4 out of 4 stars
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A wise man once said, "The journey of life is a journey of uncertainty." No one knows where the tide may blow next, but one thing is certain: nobody forgets their beginning. Where we all started is always a burdensome memory that we will bear our whole life. Roger Smith, in his memoir The Most Unlikely Leader, shared the memory of where he started and where the tide of life had blown him to. Frankly speaking, Smith began from the lowest point of the survival cradle. He never knew if he should begin his story with how he left his mother’s house at the age of fifteen, or how he ended up on heroin. From being kicked out of high school to being a drug addict, he saw it all. How about the countless times he was arrested or the many times he was hospitalized? Wow, I forgot to mention that he was also homeless and even stole. Amazingly, Roger witnessed the death of Greg, his best friend. He was shot while on a robbery with Roger. His story ends in a way that will amaze you. This book is divided into four parts, and each part focuses on one aspect of Roger’s life. Roger shared his struggles, challenges, and woes with the reader. How did these woes help to shape Roger? What really happened to Roger? What do a drug addict and a criminal have to teach? This is an amazing resource whose content will strengthen your resolve.
The manner of narration is distinct. One could understand how the author felt in each situation because the author narrated vividly his thoughts and feelings. The author also wrote in a first-person narrative. There is also a sense of sincerity and openness from the author. In other words, the author is not ashamed of his story, but rather he finds motivation in his life journey. He hopes the reader finds hope and encouragement from his personal story as well. This is evident in many presentations, but the most outstanding for me was the author’s sharing how he got seizures because he was asked to sell insurance. Thus, the author showed empathy and commitment to help the reader learn from him and to help the reader find meaning in this challenging world. The book is also reader-friendly and has some funny expressions. An example of such an expression is when the author said that his mother "even sold pregnant women’s urine as part of some really bizarre diet fad." It was really funny but figurative enough to communicate with the writer’s mind, and I loved it.
I felt some disappointment with the poor parenting ability of the mother. Thus, what I do not like in the book is the mother’s focus on finding a means of livelihood for the family and neglecting the immediate care of her children. I was really disappointed that, under her watch, Roger went wild. However, I felt grateful to the mother’s third husband, Mike, and his intervention in Rogers’ life. I just hate the mother’s poor parenting choice.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 because it was exceptionally well edited. The language of writing is easily comprehensible. The author’s story is presented chronologically. The author began his story in New York in 1958 and continued until his story turned sour in Santa Monica in 1967. The cover design and title are also fitting. The rules of traditional writing were adhered to. The author also wrote in a simple and funny manner. I feel the book deserves the rating above.
I recommend this book first to parents. This book reminds them that any neglect can get their child damaged. Also for teens, this book teaches them that regardless of their circumstances and how debasing their situation is, they can still achieve success. Finally, this book is a perfect fit for anyone seeking to improve his or her life.
The Most Unlikely Leader
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