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I'm a slow reader. It took me a year to finish reading this book, but that's notwithstanding. I bought this book when I was homeless for the 3rd time in my life and it was 1 of the things that gave me the tenacity to make it through that repeat difficult and scary time again. This book is inspiring honest, daring, ballsy and enlightening and I am grateful to have the pleasure of still having it. It's still in great condition even though I bought it used. I would recommend this book to anybody and I have recommended it to a lot of people. Adam Shepard, thank you for your bravery your openness and your honesty. Keep up the good work brother.
9 helpful votes
10 helpful votes
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on March 12, 2017
This is an entertaining read. The moral to the story is that hard works still pays off. The American Dream is alive and well for those who are still willing to work for it. Just roll up your sleeves and go to work!
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on January 16, 2013
Mr. Shepard took a radical step - to find out for himself if he could make it 'from scratch' - and then also wrote about it.
Mr. Shepard is very aware of how he can only start from scratch as he is; a young, educated man from a supportive family. But his descriptions of others where he lands show that homeless men of various ages and ethnicities did at least as well as he did when they focused on improving themselves. Indeed, he seemed to learn a lot from these other men.
A book all young men should read.
1 helpful vote
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on December 22, 2013
A great example of showing how far persistence and initiative will take someone. I especially liked how well Adam got to know everyone and explain their stories. I definitely haven't sacrificed enough at this point in my life.
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
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on February 6, 2012
I thought this was a great book which provided a thought provoking journey. While reading this I was thinking of how many kids sit around and make excuses when they get out of college but Shepard really showed the ingenuity of the American spirit. He really did a great job on this and made things work. I forced my high school aged son to read this and he really enjoyed it and passed it on to some of his friends. A great book with a normal guy surviving under harsh circumstances in a rough environment.
1 helpful vote
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on April 8, 2014
This young man did something that used to be expected. Work hard, work your way up in the job or go on to other, better jobs, watch your money and be patient. Now the disclaimer, he had the good fortune to be strong and male. This may have contributed to making it "easier" though his climb up was easy by no means. I think if the average woman tried this or someone who cannot conduct themselves intelligently, they may not have a similar experience. Overall, it does show that if one is willing to start at the bottom and watch for better opportunities, treat people with respect, expect little hand outs, etc. they will not be at the bottom forever. This used to be called Normal 75 years ago.
4 helpful votes
5 helpful votes
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on December 27, 2012
I don't read a lot for fun, but I did read this book and was riveted. This young man, a recent college graduate of Merrimack College, took on the brave task of heading out "into the world" with not much more than $25 and a sack of clothes. His writing style was simple yet riveting. Hard to put down.
1 helpful vote
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on January 24, 2013
The concept of Adam Shepard’s experiment was much more powerful than his account. I felt the basis of the book was strong; I liked the idea. However, I felt his prose, which seemed juvenile fit the experience but was not appropriate for an enjoyable read. Coarse language and rough dialogue made some scenes hard to understand. While the reader does get the feel for the life he was living, I feel it would have been a better stylistic choice to mature the language.

I also feel that eh experiment had a small inherent flaw. Shepard was trying to prove that homelessness could be escaped if one works hard enough. It was evident from the very start that he would be working as hard as possible to accomplish his goal by the end of the allotted one year. However, whether or not he succeeded was irrelevant; the goal was part of his experiment. The other homeless men were not participating in such a scenario; it was a reality to them that probably would end up lasting much more than a year. This reality would be more pressing; it would set a limitation on them that Shepard did not have because he knew he would escape.

Although his book may or may not prove anything about the ability to achieve the escape from homelessness, his motivation was admirable. This book demonstrates the value of hard work and its inspirational undertone renders it a great read for those in need of some incentive to achieve their goals. It does remind the reader that the American Dream is tangible if you believe in yourself and are ready to work hard enough to achieve it.
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on May 18, 2015
This book starts out with a very interesting premise: a guy with limited real-life experience starts with nothing and attempts to claw his way out of homelessness.

The book start off strong with a first-hand account of life in a homeless shelter and the hardships and opportunities that homeless people are faced with. Unfortunately, it quickly devolves into an in-depth look at life as a professional mover when the author secures a job at a moving company. From this point forward, the book becomes a serious of fairly pointless and mundane stories about working at a moving company.
The (apparently) faultless author also makes cringe-worthy humble-brags constantly. He can do no wrong and always makes great decisions, while shortcomings and character flaws in everyone else he encounters are never left out.
Another odd factor is that the author seems constantly culture-shocked by non-shocking things. People use profanity? There are guys who date multiple women? Someone might beat you up if you physically threaten them?! Why, I never! Unless you lived all of your life in a sheltered white-bred suburb in middle-America, the author comes of as incredibly naive and judgmental.

Ultimately, the interesting concept of this book is wasted with boring off-topic content about normal life as a working man.
6 helpful votes
7 helpful votes
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on April 8, 2014
This is an inspirational read for everyone. I realize that homelessness is often a result of mental illness and substance abuse issues so Adams experiences don't apply to everyone. However for anyone that has ever had a daunting goal I feel that this book will speak to you.
5 helpful votes
6 helpful votes
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