The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne

It’s official, I’m usually late to the party when it comes to stupid books that are popular. This is due to many possible options:

  1. Jo spilled coffee on my time machine.
  2. My time machine is actually a moist towlette.
  3. Jo spilled coffee on all my moist towlettes.
  4. I don’t even like coffee, what the hell.
  5. I hate numbered lists.
  6. Jo writes my numbered lists.
  7. I am the Hellbrarian and I have negative three testicles.


Jo: Yeah?

You are permanently banned from writing numbered lists.

Jo: Woohoo! Now I don’t have an adequate outlet for all my pent-up rage!

Anyway. Here’s a review for the self-help book to end all self-help books. In a violent shootout. Many innocent Chicken Soup for the Souls were gunned down that day…

Fangzor: Dude, you said something funny. Since when did you start being funny?

Since I mentioned guns, and you’re an NRA fanboy, despite the fact that you’re a snake, with no trigger finger?

Fangzor: Shut up, guns are funny.

Fangzor: *insert raucous laughter here* THIS IS EVEN BETTER THAN A YOUTUBE CAT VIDEO!

Anyway, here’sThe Secret.

For centuries, the wealthy and successful have been holding on to the knowledge that Garfield likes Lasagna.

Jo: And check it out, everyone! I’ve custom-tailored a new rating system for our books! One that’s more tolerant and forgiving of the mistakes authors make!

Yeah, except… that’s not what this blog is about.

Jo: Well, look at it this way. I did something besides watching Sailor Moon for hours on end in the bathroom!

Fair enough.

Writing Quality: 4.5/10

Thematic Quality: 1/10

Reader Interest: 2/10

Overall Quality: 2.5/10

…Actually, you know what? Jo’s right. I don’t want to review this book how I think it should be reviewed, even though my experience of reading The Secret can be described in the following picture.

In fact, I think I'd rather be a slave to the Tsar yanking a giant boat down a river than read this again.

Frankly, calling this book out as the amount of moldy St. Bernard shit that it is would be like shooting fish in a bucket. So, I’ll have mercy and be nice for a change.

Jo: Thanks, Hellbrarian.

You’re welcome.

The book starts off dropping very mysterious and obscure hints as to what the “Secret” is, explaining the amount of success the author’s had ever since she discovered the Secret in an old book. She made a movie about it and people liked it.

“As the film swept the world, stories of miracles began to flood in: people wrote about healing from chronic pain, depression, and disease; walking for the first time eer after an accident; even recovering from a deathbed. We received thousands of accounts of The Secret being used to bring about large sums of money and unexpected checks in the mail…”

You know what I really, really like about this book? Rhonda Byrne is not so afraid of her habit of patting herself on the back for fake BS that she has to mask it. She’s shameless, and it makes her a really convincing tragic hero in the style of the Greeks, except she makes it out just fine in the end – a true ironic juxtaposition!

Fangzor: Great job, Jo, you broke him. Has the warranty expired?

There’s also the whole concept of her capitalization of “You” at certain points, which she explains:

“The Reason I did this is because I want you, the reader, to feel and know that I created this book for you.”

Right off the bat, Byrne attests to the gullibility of the American public to believe that a product created for the masses is custom-tailored to the individual. And that’s… dramatic irony! Or something!

Then, after a few pages of excellent Futurist poetry, reminiscent of the Italian Neoplasticists (by which I mean: text without meaning being the text of the future), the author tells us what the secret is:

Wherever you are– India, Australia, New Zealand, Stockholm, London, Toronto, Montreal, or New York– we’re all working with one power. One law. It’s attraction!

The Secret is the law of attraction!

Everything that’s coming into your life you are attracting into your life. And it’s attracted to you by virtue of the images you’re holding in your mind. It’s what you’re thinking. Whatever is going on in your mind you are attracting to you.

So, much like Bokononism Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, the author creates a belief system that is inherently impossible and false, but the public believes it anyway! It’s a dystopia novel in and of itself, under the guise of a self-help book! It should be placed alongside Brave New World and even The Hunger Games! We’ll believe anything the telescreen tells us, even if it’s that thinking about stuff makes stuff happen!

Jo: H, do your ears normally shoot sparks like that?

Fangzor: Yep, we’re gonna have to get a replacement.

And because the public is inherently stupid, the rest of the book is spent explaining the same thing over and over again so that it gets into our thick skulls for sure! This is the same thing as the noise at the end of a late-in-their-career Beatles song! Just think of I am the Walrus! Except instead of random King Lear quotes, we’ve got this:

“Thoughts are magnetic, and thoughts have a frequency. As you think, those thoughts are sent out into the Universe, and they magnetically attract all like thinks that are on the same frequency. Everything sent out returns to the source. And that source is You.”

See? We send out magic signals to everything in the world! We’ve got psychic powers! In fact, I’ve got a picture of you:

See that? It's Mewtwo from Pokémon! He can cut you in half with his mind because he's got psychic powers blowing out his ass and nostrils! And HE IS YOU!

And you know what? He isn’t you, in reality! Yet you believe he is you in a symphony of contradiction! This is the truth about human nature! Rhonda Byrne is the tragic hero preaching to a WORLD of tragic heroes! IT’S A MASTERPIECE! I LOVE THIS BOOK! I

*and then, I fell down on the floor*


Jo: Yep, I broke him. Sorry.

Fangzor: Sorry? I think it’s cool. His brain’s gonna implode in a few minutes from pretending to like this book. It’s awesome.

Jo: Shut up and get the neurosurgery kit.

Next up: something ELSE from

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