The Book Of Irwin Gould (IDG)
An entertaining and inspiring autobiography that highlights the power of dedication, ambition, perseverance, and faith, The Book of Irwin Gould details the eponymous author’s extraordinary journey through life, which has seen him travel from the Caribbean to the United States, taking in the entertainment industry, the glamorous world of modeling, and the business sphere along the way.
Gould grew up on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands in the late 1970s and 1980s, a setting and time in which life “revolved around home, church, an school.” The eldest of six children, he was expected to uphold the family’s Christian principles and to set an example for his siblings, which was a particularly onerous obligation due to his father’s disciplinarian nature, which included a willing to beat his children.
While Gould came to realize that his father’s use of physical punishment was akin to child abuse, the two maintained a good relationship overall, with Gould’s Christian faith and respect for family helping him to persevere during the particularly difficult times. Gould’s mature understanding of people’s motivations and dedication to hard work were clear from a young age, and these attributes have certainly stood him in good stead over the course of his life.
Still, when he was sixteen, Gould could “no longer accept the heavy hand [his] father used to discipline” his children and so ran away from home. He lived with friends for around a year and half before the devastation caused by Hurricane Hugo prompted his family to move to New York City to live with his grandmother. The hurricane was a truly calamitous event, and Gould describes its effects with great clarity and insight. This understanding of the fragile nature of life and prosperity seems to have inspired his willingness to take risks.
Gould credits surviving Hurricane Hugo and his subsequent permanent move to the United States with enhancing his resiliency and underscoring the importance of preparation, which helped him survive and thrive in New York after his beloved grandmother died and then again after he moved to Florida some years later and decided to pursue a career as an actor and model in earnest. He writes candidly of the need for humility and resilience when seeking to work in the entertainment industry.
Gould managed to secure advertising work, television spots such as a voter registration campaign that aired during the Super Bowl XXXIX halftime show, and movie roles in blockbuster action flicks such as Bad Boys II and Transporter 2. He emphasizes how dedication, a willingness to put himself out there, and a spot of luck all helped with his entertainment career, which is both humble and inspiring. He also stresses the importance of investing and pursuing diverse business opportunities, which should help those seeking to follow a similar path.
Irwin Gould has certainly lived an interesting life, so much so that The Book of Irwin Gould could have been a substantially longer work. It would have been interesting to learn more about his business endeavors and his family life. Saying that, it is a very entertaining and motivating read, in no small part due to Gould’s conversational and engaging writing style as well as his unflinching recollection of the highs and lows he has experienced.
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