4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands is a short autobiographical novel written by Jorge P. Newbery, who had to undergo a troubled way from dropout to a serial entrepreneur. With the strong sport spirit inside Newbery shows how to struggle all the trials of life. How to set up a business when nobody believes in you? How to avoid bankruptcy with $26 million in debt? How not to lose yourself? These are some of the questions that Newbery kindles in the mind of the reader.
I was first drawn to this book by its flaming title Burn Zones. Both intriguing and promising, the title is accompanied by a rushing cyclist on a cover with a blood-red sunset on a background. The story opens with the Newbery’s early ages. First dollar for a paperboy work at 7, ice-cream seller at 11, busboy at 13. Nobody got him serious but he didn’t let himself stop learning and working harder than before. Eagerness to work soon turned him into a mature mogul. Owner of recording studio and magazine, organizer of concerts and shows. His life was but a dream until he felt the approaching of burn zone. As you enter burn zone, you don’t know whether you will emerge or no. But he emerged. Moving into further episodes of his life you can see how stronger he became every time life pushed him to physical and mental limits. As you would probably expect, most of events found in this book are business-oriented, but it doesn’t interfere with the bunch of business terms and explanations. Being an experienced businessman Newbery didn’t neglect to include personal observations of his life drama to keep balance of the story.
At under 300 pages, I was able to read Burn Zones in roughly couple of hours. The writing itself seemed to be vivid and structured. The sequence of the events which occurred was easy to follow. As I continued reading book I was thoroughly pleased when I saw how the plot integrated business and social issues. Racial discrimination, governmental business games, public condemnation. The author experienced all of these. It was also heartwarming to see the loving close relationship Newbery had with his father who struggled with the terminal skin cancer. Close to the last breath he never gave up. “It’s OK, Jorgie”, as he would usually say. Setting an example for his son, he was never afraid of taking risks and stepped out of his comfort zone right into burn zone. Newbery did a great job in writing that one to fit the high importance of the family.
There is not really much of anything that could detract from the book. Some of the chapters were unnecessarily detailed, but it didn’t spoil my overall opinion.
All things considered, I would rate Burn Zones 4 out of 4 stars. Newbery was completely engaging in this work and his idea of burn zones truly surprised me. I would recommend this book to any lover of motivational plots. I firmly believe it deserves not less than the highest rate.
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