3 out of 4 stars
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Corporate House by Columbus Daniel is classified as other fiction. It is the autobiography of Danny from his earliest childhood memory of falling into a well until his retirement.
Danny’s father died in the war. He lived with his mother and stepfather. After participating in a dangerous prank, he was shipped off to his grandparents’ home in South Carolina. They raised him for six years. When Grandma Wheeler became sick, Danny returned to his mother and stepfather’s home. Moving to new cities became a regular part of his childhood as his stepfather continually lost his job and needed to move to find employment. This meant Danny had to attend a different school every time the family relocated. There were times when the family situation became so precarious that Danny had to miss school to stay home and care for his siblings.
As an adult, Danny got work as a splicer for the telephone company. He moved across the country and even to Canada to find work. Danny invented several methods to improve the splicing process. His experience and innovations helped him gain a reputation and status in the company. After many years, he was able to found his own company. Will the “poor hick” from the South be able to run a business? Can he keep his business afloat when his partner takes him to court?
I enjoyed all the family pictures that the author included in the book. I liked the author’s honesty and sincerity in presenting painful and unfavorable situations. He did not shy away from covering up personal temptations, mistakes and weaknesses. He often reflects on the lessons his grandparents taught him when he lived on the farm on the red dirt road. His faith in God also sustained and guided him, and Danny shares his prayer life and several premonitions he experienced.
My interest waned when the author would explain the details of Danny’s splicing jobs. His inventions contributed to his rise in his field of work. Nevertheless, they occasionally became too technical for my level of interest.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. There are some misspelled words and missing commas. I also thought it became too specialized in places for readers with little or no knowledge of splicing and telephone connections. The impact of Danny’s childhood experiences and how these influenced his drive to succeed made it an inspiring story. The importance given to family over material possessions was uplifting and motivating.
This book tells the story of Danny, from his impoverished childhood to his incredible accomplishments as an adult. People who dislike books that focus on the life of one character will not enjoy this book. Readers who find inspiration and motivation from reading how others triumphed over difficult situations will find this book to be satisfying and informative. Entrepreneurs would also enjoy reading about Danny’s experiences starting a business, growing it, and dealing with sabotage and lawsuits along the way.
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