A review by shaleco
Every Tool's a Hammer: Life Is What You Make It, by Adam Savage


I went into this book not really knowing what to expect. I have followed Adam Savage’s work since myth busters and I really enjoy his podcast and his videos on Tested.

I expected this book to be a straightforward autobiography but to my surprise I found it filled with a lot of insightful, lessons and helpful tips. These lessons are told through entertaining anecdotes and stories from different points in Adams life.

I would honestly consider this mandatory reading for anyone who makes money through creative work. I don’t do any sort of material building which is the lens that this book does focus on (Given Adam’s professional history this is not surprising). However I believe the core lessons that Adam writes about are applicable to a much wider demographic.

I started up a freelance business last year and hearing Adam’s honest perspectives and experiences on creativity, collaboration, failure and continuous learning provided some excellent opportunities for some honest self reflection. I could see elements of myself and my bad habits in some of the stories where Adam talked about mistakes he’s made and it’s motivated me to make some changes to the way that I work, independently and with others, going forwards.

Don’t read this book expecting it to be a tell all on mythbusters. It’s mentioned a couple of times but it is far from the far from the focus. It’s got elements of a business book though it steers clear of all of the dry corporate monologuing and proselytizing that business books are so often known for. Instead it will make you reflect on your own creativity.

As a final note I would highly recommend listening to it as an Audiobook. I think hearing Adam narrate it added a lot to the story. It’s great to be able to hear the tone in the voice when driving home the importance of certain sections.