Helpful? Readers rate Bronfman book
Here’s a confession that will shock none of you. The Hook’s Words columnist doesn’t always read the book in question.
There are occasions when poor planning has sent me scurrying to Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature for excerpts, blurbs, and bios at the click of a mouse.
Such was the case on learning that Edgar Bronfman was coming to town to discuss his book, The Third Act: Re-Inventing Yourself After Retirement.
Alas, Bronfman was not favored with the “Look Inside” feature.
Judge a book by its cover? Not when there are readers’ reviews to crib from.
“I think the book is baloney,” says George Fulmore of Concord, California. Fulmore is spitting mad about the Canadian tycoon’s selection of model retirees, a who’s who of notables with nary a bus driver or former cop among them. Not even the saintly Jimmy Carter escapes his invective: “When he's a million bucks in debt when he leaves the White House, he simply signs for a book deal to wipe that out. Boy, do we learn something there that will help other retirees be successful. Not!”
Onward, to another Californian who concedes that some of the book’s advice is useful: Have a plan. Stay healthy. Keep active. Stifling a yawn, the reviewer concludes, “It is great reading for the American aristocracy. But I don’t qualify.”
Here I began to fear that Amazon had finally failed me. But then a five-star review from “the Rev. Dr. Human Cannonball” gave me the confidence to base an entire column on the critiques of perfect strangers. I quote the Rev. Dr. from “Polydentura, Florida,” in full:
“I was pretty bored after my retirement. One can only play so much golf, and I have a terrible time getting past the windmill. I was starting to get on my wife's nerves, so I picked up this book for some help. It's a fascinating read and has many great ideas. I have now slimmed down quite a bit (no more donuts and beer for breakfast) and reinvented myself. I am now my wife's twin sister Violet. We actually talk now, share clothes, and do a quilting circle together on Tuesday evening. Our life together has truly been reinvented. The children are a bit concerned, and our grandkids are a bit confused, but, hey, that's their problem. The golden years can be truly exciting if one is not afraid of a little change. Enjoy!”
In the immortal boilerplate words of Amazon.com-– Was this review helpful to you?
Let’s hope Edgar Bronfman is greeted with less irreverence when he urges Miller Center attendees, “Let’s get rid of the word ‘Retirement!’” Friday, June 6, at 4pm. 2201 Old Ivy Road. 924-0921.