OfficialReview: Executive Hoodlum by John Costello
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of"Executive Hoodlum" by John Costello.]
4 out of 4 stars
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One look with John Costello today and you would never guess that he hadexperienced so much trouble in the past. He has become a successful man. He isthe Vice President in a billion-dollar semiconductor company. He has a lovingwife and two sets of twins. One could say that he has it all. And yet, afterreading his memoir, I could almost picture in my head the famous line: "Don'tjudge a book by its cover." Executive Hoodlum: Negotiating on the Corner ofMain and Mean by John Costello tells the story of how a Chicago street-wisekid rose to the executive ladder.
John Costello was born in Chicago at the time where gangs and motorcycle clubswere at its peak. He grew up to be street-wise, partly because of the dangerousenvironment, and mainly because his father forced him. Speaking of his father,most of John's troubles and frustrations were because of him. His father had atwisted way of showing his love (if you can afford to call it that) for John.From childhood, John had received countless beatings from him. His father neverencouraged him to go to school. He thinks that going to school is a waste ofmoney. If not for John's perseverance, he would not have graduated fromcollege. To top it all, his father's talent in singing was a front to conpeople. The constant association of John's name in his father's exploitsthreatens his position as he builds his way to a reputable career and life.
I can honestly and wholeheartedly say that Executive Hoodlum is one ofthe best memoirs I have read. Ever. It was entertaining and oozing with genuinesincerity. I felt that the author only wants to share his story with hisreaders. It's a plus if they pick life lessons along the way. His story was notunique in every aspect, but what makes it special is the vibe it exudes. Theauthor wrote it so beautifully that it made me think he was a close relative ofmine, telling me stories of his adventures in his younger days. I never met theauthor, but after reading his story, it felt like I've known him for a longtime. The story was simple and used first person point-of-view. I found myselfglued to the pages for hours.
It is noteworthy to mention that the Foreword and Afterword were written byScott Baio and Larry Elder, respectively. These two famous and iconic menbecame close friends with the author. Their words were not only full of praiseto the author but also sprinkled with admiration for a great friend. I agreedwith Mr. Elder when he said that John's "life is like a walking Goodfellasmovie, only far more interesting."
I enjoyed how the epilogue was structured as well. It contained a list of namesthat were mentioned in the book. After each name, the author wrote a briefdescription of the person's current whereabouts. This was important to mebecause it helped me tie some loose ends on what happened to the othercharacters. This is usually overlooked in most memoirs. Some books tend tofocus on one character and forget the other characters mentioned in the story.
Without a doubt, I give Executive Hoodlum: Negotiating on the Corner of Mainand Mean by John Costello 4 out of 4 stars. There were minimaltypographical errors and missing commas. However, this could be easily fixedwith a bit of polishing. Anyhow, it was not enough to deduct a point in therating. Executive Hoodlum would be perfect for readers who enjoy memoirsand even those who are still new to this particular genre. This book will notdisappoint. Read it and be thoroughly entertained.
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