Review by Paul78 -- The Not So Great American Novel

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Paul78
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Latest Review: The Not So Great American Novel by James E. Doucette

Review by Paul78 -- The Not So Great American Novel

Post by Paul78 » 31 Jan 2019, 08:51

[Following is a volunteer review of "The Not So Great American Novel" by James E. Doucette.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever wondered what inspires people to author memoirs about themselves? When James E. Doucette was asked in a workshop what makes him proud, he stated his children were the source of his pride. His book is dedicated to his grandchildren. In the Amazon, The Not So Great American Novel is described as a realization of the American dream by the Doucette family.


The Not So Great American Novel, is authored by James E. Doucette, Sr. It describes the life of Doucette from childhood to the age of a senior citizen. Jimmy fondly revisits his childhood. The stay at his grandfather’s farm caused a profound effect on his life. At his grandfather’s he compares the pig with the dog. The dog was mean looking though it wasn’t. The irony of this is that the pig was mean even though it didn’t appear so. His stay there may have influenced his later decision to own a ranch in his later stage of life. His childhood was a life of dire poverty. This might have exposed him to search for odd jobs that would supplement his mother’s income. Consequently, one would marvel how this junior boy from such a humble background would later own a bank and a cable television company.


A significant portion of The Not So Great American Novel is dedicated to his career. After leaving the US Navy, he joined the Bank of New York. For a modern accountant, it would be absurd to learn ledger entries were posted using fountain pens while the abacus was still used in calculations. Appreciatively, this was the way of life in the 1960s. At times, I would think that Jimmy was a jack of all trades. One sees the progression at Vikoa Construction and Metromedia Music Companies where he didn’t fit completely. Of course, he was rudely fired in the former and left the latter to their relief. His career breakthrough seems to have taken place in the latter corporations in his career. The experiences gained during his employment would be useful later to him as a director of his company.


The Not So Great American Novel is an impressive book to read. The published memoir is sufficiently detailed on business management and successful acquisitions. This would be beneficial to those who are typically into self-employment. At times, I thought that I was reading a business management book. How about an omission in the tax returns that would earn you a refund after an IRS audit? Even so, the author appreciates the profound influence the church had on him. Since his childhood to his ripe age, he has been faithful to the church. He cautions church ministers to be careful in managing finances and understand their congregations well. For instance, it is pointless to rebuke farmers for their low contributions towards the church projects. Yet at that time, they may not have harvested their crops.


Initially, when I sampled this valuable book, my especial attention was naturally drawn to it because of the tangible legacy of the author. Adequately preparing your children to be better than yourself is not a mean feat. This book has not disappointed. I would however refer to it all over again as there are more profound lessons in life everyone can get from this man. Despite his personal wealth, his children were capable to support themselves without depending on the fund he had set up for them. Any investor would learn a thing or two on business acquisitions and operations. On several occasions, he had to deal with employee matters. To this, he advocated for caution and empathy. He observes;
realize that the next thing you know about a person, after you know their name, is where they work at. Most people take their pride in their work, and it is one of the building blocks of their identity. When you terminate someone, you are destroying part of his or her life. I have read that after the loss of a spouse, the next leading cause of suicide is the loss of a job.

This book is brilliantly authored and professionally edited. Some minor errors didn’t hinder the flow of the book. All in all, I rate this book 4 out of 4-stars . It is strongly recommended for those who have an interest in owning companies. Any person having employees under him would typically receive a profound guidance on how to handle them properly in case there is a apparent mismatch in necessary competencies. It is worth considering that when the book was being written, the author was suffering from serious memory lapses as a result of the side effects of cancer treatment. In spite of that, he still managed to write this remarkable book. One may consider dyslexia a problem that Jimmy passed to his family. In spite of this, they too steered their paths to victories in their careers.

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The Not So Great American Novel
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Post by Sarah Tariq » 05 Feb 2019, 12:29

It sounds an interesting life story of Doucette; especially, when we learn that he suffered from cancer and facing memory lapses. Thanks for this nice review.
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Post by gali » 12 Feb 2019, 06:35

A memoir outlining the success story of the author sounds uplifting. It is impressive that the author started to wrote it while undergoing treatment for cancer, as a way to combat memory loss. That it was well edited is to its credit. It sounds too heavy on the business management for me, but I am glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for the review!
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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 12 Feb 2019, 06:55

This is a non-fiction Memoire on realising the American Dream. The book is full of reflective wisdom and irony. The book is free on Kindle Unlimited and has an amazing OnlineBookClub review that I loved reading. I rated the book 4 out of 4 stars. Congrats on being the BOTD.

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Post by OskaWrites » 12 Feb 2019, 07:01

This book sounds so fascinating! Even off the title itself, anyone would be drawn in. The concept of the 'American Dream' and how hard people had to work to attain it is such a fascinating subject, and for an entire memoir in such detail exist with all its wisdom and advice could definitely benefit anyone. I'm not normally one for jargon-heavy content, which I assume this is with all its discussion of finance, but it could turn out to be very useful. You've definitely sold it well to me!

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Post by Amy+++ » 12 Feb 2019, 07:01

The title is very humbling and the pictures were very nice.

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Post by abbiejoice » 12 Feb 2019, 07:11

This seems to be an inspiring book filled with valuable nuggets of wisdom especially for those who want to overcome their difficulties in life.

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Post by Amina-Ibrahim » 12 Feb 2019, 07:47

To think he was going through cancer and still wrote an amazing book, Kudos to him!

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Post by Strangerthanfiction » 12 Feb 2019, 07:58

Great review. This memoir sounds like an interesting and inspiring tale of achieving the American dream. Lots about business, family, faith, and more must make for a book full of life experiences and sage wisdom. Thanks for sharing.
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Post by Jacquelyn-63 » 12 Feb 2019, 08:14

This sounds like a great life story. From nothing to what is seen as greatness. Thank you for this review. I will add this read to my maybe pile.

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Post by Anthony__ » 12 Feb 2019, 08:29

This book is fascinating as Doucette tells us his life story. The book is filled with wisdom. His dedication to God and things of God is awesome! A great story to learn from. Great review

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Post by Sirajuddin » 12 Feb 2019, 08:33

This excellent memoir allows us to glance the brief period of the 1960s. When technological development was not at its zenith, and accountants used to write ledgers with fountain pens.

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Post by angiejack456 » 12 Feb 2019, 08:35

I appreciate the author's dedication to his children. This memoir must be a great treasure to them.

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Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 12 Feb 2019, 08:37

Such an intriguing read to fans of this genre! Thanks for the excellent review.

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Post by jbrydonejack » 12 Feb 2019, 08:55

This book is uplifting on so many levels, including the author's care for his children. As an RN, I especially appreciate that he managed to pen this priceless memoir while undergoing cancer treatment that caused memory lapses. A testament to the human spirit.

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