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I bought this book for my husband at Christmas but it just sat on the shelf without being read so I thought I would give it a read seeing as I really like how Alan Sugar comes across on the Apprentice, I thought it would be an interesting read and yes, I was right. I have really enjoyed reading this book and it's been very interesting to see how this man thinks.
I don't enjoy reading biographies of people, when I read I usually like escapism and a chance to be lost in a fictional world so I was a bit unsure about reading this but it isn't actually a biography but a book written by Alan Sugar about how he feels about certain subjects. There is some mention to his background and his family but it's written in a casual manner so that this book is not just all about him telling us who he is and what he's done. He has written a biography so if you're looking for a book all about his life then this isn't the one to go for!
This book is written in a very conversational manner. It is as though he is in the room talking about things which we also can relate to and have perhaps questioned. It seems to be a platform for him to get things off his chest and whilst reading it there is so much passion and emphasis that you can see he really does take the issues seriously.
Throughout the book there are various chapters which see Lord Sugar talking about how he feels about certain subjects. Some of them are obviously things he has come across that have annoyed him or caused him difficulties throughout his career such as the issues of product placement on The Apprentice and people trying to use his name to give themselves a step up the ladder. My favourite part of his ranting was about his view on reality television. We all have our own opinions on what is reality television, what we think about it, what we think about the people who appear on these shows but the way that Lord Sugar talks about it is very insightful and did actually make me question myself about what I thought reality TV was.
There were many times whilst reading this book that I could feel how passionate Alan was that the things he was ranting about began to make me feel irritated to and some of his solutions seem so obvious I was thinking "Well why aren't the police/politicians/BBC listening to him???" So sometimes whilst reading this I did feel a little stressed but it was quite nice to think that even people who we see as big success stories who are in the public eye also have the same annoyances as us and feel frustrated by the lack of action that people take to amend them.
What I liked about the book was that it opened up the brain of this man who I have seen on the television, it has shown that he is very, very human! I like how it was written in a way that made you feel as though you were involved in a debate with him and just how passionate he is about things. He mentions his businesses and his work ethic but in a humble way, no showing off or trying to build his ego up and I think this is what makes him so likeable. His lack of patience for some situations remind me of myself so it was very interesting to read!
What I perhaps didn't like as much was that when reading this sometimes it did make me feel irritated and stressed which wasn't always the best result as I like to read to relax and unwind so I found that I would only read this when I was in a certain frame of mind and would stick to my chick lit books on days when I was feeling stressed!
I think it is very interesting to read this book. It will make you question certain things about society and things that we take for granted and it will also help you to see the goings on behind the scenes of television programmes that you may never have thought about before. It is very interesting indeed and I like how Alan Sugar's sense of humour is a constant in this book making it very readable indeed.
This review is of the hardback book "The Way I See It - Rants, Revelations and Rules for Life" by Alan Sugar.
Baron Sugar is best known to some as the founder of Amstrad or to others as the presenter of BBC's The Apprentice, where he uses his business experience to select an apprentice to invest in (formerly to work for him). Lord Sugar today mostly runs a property empire, but has in the past run Tottenham Hotspur football club and the computer company Amstrad.
I read last year his auto-biography, What You See is What You Get, which was a definitive and large volume covering his business history. For those that want a background on Alan Sugar and how he created his multi million pound empire, I'd highly recommend reading that book.
This book however is a series of chapters on various subjects which Alan Sugar feels are relevant or interesting. The themes in the book aren't really linked together, but I found them interesting to read through, and the sub-title of the book is quite accurate, they are rants, revelations and suggested rules for both business and life.
Some of the chapters include a defence of the BBC, which some might say is a little inevitable given his contract to present the Apprentice, but it's argued well enough. And the most interesting chapter I found was the section on the commonly asked questions on the Apprentice, and how it all comes together. He notes the importance of the whole team and the producers, who have to convert 130 hours of film recorded for each episode into a one hour long show.
There are some sections which are relevant for business, and he encourages business owners to stop blaming others for when things go wrong, including the banks, and to take responsibility for themselves. He also writes of how Government could replicate business in some ways, for example, saying that if civil servants can save money then they should not only be paid a big bonus for that, the Government should defend that bonus, rather than being embarrassed about it.
There are also other chapters on Alan Sugar's diet, which is effectively to eat with a small fork, and suggestions on parenting, shopping, wearing a cycling helmet and much more. In total there are 24 chapters covering around 340 pages.
Overall, I found this book a good read, it has an easy-going writing style and it doesn't preach at the reader, just offers some common sense suggestions on numerous aspects of life. There are inevitably chapters which I don't agree on, giving every pensioner a million pound bond sounds just a little expensive, but equally, there are sections which I do agree with, and it can be quite thought-provoking.
I did find the book humorous, and it's a much less serious affair than Alan Sugar's auto-biography, so for those that want lots more detail, then this isn't the best book to start with. There isn't really a consistent theme to this book, it's more of a collection of articles written for a newspaper, so although it's an easy book to dip in and out of, it is a little bit random.
The book retails for 20 pounds for the hardback version or 8 pounds for the paperback version, with Amazon charging 10 pounds and 3.86 pounds respectively at the time of writing both including postage. Cheaper copies are available second hand on Amazon, around 3 pounds including postage. The ISBNs are 9780230760899 for the hardback edition and 978-1447205395 for the paperback edition.
There is also a Kindle version of the book available for 3.52 pounds, which isn't too bad value, but is very near the cost of the new book from Amazon, so there's not much of a saving. A Kindle version may however been much more convenient for some readers.
Overall, I'd recommend this book for a light read, it's not really a business book so don't buy it for that, instead consider buying Alan Sugar's auto-biography. But for a light hearted, humorous and in places thought-provoking read, this is worth a look.