they were part of it. For example, when you eat, the bit where the fork returns empty to your plate isn’t a failure. It’s just part of the eating process."*

Wow.  That's actually kind of brilliant.

The book is brief ... very easy to read in one day ... but packed with insightful help and plenty of wit and charm. Just what you'd expect from John Cleese. He makes a strong case for reasons why creativity is important in everyday life and not just for the 'creative types.'  But even those of us who consider ourselves creative will probably find a gem or two of advice that can be applied to our work (I know I did).

I highly recommend this book.

Looking for a good book? <em>Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide</em> by John Cleese is not only creative and clever, it is insightful and helpful and a great reference.  You should get a copy.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

*Note: Quotes are from an advance review copy of the book and may not reflect the final published version.
Was this review helpful?
Very short and to the point.  I couldn’t help but read it in his voice.  Excellent advice with regards to creativity even for people like me who don’t feel they have a creative bone in their body.
Was this review helpful?