It’s hard to know just how much of Gene Simmons’s personality is a product of the nature/nurture axis, or perhaps it’s a push-back against spending large chunks of one’s adult life dressed as some sort of bat. Either way, his strident narcissism has long since crossed the line from being a good copy generator into the realms of boorish egomaniac.
While it’s hardly surprising – describing yourself as a “multihyphenate entrepreneur” on the jacket blurb, and having a previous book titled Me, Inc isn’t exactly ambiguous – it’s another thing to actually read this stuff in quantity. Rather than bolstering his central conceit that power is amoral, namechecking Machiavelli, Nietzsche, Frank Underwood and Dave Grohl(work ethic, okay?) only reinforces the feeling that ideas are being retroactively applied to fit the cut of his own peculiar jib. Predictably, examinations on the abuses and downsides of power are noticeable by their absence, and an abridged version – Greed Is Good – might have sufficed.