Book Review: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Titlepic: Book Review: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

This is a book review of “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. This is a good book for those who are interested in the Law of Attraction. Both newbies and more experienced students of the Law of Attraction may benefit from reading this book.

KEYWORDS: book review, Law of Attraction, Rhonda Byrne, self-development, self-help, self-improvement, The Secret.

PART 1: THE BOOK

In this book review I will be reviewing my old copy of The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne (click image to enlarge):

Photos of front cover and back cover of "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne (Simon & Schuster UK, 2006)
Figure 1. Front and back covers of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (Simon & Schuster UK, 2006).

This book is published by Simon & Shuster UK, according to the back cover. But it doesn’t say so on the copyright page. And the copyright page does also not inform us about what year it was published. But on the top of the copyright page we at least get the information that this book was “First published” in 2006.

But after doing an ISBN search on amazon.co.uk, we are informed that this book indeed is the first edition itself, published on 4 December 2006.

About the Book

The Secret is an introduction to the Law of Attraction. It is a very “hands-on” type of book, in the sense that it is meant to be very practical.

This book is not a textbook for university students, or a technical manual with difficult language. Rather, it is more of a “self-help” kind of book.

The Parts of the Book

The book is divided into three main parts: the front matter (15 pages); the core text (111 pages); and the additional pages at the end (15 pages). So all in all, 127 pages.

The front matter consists of some title and copyright pages, and a short passage from the Emerald Tablet. Then comes a one-page dedication, a one-page Contents, a four-page Foreword, after which we find three pages of acknowledgments.

The main part of the book is divided into 10 chapters (pp. 1-184), and these I describe below.

At the back we find a fourteen-page Biographies section, with information about each of the many authors mentioned in the book. On the last page we find some contact info for the production company of The Secret.

The are many illustrations and photographs in this book. But there is no index.

The Ten Chapters

The ten chapters found in this book are as follows:

1. The Secret Revealed. The secret is the Law of Attraction (pp. 1-25).

2. The Secret Made Simple. More about the Law of Attraction (pp. 26-43).

3. How to Use the Secret. How to think and feel in order to manifest (pp. 44-69).

4. Powerful Processes. About expectation, gratitude, and visualization (pp. 70-93).

5. The Secret to Money. About wealth, imagination, visualization, and giving (pp. 94-111).

6. The Secret to Relationships. The project is you, not the other one in the relationship (pp. 112-123).

7. The Secret to Health. Thoughts, beliefs, and laughter are important (pp. 124-139).

8. The Secret to the World. Don’t focus on world problems, but on trust, love, and abundance (pp. 140-153).

9. The Secret to You. You are a powerful being (pp. 154-175).

10. The Secret to Life. Do what you love doing, and do it now. (pp. 176-184).

4. The Quoted Authors

This book is created as a “collage” of ideas from many different authors. Each of these authors are also mentioned in the “Biographies” section at the end of the book, together with a (color) photograph:

  1. John Assaraf
  2. Michael Bernard Beckwith
  3. Genevieve Behrend
  4. Lee Brower
  5. Jack Canfield
  6. Robert Collier
  7. John F. Demartini
  8. Marie Diamond
  9. Mike Dooley
  10. Bob Doyle
  11. Hale Dwoskin
  12. Morris Goodman
  13. John Gray
  14. Charles Haanel
  15. John Hagelin
  16. Bill Harris
  17. Ben Johnson
  18. Loral Langemeier
  19. Prentice Mulford
  20. Lisa Nichols
  21. Bob Proctor
  22. James Arthur Ray
  23. David Schirmer
  24. Marci Shimoff
  25. Joe Vitale
  26. Denis Waitley
  27. Neale Donald Walsch
  28. Wallace Wattles
  29. Fred Alan Wolf

About Rhonda Byrne

According to the Amazon.com page for The Secret, Rhonda Byrne is an Australian TV writer and producer. Apart from The Secret, she has published follow-up titles such as The Power, The Magic, and Hero.

PART 2: THE REVIEW

Physical Format

My copy of the 2006 edition is approximately 6 x 7.25 inches (14.7 x 18.3 cm). And it’s approximately 0.75 inches (1.8 cm) thick.

The format itself (not considering its weight) is all right, but not perfect. It is portable, but, for me, it’s a little too wide, for a small book. I prefer the slightly narrower format of, say, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra.

