Book Title: The Four Generations
Author: Ayokunle Adeleye
Publisher: First published by Author House UK Publishers
University Press Plc.
Copyright: Ayokunle Adeleye
Strengths, Weaknesses and personality or temper come into play as the author makes a deliberate effort to help us understand ourselves. These themes run conspicuously from the beginning of the book to the end even as the author adopts the explanatory, descriptive and conversational style. The subject matter is so relevant to the reader in that it touches on our actions either as we think we can control them or as we think we cannot control them and we seek ‘descriptions’ for the actions we claim we cannot explain. I dare say that this subject matter will always give any new book a place on the shelves even if they are written centuries away from today.
The author has successfully presented different characters in our world to us. As he introduces the different characters, he also took time to focus for a while in presenting the strengths and weaknesses without making one character look like the stronger or the weaker character.
Under strength, he presented the Choleric character as the naturally driven goal getter and the Sanguine as the natural orator. One thing he was quick to do was to have immediately told us how the Choleric can be too aggressive and how the Sanguine can be an attention seeker. There are a few other characters but I have to be careful because my job as a reviewer is not to give away the story of the author when you have not even read the book. I only need to lead you into the story.
The book opened up the book by wooing the readers with two words that have always been the heart desire of any human being. He began by talking about acceptance and perfection which were presented as scarce commodities that the readers need. Just as he finished with that presentation of the desire for understanding, acceptance and perfection he was also quick to come in as the man with the solution to those desires. The suggested solutions were presented as four different characters which explains why you have the title ‘The Four generations.’
Although in my opinion, I would not have regarded these characters as four generations because we live together in the same time and clash with one another consistently because we do not have a clear understanding of each other’s differences. One of the things that the content of the book attempts to do is to give us a picture of who we are, who the other person is, why we do the things we do and why we need to take that other person the way he or she is.
Popular authors like Tim Lahaye in his book, ‘Why you act the way you do’ have referred to these characters as temperaments. The Oxford dictionary defines temperament as ‘a person’s nature with regard to the effect it has on their behaviour.’ Consequently, what Ayokunle has tried to do in this book is to help you understand your nature and to know why you may have issues being accepted by one person or the other.
In an academic review, I would have taken a step further to discuss the content but I need to ensure that I do not drop the economic potential of the book simply because I want to do a good job at reviewing. That would leave the audience very satisfied about the content of the book but the objective of a book launch or the purpose of writing the book would have been defeated.
However, I need to quickly say that Ayokunle did an amazing job at searching the Bible, bringing our different characters that fit into the charcaters being discussed in the book and presents them to us in a new light. With this effort, if you have been reading the Bible or hearing sermons and you think Bible characters like David, Saul or Peter and Paul have some traits that are also in you, you will see these characters in different perspectives and also understand yourself better.
Explanation – The author began the discussion in an attempt to explain the terms – Choleric, Sanguine, Melancholy and Phlegmatic. It was in the course of the explanation that we found the major themes of the book on strength, weaknesses and character.
Contrast and Comparison – in the bid to help us understand the characters better, Ayokunle began to introduce Bible characters for ex-ray. He quoted scriptures that talk about these charcaters and as well let us in on the personality of these Bible charcaters. For a long time, we have read the Bible from the perspective of spiritual lessons from God but I think we will see, though this book, another important lesson God is trying to show us in the personalities of those Bible charcaters that we read about.
Suspense – I think it is safe to say that Ayokunle left some elements of suspense in the book. When you start reading about other characters and you think you do not have their weaknesses, just then you will find the pages that talk about your own weaknesses. More importantly, he raised several questions, pretends as if he wants to answer them but somewhere along the line leaves the readers to answer the questions.
I disagree with Ayokunle who in his preface, had said that the theory does not apply to everybody. My premises include the fact that everybody has a nature and consequently a behaviour. Some people are so reserved and it may therefore be difficult to fix them into some characters but it does not mean that they do not fit into a type of temperaments.
I also need to quickly add that since Ayokunle agrees that human beings are so complex, it will then be safe to say, from my angle, that the complexity of human beings proves to us that we are not absolutely one type of character. We have mood swings, learn new habits and change consistently so that may explain why it is difficult to fix some people into a type of character.
In referencing, it is my opinion that the scripture quotations were so much not because of the number of scriptures quoted but for the portion lifted directly from the scripture. This is so because there is a standard acceptable limit to quotation from previously published works and it’s usually one or two paragraphs.
I would like to prepare the minds of all readers for an intellectually stimulating exercise and to let you in on the fact that this book will leave you more conscious of yourself than you were before now. It gives you a contextual appraisal of Bible characters in the light of strengths and weaknesses and not just as the spiritual super heroes whose names have made it into, arguably, the most famous book in the world. It is a masterpiece and a thorough work of searching and searching.
1. I am of the opinion that you should allow the people see a link among the charcaters so that they do not think they can only be a part of just one type of character.
2. When the subject matter of a book is about strengths and weaknesses, I think the book should also proffer solutions regarding how to tame the strength and how to work on the weaknesses.
3. My final suggestion is that you may need to review how the book was concluded. What you could have done was to have another chapter that discusses all the characters briefly and just as you have created a prologue through your preface, you can create an epilogue to relieve the readers of the tension that comes with knowing their new weaknesses.
Ayokunle has done a great job, Writing is not a cheap thing to do especially in a world where we don’t have too many readers. He needs to be encouraged and he deserves all the support you can offer.
Thank you for your time.
Fola Daniel Adelesi | Speaker |Author | Consultant
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