4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands is a fascinating autobiographical story of Jorge P. Newbery, who unselfishly shared his life experience, he gained in the most difficult way. He has been ambitious since he was a little boy, and he wanted to face challenges as early as seven years and his first goal was to work as a newspaper delivery boy. However, he has unlimited support of parents, unselfishly given, because most parents would not let that their seven-year-old child work. When he got the first job, his career story begun. Shortly thereafter, he wanted to make progress and started selling ice cream, and when he was 19 years old, he realized that he worked for 12 years, and that was a very rare case.
The author's story leaves the reader breathless because he has shown amazing will and wish for success. He always quickly managed to achieve the goal he set for himself and when he didn't have any more challenges in his work, he needed another higher goal. So he made a record company, became one of the best cyclists, and then young entrepreneur, but all this included hard and impeccable work, as well as helping almost anyone in trouble. He made successes one after another until he bought the complex "Woodland Meadows", the biggest challenge in his life.
His greatest contribution in life, his dream was the purchase and renovation of the very big complex "Woodland Meadows" that managed to restore and even make a union between Afro-American and white people, also to eradicate violence, racism, and intolerance between tenants. His humanity and work for the common and greater good are invaluable, he viewed all the problems as challenges and when others criticized he followed positive and motivational thought: "The only way to give yourself a chance for massive gain is to expose yourself to a massive potential loss." But in December 2004, on Christmas Eve, he faced a natural disaster, an ice storm, which he couldn't influence. Then starts his biggest fire zone from which he tried in all his ways to get out, to find any solution without compromising the other, because his complex destroyed. After that, after a great fight and betrayal, his dream was lost, the authorities closed the complex, he remained in great debt, local media, who bragged him earlier, turned against him and then began the hardest years for Jorge.
His relationship with his parents and their support are fascinating. He had an especially emotional relationship with his father, who was 92 years old when he died, but it was after Jorge's wedding with his girlfriend. Although he planned to marry her before a natural catastrophe, he did it when he was 46 years old. He has recovered from life disaster, and he managed to use his experience to find a balance in his life, to start a new business with his girlfriend, and finally to become the founder and CEO of American Homeowner Preservation, and a socially responsible hedge fund that purchases nonperforming mortgages from banks at big discounts, then shares the discounts with families to settle their mortgages at terms many borrowers find "too good to be true.".
A special charm of Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands are photographs that accompany the described events, and the way of writing is very easy to read. The story is so interesting that I have not noticed any grammatical error. I noticed on several occasions that the author uses most of the verb forms that contain the infinitive, also appears some of the rude sentences and something that can be called a profane language, but I consider it normal because it is an authentic real-life story.
Regardless, I would recommend Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands to anyone who wants to learn from such a rich experience and especially to those who don't have the limit of their ambition. What made reading little difficult for me is cross the images to the next page, where a part of the text is not visible because it is written on the picture (black part of the picture). I certainly want to evaluate this book with 4 out of 4 stars because the theme and content are amazing, and everyone can find something to learn because we all have burn zones in our lives.
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