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I liked it, but....
on September 11, 2009
I've enjoyed Og Mandino's positive messages throughout the years, so I was looking forward to "The Choice." I'll admit, I enjoyed reading it, especially the first part. I think this is mostly due to the fact that I recently left a job to work on several writing and speaking projects. That part of the story, where the main character quits his job to write was my favorite, and being a book person, I really connected with the author's huge library, and sort of wished I had a lighthouse that could serve as my library and writing den.
The part I did not care for in the book was the actual "choice." Personally, while it was a choice, I don't think it was a very difficult one. As a father, if I was ever given a choice between my life or the life of my daughter, there is no choice. I would do anything for her, and if that meant me dying for her to live, so be it. I sort of have a problem with a supreme being asking such a choice of someone as well. So while I found a lot of the book enjoyable and even motivational, with other little gems tucked in places throughout, I didn't like the main "Choice" that was the title and largest "point" of the book. And it was just too convenient at the end for the supreme being to decide he didn't have to die after all.
For those reasons I have mixed feelings about "The Choice" by Og Mandino. I liked parts of it, but didn't like the "choice." It's a short book, barely over 100 pages, so it was a very quick read. I would lean toward enjoying it, because the parts about him leaving his job to write what he felt he needed to get out really resonated with me. And some of the life lessons are worth reading for as well. I just wish he would have gotten those lessons across without having the main character choose between having his son die of something or him having to die. I didn't care for that at all. Since I have mixed feelings, I guess I'd say it is about a 3 out of five stars.
Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author of a regular column on negotiation for The Montana Lawyer.