Tuesday, January 29, 2019


 Before I Won

The cover shows someone climbing a steep incline, the runner getting bigger as he makes progress toward the top. It is surprisingly inartful for a cover by an artist like the writer, but it is consistent with the gritty candor of Tomas Veres’s text itself.

Tom Seed was not welcome at birth, nor through much of his first two decades, spending some hellish times at home, in school, in prison, on the streets. A lesser person would be crushed, and he nearly was. In turning his life around, he absorbed lessons from the homeless, from business owners, from books and motivational speakers. His efforts mostly met with heartbreaking failure.

The advice of one man, a successful entrepreneur, John, gave Tom the key: find what you are unusually good at, your particular gift, and pursue that intensively. Tom's pursuit was difficult, but his achievement was richly rewarding.

This is a Horatio Alger, up from the muck, book, filled with the lessons from Tom's valuable experience, and I found it compulsive reading.

Its shortcomings are largely cosmetic: the bland cover, the unattractive interior formatting, and the typos detract from the storyline. Its strengths are more important: we learn from Tom's book what he had to learn from bitter experience. I was inspired to look at my own life in a different light, a gift from this talented writer   

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