Sunday, February 27, 2011

Book 11( 2011): How Starbucks Saved My Life

How Starbucks Saved my Life is a memoir written by Michael Gates Gill, a former advertising exec who falls from his high pedestal in the wealthy world.

He was a Vice President at, according to him, the most well known and respected advertising agency in the world. He was fired in his early 60s. He lived off his savings but was essentially broke. He had an affair with a younger woman that he managed to impregnate so his wife leaves him and his 4 adult children are furious with him. So he's broke, alone and unemployed.

He's treating himself to a latte in a Starbucks and manages to get hired at counter help, just as a lowly barista. He works for a young African- American woman on a crew where he is the minority.

If all the information he presents about Starbucks as a company I am truly impressed and more than happy to pay $5 for my coffees there. This sounds a like an amazing company; I'll be researching them because I want to work there, too!

Other than Starbucks being amazing, I felt this story was.... okay. I hate judging someone's life so what I will complain about is the stilted dialogue writing. It was very false and fake. Dialogue did not make the people come to life; it made them sound flat and uninteresting. Gill's dialogue writing skills need improving. It was rough to read and I found I was skimming the dialogue.

I was also unimpressed with his repeated name dropping, over and over again. in his former life, according to him, he met US Presidents, had tea with Queen Elizabeth, worked with Lee Iaccoca and many more... it was just one famous person after another he "used" to know. In his fall from grace, this humbling he thought he was learning didn't sound so learned since he still felt the need to interject famous folks as part of his life lessons. That didn't fly well with me.

I read his story was going to be made into a movie with Tom Hanks. I will see it and hope Hanks can change my opinion. (265 pages)