4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newberry is a non-fiction book, which gives an account of the author's rise and fall in his business ventures. Jorgie, as his father fondly called him, referred to these experiences as "playing life's bad hands". His bicycle riding experiences made him look at the burn zones as stepping stones to success. He, therefore, successfully solves the problems that he meets on his way his way up the real estate business. In his introduction, he says that burn zones were, "Relatively short periods of extraordinary effort that separated the winners and losers. Burn zones could include a long climb or a section with major crosswinds in which those skilled in riding in an echelon formation excelled."
Newberry begins his book with an introduction, where he hints at what the book is all about. This is proceeded by ten chapters which form the body of the memoir. The conclusion part of the book is a short note about Newberry, a summary of basically what has been explained in the ten chapters. Newberry has an ability to identify a market niche that will present him with a business opportunity. He began his rise to glory by delivering newspapers at a tender age of 11 years. He later dropped out once he clocked 16, when he decided to focus on his business.
Turning every challenge into a business opportunity, Newberry expanded his business investment into real estate business. He realized that he could make maximum profits by renovating residential apartments, whose owners had failed to maintain. He reformed what were once termed as "inhabitable zones" into the best housing facilities. However, his insatiable urge for greater challenges plummeted him into what he terms as the worst tragedy of his life. What was this tragedy? How did it change the course of his life? Will he recover from the incident?
Told from the first person point of view, Burn Zones has managed to create an intimate connection with its reader. I was emotionally engaged all through the author's story and visual imagery aided my reading of the book. Even when tragedy struck, tears welled up my eyes- I really sympathized with Newberry, especially after journeying with him from his grass to grace story. Vivid descriptions of events presented us with the author's impeccable problem-solving skills. He provided solutions to most problems instead of complaining about their magnitude. He presents himself as a strong character, capable of recovering from the lowest moments in life. His characterization revolved around his family and few acquaintances, whom he interacted with in his business deals.
The medium pace of the book ensured all the details were mentioned. The merit of this pace is that it enabled me to engage with the reader from his childhood age until he got married. He tackled racism, economic exploitation, societal reforms, friendship and family relations. There is nothing I did not like about the book and therefore, commend Newberry's efforts in writing the book. Newberry included photographs of his family members and some of the people that he worked with in his life. However, the book has profanity which could irritate conservative readers. I only found few grammatical errors, which did not distract my reading experience and can confidently conclude that it was professionally edited. I, therefore, wholeheartedly rate the book four out of four stars. I recommend it to anyone, who needs some form of motivation in life.
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