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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
I enjoyed Chuck Norris's action movies when I was growing up in the 80s. They were a pretty good diversion for a teenager intrigued by the martial arts and longing for adventure. But eventually my interests turned elsewhere. Twenty years later, I've been reading books by and about various martial artists. So when I saw "Against All Odds" at a Christian bookstore, I was intrigued. I had no idea that Chuck Norris was a God-fearing kind of guy, so I had to find out more about him. "Against All Odds" is a Christian-themed autobiography (written with Ken Abraham) that covers Mr. Norris's life from a difficult childhood to his present day success as a martial artist, actor, and businessman. It's an easy and interesting read (although there are way too many exclamation points).

However, I ended up reading his other two books first. They augmented this book and gave me a more comprehensive perspective on Mr. Norris's life journey. "The Secret Power Within" is a 1996 self-help book advocating a Zen-based approach to living. It contains several anecdotes from Mr. Norris's life illustrating the benefits of the Zen philosophy. It's somewhat similar to Joe Hyams's classic book "Zen and the Martial Arts." The second book is Mr. Norris's prior autobiography "The Secret of Inner Strength," written in 1988 with Joe Hyams. The philosophical focus of "The Secret of Inner Strength" is more cognitive, based on achieving goals using positive thinking and visualization. Each chapter ends with a couple of bullet-point principles for the reader's personal application. In light of this newest book, I found it intriguing that a relationship with God was not a major theme in either of Mr. Norris's previous works.

My curiosity stoked, I dove into "Against All Odds" to see how Mr. Norris got to Christ via martial arts, Zen, and positive thinking. It's mostly a retelling of "The Secret of Inner Strength," with some reworking and 16 years worth of additional information. I found it interesting to compare and contrast the two autobiographical books. He has recast some events from the first book with a Christian perspective, and also expands on other parts in light of the passage of time. For example, Mr. Norris reveals that his first marriage was more problematic than portrayed in "The Secret of Inner Strength." He admits to having an affair that produced a daughter, and eventually he and Dianne divorced. Subsequently, Mr. Norris remarried and started another family, got involved in politics, and embarked on a successful business venture with the Total Gym home workout machine. But most importantly to him, Mr. Norris reaffirmed his relationship with Jesus Christ and became a committed Christian. In contrast to his earlier books, he now credits God for his achievements.

Other reviewers have given Mr. Norris a bad time about his moral failures, especially with his profession of Christianity. He's also an unabashedly conservative Bush supporter, so Democrats might find this book tough to swallow. But he's refreshingly honest about his shortcomings. Mr. Norris owes up to his failures with Dianne, and seems to have made peace with his loved ones. He has some commendable actions to his credit, such as involvement with the Make-a-Wish Foundation and his own KICKSTART program to build character in kids using the martial arts. Perhaps there's more "dirt" waiting to be uncovered. But I'm not willing to cast the first stone, and overall his story is an inspiring one. Mr. Norris discovered Christ at the end of a long and winding road, and I found that to be encouraging.

If you buy "Against All Odds," I recommend checking out the other books mentioned above to get the "big picture" of Mr. Norris's life. Some Christians may struggle with the Zen and visualization stuff, but there are applicable insights that can deepen our walk with Christ.
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69 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2007
This is the story of Chuck Norris. I really enjoyed it and wish everyone would read it. Many know that Chuck was a 6 time undefeated professional world champion of Karate. Many have seem the movies he has made. Most people have seen his TV series, "Walker, Texas Ranger." But other than that we know little of who he really is. Chuck Norris is one of the more down to earth Hollywood types who has had his share of ups and downs.

His story chronicles his life and shows how he dealt with the things that have faced him and his family. Like all of us, he has failed at times. Like all of us, he wishes that he had done somethings differently.

Chucks faith in Christ is evident throughout the book. Yet he doesn't hammer us with it. Many of the projects that were started through Chuck's desire to help people are a direct result of his faith in Christ.

