View Full Version : For those who believe ... for those who don't ...

10-05-2002, 12:34 PM
Reading the various postings here at the CCB on "Pleasures of Small Motions" and contrasting them with the nearly unanimous five star reviews on Amazon.com, I'm reminded of that old saying about God and religion: "For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who don't, no explanation is possible." After trudging through "Pleasures," an act requiring real willpower, I come down on the side of the unbelievers.

I was probably a little tough in my rating, giving it a one star:
(Draft instead of final copy sent to Amazon by mistake. Final will appear in a couple of days. See next post for full text.)

By no means is everything in "Pleasures" wrong, at least in my opinion, but after reading all the glowing reviews on Amazon, two by the good doctor himself, one for each edition, I figure one star was being generous. That kind of self-promotion is too much.

Not to offend you members and anonymous posters here at the CCB who found the book helpful for your game, I figure whatever works for you; all my blessings. But I have to wonder what a really well written book might have done for you.

Before I knew anything about the book, an anonymous poster questioned the comment I made about learning something from every book I read, no matter how bad. True to my statement, I did learn something valuable from this book: if this is the current state of cognitive psychology, then the discipline is in deep trouble. I only wish that Dr. Fancher was a Freudian, then with a title like "Pleasures of Small Motions" I might have gotten something really useful out of the book.

Until next time ...

Best regards,

10-05-2002, 05:10 PM
What do you expect? Fancher is a Fran Crimi acolyte.

10-06-2002, 01:41 AM
Post deleted by fightingbob

10-06-2002, 04:39 AM
We all have different minds, preferred writing styles to read in a book etc.So far ww likes the book.I got bored with it within pages. Does that make the book bad? No. But I have a very low tolerence for repetition, tedium and redundancy. Not just talking about this book, but it seems to me that lots of authors repeat themselves to make their books longer.OTOH, research has shown that the average person has to hear something three times for it to sink in. So maybe they are targeting the audience for whom these are new ideas.

But if I have seen/heard this idea at least two times before or it is something I already knows,it registers on my brain as redundant and boring. OTOH,if the ideas is presented but with a slightly different twist, this registers as a new idea and has me intrigued.


10-07-2002, 08:35 AM
That was unfair. While Fancher is or was a student of Fran, his philosophy and attitude are soley his own. I remember when the arrogant, patronizing, self promoting Fancher was on this board and his demeanor was something he developed without any help or influence from Fran.

Fred Agnir
10-07-2002, 08:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: fightingbob:</font><hr> The major premise of natural and unconscious physical actions as superior to conscious and willfully directed actions... <hr></blockquote>
It is odd that the reason I like Fancher's book was that he departed from the above premise. Did we read different books?


10-07-2002, 12:27 PM
I might have bought Bob Felcher's book if he had not appeared on the CCB a couple of years ago. He was such a poor listener that I decided he couldn't be much of a communicator, and he seemed to know very little about pool. I'm glad he was online here (briefly).


10-07-2002, 02:47 PM
Mea culpa, mea culpa, Fred. I found the book so tedious and repetitive that I surmised its position from the first few chapters - a big mistake. Just skimming a chapter near the end of the book, I realize I got it wrong. Though Dr. Maltz's and Dr. Fancher's books are ultimately about self confidence and self esteem, Dr. Fancher combines the idea of feeling your body's actions - what he calls sensuous imagination - and "rational internal conversation" to overcome negative feelings. This definitely goes beyond unconscious action, and appears to be advocating rational control.

To remedy the embarrassing position I find myself in, I already sent an e-mail to Amazon asking them to remove my review. I will finish the book, like I did "Precision Pool," before writing another one. I also deleted the posted review on the CCB.

The only thing I can say in my defense is that a good writer usually states his thesis up front and backs it up, often using pros and cons, in the remaining chapters. Dr. Fancher, with all his meanderings, didn't do this. Still, my approach was lazy and unprofessional. If I were playing chess and made this kind of faulty assumption, I would be swept from the board. I really should know better; it will not happen again.

Best regards,

Fred Agnir
10-08-2002, 08:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: fightingbob:</font><hr>
To remedy the embarrassing position I find myself in, I already sent an e-mail to Amazon asking them to remove my review. I will finish the book, like I did "Precision Pool," before writing another one. I also deleted the posted review on the CCB.<hr></blockquote>
Truth be told, Bob, I think that many people who dismiss the book didn't read it cover to cover. Likewise, I suspect many who praise the book also did not read it from cover to cover. They'd probably hate it if they did.

Fred &lt;~~~ read it; like it