3 out of 4 stars
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Jorge P. Newbery - entrepreneur, distressed debt and real estate investor, endurance athlete, and author - has now written us an autobiography of his riches-to-rags life story. At seven years old Jorge wanted to sell newspapers. Mr. Snodgrass the Herald Examiner's district manager didn't think he could do it, yet he gave Jorge a shot anyway. Driven with a desire to prove Mr. Snodgrass wrong, Jorge quickly enters the first burn zones in his life. Those of cycling through rain and storm in order to deliver the paper, and with great success. But, this victory didn't last, nor did the next, or the next. Jorge was always seeking a greater challenge - and with them - a greater risk. One day, he takes one risk to many, and this sends him over the edge.
Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands by Jorge P. Newbery intrigued me with the very first page which contained a list of his positive attributes and his negative attributes. The irony is that the lists contain the same characteristics. I thought that this was a very clever way to start the book, it got me thinking about what kind of life story I was about to read. It displayed that Jorge P. Newbery was a man that understood that his strengths could let him down, and that his weaknesses could make him stronger.
I was rather intrigued by Jorge's personality. As a kid he was awkward, but he didn't let that stop him. He didn't care what others thought. He knew where he was headed and why. He was not ashamed of his dreams which he quickly put into action. Jorge really put a piece of himself into this book, for by the end, I felt like I knew him. He wrote about himself in a harshly honest way. He sugar-coated nothing. It was great!
I liked how open-minded he was. He was very careful how he labeled people and didn't try and fit them into a mold. He looked at everyone the same way, as equals. This hidden message in the story was very appealing and beautiful to me!
Jorge P. Newbery was - though I wouldn't say a very talented author - he knew how to get his points across. He didn't tie himself down by making sure it all sounded pretty, he just wanted to tell his story in the most understandable way possible. It wasn't the manner of writing that mattered to him, but why he shared his story. Autobiographies are key to our learning. They tell real stories about real people who encountered a real problem and how they dealt with it. Though fictional stories are also important, I feel that I learn the most from the strength of other real people. I like to thank Jorge P. Newbery for giving me that in his book.
Overall, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars! However, I do not rate it any higher or lower because it was VERY interesting, but not to my highest standard. Granted, that standard is EXTREMELY high. However, it wasn't boring either. Also, though there were no extremely erotic scenes, there was one part of the story where he visited a strip club. However, he left most to the imagination. There are also a few profane words in the book. The editing was flawless to my eye. I noticed zero grammar or spelling errors. The publishing was done very professionally. Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands I would recommend to all.
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