Bright Triumphs From Dark Hours, by David Heenan (Hardcover, 2010)|
(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you
want a hardcopy)
Mark Lamendola, author of over 6,000 articles.
Some chapters this book felt inspiring, but some felt tiring. The
problem is the hyperbolic, exaggerating writing style that makes heavy
use of superlatives and strong adjectives. A little embellishment, like
a little salt, improves the flavor. This author tends to go overboard,
especially in the first few chapters. Chapter 6 had the least amount of
this embellishment, and I found it to be a page-turner. I wish the rest
of the book had its tone.
This particular collection of ten transformation stories is arranged
in a manner that promotes some synergy between them. The book is
arranged into three Parts. While you will read the stories of three or
four very different people in each Part, the people featured in that
part have something in common. Heenan explains what that is, in the
While Heenan was doing his research, it occurred to him that people
with transformational stories are crusaders, combatants, or comeback
kids. And there you have the themes of the three Parts. Each of the ten
stories has its own chapter, and the book concludes with Chapter 11.
That final chapter, "Strategies for a Bright Triumph," spells out the
"take away lessons" of the previous ten chapters. Rather than present a
laundry list, Heenan details six strategies. The fifth one is, in my
opinion, the most important. It's probably the game-changing
strategy for anyone who is struggling.
So, you could read the first ten chapters to "get a feel good" and
you'd get your money's worth from the purchase of it. But with that
final chapter you can say, "OK, what do these stories really mean for
me?" And you can find the answers.
This book runs 204 pages, plus it has a 27-page bibliography. That
size of bibliography for this size of text is impressive in itself, but
the bibliography shows you only the written record research of
the author. Heenan also conducted interviews with many people (not just
the folks who are the subjects of the transformation stories). This
exhaustive research on the part of the author may explain why I did not
find a single factual error in this book. If you read some other reviews
of mine, you can find long lists of errors. Not here, though, because
there weren't any.
Another big plus for this book is the author defied the current
practice of using a nonfiction book as a platform for preaching personal
political opinions. There's not a single political opinion in this book.
Kudos to Heenan for that.