4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands is Jorge P. Newbery’s insightful memoir of his life as an entrepreneur.
From an early age, Newbery’s journey catalogs an impressive array of business ventures, as he accumulates financial success throughout his extensive experience in selling ice-cream, band management, music production, stage rentals, endurance sports, and real estate.
Newbery proves no business venture is out of his drive’s reach, constantly reiterating the importance of saving and of adopting a resilient nature to all the challenges life can throw at us. Due to his hard-working and persistent character, Newbery managed to build a real estate empire and save up billions of dollars by the time he was in his thirties.
However, his financial and social collapse came at his highest point, when an ice storm razed one of his main apartments. The ensuing fight to regenerate it would bring Newbery to his (temporary) ruin.
With unsurmountable strength, Newbery fought his way back from crushing debt.
This book presented itself as an essential, at a time when debt is a looming reality for everyone trying to make a living in this society. It was a heartbreaking testimony, especially so when Newbery delves into his dealings with the government and insurance companies, revealing deep greed and corruption that do not shy from alienating honest, working-class, entrepreneurs.
At every crossroads, Newbery proves himself a resourceful man, dedicated to giving back to the community. His writing is punctuated with humor at times and highlights the difficulties of entrepreneurship for those not born with a silver spoon in their mouths.
It’s ingenious how Newbery approaches his readers; starting with his childhood as an Argentinian-British high school dropout, carving out a financially secure path for himself amidst a backdrop of racism and indifference. The personal photos in the book added to that intimate touch, and, I believe, work perfectly at softening us all.
Although at times the reader might be driven away from the narrative due to a lack of humility, a propensity for unnecessary risk-taking, and the heavy business lingo in the last part of the book, Newbery exposes many an important flaw in our society and teaches crucial lessons that stem from his painful experiences.
In the end, Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands was an inspiring phoenix-from-the-ashes read, with praise-worthy editing, that deserves nothing but a 4 out of 4 rating.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon