4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newbery is a very entertaining autobiography about the author. Jorge details the highs and lows of his life from his younger years to the present day. From the very early years of his life, he had the heart and spirit of a true entrepreneur. However, there was a short detour in his life where Newbery took up professional cycling. Cycling is where he gets the term "burn zones." As he explains in the book, a burn zone is a relatively short period of the extraordinary effort that separates the winners from the losers.
Jorge took his first job delivering papers at age seven. At age eleven, he took his earnings and invested in a freezer equipped bicycle where he would buy wholesale cold treats to sell. Things get exciting when Jorge starts a record company at the age of seventeen. If that was not enough, he bought supplies for a modular stage to be built and rented it out for punk-rock shows. The next stop on his life's journey would be cycling. You can tell Jorge enjoyed this new challenge but got out of the game early to get a job with a mortgage company. This was followed by many real estate endeavors, which would prove to bring many more burn zones: some won and some lost.
What I enjoyed about this book is the passion you feel from the author. My favorite parts are from the earlier chapters of the book detailing his days from his record company. The book includes some very entertaining stories from this portion of the author's life. However, there are many other great stories told from later years. Also, I enjoyed the extensive vocabulary used in the book. A lot of times, it can sound pretensions when authors use words that are uncommon from daily speech. Jorge injected these words very organically. The book was very well edited, as I did not note any spelling or grammatical errors.
There are two main things I did not like about this book. Firstly, there is a moderate amount of vulgar language used throughout the book. The first third of the book is pretty clean, but further in the book, the content becomes inappropriate for some audiences. Secondly, there is a rather lengthy chapter towards the end of the book about a company Jorge started called American Homeowner Preservation. Even though the business concept was solid, I found this section very dull and hard to read. However, that is just my opinion.
In conclusion, I enjoyed this book and give it a 4 out of 4 stars rating. The book was delightful to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about entrepreneurs or to those who like thrillers. Yes, this is an autobiography, but it could pass for a thriller, in my opinion! A word of caution to readers, this book contains a fair amount of explicit language.
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