4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
I think it is safe to say Atul Vir has experienced quite an exciting life so far. He was born in India but obtained a job at a company with a division located in Africa, where he devoted his first years as a working man. Then, he ventured to the USA, where he hoped to fulfill the American dream. He tells you all about it, including all the knowledge he found in business and life, in Underdog Thinking.
This book is a pleasant and entertaining blend of a memoir with an industry guide. Every chapter, which aligned with a stage of the author's life, was divided into sections containing the lessons he learned during each episode. Though this description makes it sound choppy, the novel maintained a nice flow and rhythm.
Despite being presented as a business-oriented book, my favorite thing about it was that the business part wasn't always so obvious and could lie behind metaphors like comparing a CEO to an orchestra director. Also, Mr. Vir recalls many memories of his childhood, the school he attended (which's philosophy inspired him immensely) and other aspects of his background that helped shape the way he conducts his company.
Another thing I enjoyed was the straightforward language. Why distract the reader with intricate words when the purpose of the book is not the writing itself? Instead, this novel mesmerizes you with the fantastic tale of Mr. Vir's life and the wisdom to extract from it. Also, in spite of encountering a few grammar errors, this book seems professionally edited, as well as elegantly written.
There were several elements I was not enthusiastic about; the first one is that the book is way too long; despite spanning 30 years of someone's life, it could have been a little bit more condensed. Plus, the epilogue (where he asseverated his corporate strategies more specifically) feels unnecessary, given that he had previously mentioned all of these things before in some part of the book. And the other thing is that, sometimes, he would tell how something miraculously appeared when he needed it the most or when he was about to give up; this made me skeptical because that resembles fiction more than real life.
Regarding the rating, I went back and forth. I would not say this book is perfect, but it was excellent, well written, and edited, so it didn't seem fair to give it three stars; hence, I'm granting it 4 out of 4 stars. If I could, I would give three and a half, but the positive things about it triumph over the unfavorable ones, leaning the balance towards the better rating.
As for who I would recommend it to, I mentioned earlier that this novel struck me more as a business-infused autobiography than a how-to industry book. Accordingly, it would be suitable for people who wish to know about the journey that implies being a businessman, besides people who want to learn more about entrepreneurship.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on iTunes | on Smashwords