“ Genre: Biography / Author: Alan Sugar / Kindle Edition / Book is published 2011-05-04 by Pan „
I have a kindle and when browsing through the free list of things to buy I came across this little ebook for free. I am a big apprentice fan and so of course I wondered what the catch was. Downloading the CV put you in a classic Sugar trap, you just want to read more!!
The CV is basically a list of the numerous achievements Sugar has done over the years and admittedly it is impressive. He was a money maker from the beginning selling scraps of fabric and such you needed to make money. At the end is a few excerpts and photos from his autobiography "What you see is what you get" and this is where he pulls his greatest trick.
I wasn't going to bother buying the biography but when I read the CV I had to find out more. He pulls you in and I am proud to say I immediately logged on to buy the full book. I couldn't keep away.
The other day whilst browsing the Amazon Kindle page I came across The CV e-book by Alan Sugar, which was available to download for free. I am a huge fan of the Apprentice and I admire Lord Alan Sugar's rise to fame and fortune from humble beginnings, so I was curious to give this a go. Being free also helped of course!
The book starts with Lord Sugars CV, which is laid in typical CV format. We start with his name and date of birth and then a chronological list of achievements starting from the age of 10 to the present day. Some of these sections contain hyperlinks to longer extracts taken from Lord Sugars autobiography "What you see is what you get". I thought this was cleverly formatted and really utilised the power of the kindle. Such a format for a paperback would not have worked well as it would soon prove annoying trying to find each relevant section. There were of course, links from the extracts back to the CV too. It was, in my opinion, well thought out and easy to navigate. It is worth noting that this book is text to speech enabled, though I did not use this feature myself.
I found the extracts themselves easy to read. They were clear and to the point, rather like the man himself! In some ways though I thought they were a little too concise and matter-of-fact. It would have been nice if some of the stories could have been expanded a little, though I suspect they are in the actual autobiography. I also thought that some of the extracts didn't make much sense in isolation. For example in one of them a couple of people were referred to without an explanation as to who they were. I'm sure that they would have been introduced properly in the full autobiography, though I still found it a little annoying that they weren't introduced here. Surely an additional sentence or two is all it would have taken. It threw me a little and I found myself going back through the pages to make sure I hadn't missed them being mentioned.
I did enjoy reading the extracts and marvelled at how Lord Sugar had a keen eye for making money from a very young age. He tried his hand at most things - selling surpluss 35mm film and taking waste fabric away from a garment factory and selling it for profit to a rag and bone merchant. This last activity I'm sure is the basis for his recent task on the Apprentice, where the teams had to turn waste into cash.
I found it quite an honest account and it was interesting to see his father's reaction to his money making schemes and how Lord Sugar felt he had to hide his success to spare his father's feelings. Lord Sugar always comes across as quite a humble person, and in some ways seems to have surprised himself at his fame and fortune. The Kindle version also comes complete with a couple of photographs including one of a much younger Lord Sugar on his wedding day. This was a nice touch but felt a little out of place in a book on his CV, which I would have thought would focus solely on his career rather than his family life.
I guess the purpose of the book is really to whet the reader's appetite so that they rush out and purchase the full autobiography. That marketing ploy has really worked here and the book has been added to my Amazon wishlist. I would say that it's definitely worth a read, whilst it's free but personally would have been quite put out if I'd spent money on it as the snippets and bits missing would have annoyed me.
I am a fan of the Apprentice and have watched a few television interviews with Lord Alan Sugar over the past few years, so when i was browsing the kindle store on amazon and noticed that this book, titled Alan Sugar The CV was available for free download, i was pretty happy to take them up on the offer and try the book. Although still available for free download, there is a crossed out price of £0.99, so this might be charged in the future.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this as a book, and it was the first one i read in full on my kindle, so i was also unsure how this would compare to other kindle books. This short book is actually Alan Sugars CV spanning from the 1960s to the current date. At first i felt really disappointed because this really was just a list of dates, and facts, such as on this date i was selling photographic films, on this date i started The Apprentice. While it was interesting to see the variety of things that Alan has tried in his life, it was so dry. It spanned a few pages, and i noticed that on quite a few of the entries, there was a hyperlink function which i did not click upon while i was reading this section.
After the very quick run through of his CV, there is then a section at the end of the book which relates to seperate entries in the CV, and are actually highlights from his 2010 autobiography, What you See is What You Get. This section of the book was a lot more enjoyable to me. Alan expanded upon some of his earlier enterprises, and i got a better sense of him as a person and why he will stand for no rubbish from the people who want to work with him or be his business partner from the Apprentice.
Reading it, i could almost hear Alan telling the stories. Partly because I had actually heard some of the stories before, such as when he was working at a factory and had to ring the Wales plant to get the data, and the man he spoke to was offended by him putting on a Welsh accent and taking the mick out of his wife. When Alan was hauled over the coals, the boss said to him, "Look, we've had a complaint from the plant" at which point he asked what the pot plant in the corner had as a problem now. He's definitely told that one on chat shows before.
I kind of wish i had realised that i could flick between a CV entry and the expanded extract from the book while i was first reading it, as it might have made the first bit less dry, but overall, i found it stimulating enough to keep me reading through in a traditional linear format.
I felt there were enough extracts for me to be happy with this rather than all of his autobiography. It took me about an hour to read through, and i enjoyed it. I guess there were more stories in the full version, but i am not that bothered about buying the extended version. I might borrow it later if i see it in the library, but i am happy for now.
The only way i might change my mind about that is if i were looking at buying this version compared to the full version in Kindle format. On amazon today (6th of June, 2011) the whole autobiography is only £3.79, so if i had to pay £0.99 for this i might be persuaded to pay a little more.
If you are a fan of Lord Alan, or you just like seeing how a clever mind spots opportunities then i feel that you would enjoy this as a novel. I certainly now know more about the different pies he has had a finger in, and why he deserves the position of reverance he now seems to have because he is definitely an inspirational fellow, and still with it in all senses when most people are looking at retiring.