4 out of 4 stars
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Jorge Newbery walks us through his active life as an entrepreneur from his humble and idyllic beginnings as a paperboy in Los Angeles moving into selling ice cream as a pre-teen and opening a record label that organized punk festivals in his late teens. Through his eyes, we get to live the punk era, learn about competitive bike riding and get into the world of financing and real state. At first sight, it might look like a book about building companies but this is at its heart a story about personal growth and endurance. With the guidance of mentors and the support of his family, Newbery conquers adversity learning along the way the lessons that will stay with us as we finish the book.
Burn zones by Jorge Newbery is an incredibly stimulating read. Told chronologically through the retelling of personal anecdotes and very sporadic third-person comments, Burn Zones goes beyond Jorge's personal life to show us fascinating snapshots of American society in the last four decades, including insight into the social and economic conflicts that shaped the country.
I particularly enjoyed getting a window into the local Punk culture around Los Angeles in the early ’80s. The author does a great job of explaining the core of the movement and contextualizing it with valuable information about the relationships among the punk movement, police and society in general. Later in the book Newbery explains his years as a Cyclist mentioning both his unique experiences and the valuable lessons learned. Every new venture he chooses, we get to ride with him and learn from his experiences. It was equally interesting to see him incorporate the lessons he had learned years before into the new aspects of his life.
I was not extremely fond of the chapters centered around real state and the market crash. While the prominent themes were interesting in general, the author went into excessive detail and employed vocabulary meant for someone with knowledge of the industry. There were additionally a couple of brief scenes that made no sense in context and could have been avoided all together as they brought nothing relevant into the story. Despite this, I nevertheless choose to give this book a rating of four out of four stars as I found it incredibly entertaining and generally well-edited.
In conclusion; if you typically enjoy autobiographies, self-help books and tales of entrepreneurship you will probably love Burn Zones, but even if those are not your typical interests this book still makes a good and approachable read.
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