Po Bronson's new book tackles the biggest, most threatening, most obvious question that anyone has to face, 'what should I do with my life?' It is a problem, he explains, that is increasingly encountered not just by the young but by people who have half their lives or more behind them. With the intoxicating days of the 80s and 90s behind us and ...
Po Bronson's new book tackles the biggest, most threatening, most obvious question that anyone has to face, 'what should I do with my life?' It is a problem, he explains, that is increasingly encountered not just by the young but by people who have half their lives or more behind them. With the intoxicating days of the 80s and 90s behind us and the world entering recession, many people are being forced to confront their real aims and desires. And the modern route to self, discovery, Bronson suggests, is to trade what you have for a completely different way of life. Bronson's book is a fascinating account of finding and following people who have uprooted their lives and fought with these questions in radical ways. From the investment banker who gave it all up to become a catfish farmer in Mississippi, to the chemical enginner from Walthamstow who decided to become a lawyer in his sixties, and the institutional investor who gave up his job and moved, disastrously, to Germany on a whim; these stories of individual dilemma and dramatic - and sometimes unsuccessful - gambles are bound up with Bronson's account of his own search for a calling.
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Publishers Weekly, 2002-09-09 In this elevated career guide, Bronson (Bombardiers; The Nudist on the Late Shift) poses the titular question to an eclectic mix of "real people in the real world," compiling their experiences and insights about callings, self-acceptance, moral guilt, greed and ambition, and emotional rejuvenation. Bronson crisscrosses the country seeking out remarkable examples of successful and not-so-successful people confronting tough issues, such as differentiating between a curiosity and a passion and deciding whether or not to make money first in order to fund one's dream. Bronson frames the edited responses with witty, down-to-earth commentaries, such as those of John, an engineer whose dream of building an electric car crumbled under his personal weaknesses; and Ashley, a do-gooder burdened by the unlikely combination of self-hatred and a love for humanity. Bronson wants to understand what makes these people-among them a timid college career counselor trapped in his job, a farmer bullish on risk-taking, a financial expert grabbing an opportunity to rebuild her brokerage firm devastated by the World Trade Center tragedy and a scientist who rethinks his lifelong work and becomes a lawyer-tick. He occasionally digresses, musing on his own life too much, and frequently hammers points home longer than necessary, but neither of these drawbacks undercuts the book's potency. The "ultimate question" is a topic always in season, worthy of Bronson's skillful probing and careful anecdote selection. Brimming with stories of sacrifice, courage, commitment and, sometimes, failure, the book will support anyone pondering a major life choice or risk without force-feeding them pat solutions. Photos. Agent, Peter Ginsberg. (Jan. 2) Forecast: The galley features a hearty endorsement from Random House bigwig Jonathan Karp, and the publisher has announced a national media and print campaign, an eight-city author tour and radio interviews. A veteran of national bestseller lists, Bronson should be prepared for another run at the top, spurred on by buyers' New Year's resolutions. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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