But when also considering the weight, it is not really “all right”. It is simply too heavy. Its thick cardboard and its thick pages make it uncomfortable to hold for more than a few seconds. So I rather not pick it up at all.

So for this reason I would recommend potential buyers to stay away from the hardcover version and instead pick the paperback edition, in order to get a less uncomfortable reading experience.

Note that it nowadays also is available in a Kindle version, as well as in two different audio formats.

Paper, Printing, and Binding Quality

The paper quality is good, and it is not cheap “mass market pocket book” paper quality. But due to its semi-blank, non-structured paper quality, it gets that “brochure” feeling, instead of a high-quality book.

The printing quality is good, and the binding is good. The text is crisp and clear, and the binding is still intact after more than fifteen years of use.

Layout, Design, and Typography

I think the design of this book is amateurish, if that is a word. The idea, presumably, is that the design should accentuate the feeling of “a secret”, and thus the red wax seal is pictured on the cover.

If that was all, then it might have been all right. But it turns out that the red wax seal symbol is found on every chapter introduction page, and in a much bigger format, covering approximately half the page (and there is nothing else on that page, i.e., no text).

As if that wasn’t enough, there was also the decision to use some old-style “handwritten” pieces of text for chapter headings, subheadings, author names after quotes, all of which, to me, look rather cheesy (see the heading on the back cover).

And ever cheesier, in my view, is the light-brown paper structure that is printed as a background on every page of the book. This is another attempt to make the book feel “old” and “valuable” — a design decision that, in my view, has the exact opposite effect. I think it actually makes it more “hypish”, and it feels less authentic and less valuable than it actually is, in terms of its textual message.

Also, I think the color photographs at the end of the book look strange. There are (at least) two aspects of this. The first one is that the pictures are not entirely square: the width is 29 mm, but the height is 27 mm. The second one is that the pictures are too big in relation to the height of the page; and this has the effect that the pictures come too close to each other to give the page a balanced look.

Basic Content

The basic textual content is, I think, very good. The “selling text” on the back cover works, in terms of attracting buyers. And the book delivers: it does contain lots of information that the potential buyer would be interested in. I would estimate its “promise-to-delivery” ratio to, say, 80%.

The reason I only give it 80% is this. There is, undoubtedly a wealth of information about the Law of Attraction in this book. But it is questionable whether the typical reader will be able to manifest any of these things (money, health, relationships) that are described in the book, using this book only.

So although Byrne’s book is text for beginners, I still think that the reader needs to get more introductory information about the Law of Attraction than is available in it, to really get anywhere.

Writing Style

The book is nicely written. Byrne uses a very simple style, and it is very easy to read. This fits perfectly with the practical nature of this “self help” book.

Usefulness

I think this book can be very useful for those who are new to the Law of Attraction.

But I also think that this book may not take them all the way to manifestations, especially those manifestations that they have dreamt about for years.

This book can also be useful for those who are not newbies. So even if one has studied the Law of Attraction for years, one might find some new insights in here.

RATINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

This book really contains most of the building blocks needed for the beginning student of the Law of Attraction. And I think it is more “on the money” in terms of its representation of the Law of Attraction, and how a beginning student might use it, than, say, Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws.

So although this hardback edition is much too heavy for comfortable reading, it does deliver in terms of providing both a broad view of the Law of Attraction and a number of practical tips for setting the Law in motion in one’s own life.

But, as could have been pointed out more clearly (by Byrne), the manifestations are not guaranteed by the mere purchasing of this book (if anyone thought that).

So the reader has to also seriously engage in the transformation of his or her life in order for this to work in practice. And it is that transformation that can be quite tricky (on top of the actual processes, some of which also may be tricky).

Summing up: this book is recommended for all students of the Law of Attraction.

Chris Bocay

EDITION DETAILS

Title: The Secret
Author: Rhonda Byrne
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Year (stated on copyright page): “2006”
Edition: First
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: xvi + 199
ISBN-10 (a): 1-84737-029-2
ISBN-10 (b): 1847370292
ISBN-13 (a): 978-1-84737-029-7
ISBN-13 (b): 9781847370297

Links to This Edition


Copyright © 2022 by Chris Bocay. All rights reserved.

First published: Tue 29 Mar 2022
Last revised: Wed 21 Sep 2022

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