"Against All Odds: My Story," by Chuck Norris is a very engaging book that you will enjoy and find hard to put it down.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2004
Chuck Norris, a true good guy in the martial arts world, has written another book about his life. While his first book, "Secrets of My Inner Strength", co-wriiten by Joe Hyamms covers some of the same material here, this book goes a little farther because, well, Chuck is a little older and many events in the last 15 years have occur to tell a little bit of a different story.

The last Bio was written better from an entertainment point of view- mostly because Joe Hyamms is a great writer, but this book is a little less self congratulory. Here Chuck admits his affair on his first wife in the 60's that produced a child, his divorce with Dianne, and his "living in sin" before marrying his current wife. He admits his falleness as a fallen man, but also his re-newed faith in Christ in his journey to a more fulfilled life.

The martial arts fan still learns much about his early martial arts training in Tang Soo Do while stationed in South Korea as a Security Policeman (of which I was also for 13 years, his early struggels in operating a dogo and tournament competition to enterng the film world and the Vietnam war and his family.

The writing is a little light at times, but he hit his target audience just right. For those who are looking for a more in-depth look at his martial arts film career, you may be disappointed and I agree that since much of his life is ceneter around his celebrity, he could have added another chapter discussing his films more in-depth (of wehich his other book did and therefore, he may not felt a need to do so). He talks about friends Bruce Lee and Bob Wall, his sons Mike and Eric, his new children, being a father husband and friend. An enjoyable read.
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63 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2006
Chuck Norris doesn't actually write books, the words assemble themselves out of fear.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2008
My son requested this book (bonus enough he ASKED for a BOOK!) :) for Christmas, & he was ecstatic to get it! He's really enjoyed reading it & says to please tell you it is an honor to read about a real life American hero in his own words, & is (he told me to capitalize this) CHUCK NORRIS APPROVED! WE LOVE CHUCK!!!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2008
This book is very inspirational, easy to read, full of Chuck Norris pictures through his career. a very interesting story. I'll recommended.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2012
The road to success is not straight. It has many
Twists and turns
Pot holes and boulders
Switchbacks and detours
Blind spots and hills

Its a road always under construction and your skill level as to how you
journey down this road will determine your success or failure. This is your life's road and you are the builder.

You probably know Chuck Norris, as Walker, Texas Ranger. Also, six time World Professional Middleweight Karate Champion, movie and television star, founder of KICKSTART KIDS and author of AGAINST ALL ODDS, this months book.

His road to success has not been a straight line. Born into poverty in Ryan, Oklahoma, his deep roots came from his loving mother's spiritual and practical stability.

While serving in the Air Force in South Korean he was introduced to martial arts. This became a turning point in his life as he began a journey down the bumpy road of success.

How did he overcome and learn from life's obstacles? Here are just a few of the timeless success principles he used:

« Have a goal « Rejections are only temporary setbacks
« Make it happen « Think I Can
« Never quit « Positive attitude
« Confront fear
« Keep the faith « Visualize end results
« Strong values

Should you be looking for proven ideas to boost your performance, read AGAINST ALL ODDS
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2012
My boyfriend accidently downloaded this book onto my Kindle and I was
like "Okay". I ran out of books to read and decided to read it. I
never paid much attention to Mr. Norris before-he didn't star in movies
that I was particularly interested in. Of course I knew about his ex-
pertise in the martial arts, but honestly didn't think much of him as an
actor. After I read his book, I feel tremendously ashamed of having pre-
judged him. He seems like one of the most honest, down-to-earth, genuine
person I could ever hope to meet. I'd seen episodes of "Walker, Texas
Ranger", but I'd always thought it was about ratings and money. For once
I'm very happy to be WRONG! God bless you, Chuck and your family.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Chuck's life is truely inspiring. Rages to riches - but, more importantly a sincere focus on contribution and on personal integrity.

I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for inspiration or education on how to structure your life in a more positive an productive way.

Stephen Oliver,

Owner - Stephen Oliver's Mile High Karate
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2004
Chuck Norris has been inside my head for 30 years. My wife and I met "Carlos" today at the book store and my wife received an autographed copy of this book. As a kid, I never thought I would have ever shaken his hand, but I did at 41. Any way's, his book is a good read and you won't be disappointed. Has some nice pictures in it as well.
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