How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else

How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else

3.7 112
by Michael Gates Gill
     
 

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Now in paperback, the national bestselling riches-to-rags true story of an advertising executive who had it all, then lost it all—and was finally redeemed by his new job, and his twenty-eight-year-old boss, at Starbucks.

In his fifties, Michael Gates Gill had it all: a mansion in the suburbs, a wife and loving children, a six-figure salary,See more details below

Overview

Now in paperback, the national bestselling riches-to-rags true story of an advertising executive who had it all, then lost it all—and was finally redeemed by his new job, and his twenty-eight-year-old boss, at Starbucks.

In his fifties, Michael Gates Gill had it all: a mansion in the suburbs, a wife and loving children, a six-figure salary, and an Ivy League education. But in a few short years, he lost his job, got divorced, and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. With no money or health insurance, he was forced to get a job at Starbucks. Having gone from power lunches to scrubbing toilets, from being served to serving, Michael was a true fish out of water.

But fate brings an unexpected teacher into his life who opens his eyes to what living well really looks like. The two seem to have nothing in common: She is a young African American, the daughter of a drug addict; he is used to being the boss but reports to her now. For the first time in his life he experiences being a member of a minority trying hard to survive in a challenging new job. He learns the value of hard work and humility, as well as what it truly means to respect another person.

Behind the scenes at one of America’s most intriguing businesses, an inspiring friendship is born, a family begins to heal, and, thanks to his unlikely mentor, Michael Gill at last experiences a sense of self-worth and happiness he has never known before.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Baker lends his talent to Gill's memoir, the subject of considerable industry buzz and the basis for a 2008 movie starring Tom Hanks. Baker's enunciation and cadence perfectly match the essence of Gill, a well-bred and erudite-yet down-on-his luck-advertising executive who discovers the true meaning of life while working as a Starbucks barista. Baker also delivers especially evocative performances of Gill's hardworking-but fun-loving-young colleagues Kester and Anthony. His portrayal of store manager and mentor Crystal seems slightly underwhelming given her character's pivotal role in the story. All in all, Baker remains true to the spirit of the material, and his rendition of the workplace banter should ring especially true with service industry veterans. Critics quick to dismiss the project for its high-concept elements will probably remain unmoved, but fans of such popular inspirational/motivational memoirs as Tuesdays with Morrieshould find the experience good to the last drop. Simultaneous release with the Gotham hardcover (Reviews, June 4). (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
The Wall Street Journal
In the best tradition of The New Yorker, How Starbucks Saved My Life is one great read.
The Christian Science Monitor
An intriguing look behind the counter of one of the world's most recognizable brands.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
How Starbucks Saved My Life works as an interesting memoir of one man's transformation. But it could also work as a wake-up call to corporate America.
Kirkus Reviews
When a formerly high-level exec hits rock bottom, he finds salvation behind the counter at Starbucks. Son of famed New Yorker editor Brendan Gill, the author was unceremoniously fired from J. Walter Thompson after 25 years as a creative director. While trying-and ultimately failing-to run his own consulting business, he engaged in a marriage-ending affair that left him broke as well as unemployed. He subsequently found himself drinking a latte at Starbucks during a "Hiring Open House." When a confident 28-year-old African-American woman offered him a job, Gill found himself transformed from a name-dropping, high-society hobnobber into an everyman who had to relate to people from all walks of life. In the fast-paced world of coffee purveyors, the only thing that counted was his ability to do the job and work alongside the other "partners" (Starbucks-speak for employees). At its core, the narrative is an inspirational story about someone who learned late-but not too late-in life that money and status aren't everything. If Gill is to be believed, Starbucks is a magical realm where people of all races, creeds and lifestyles intermingle, a place where customers treat baristas with respect bordering on hero worship. Unfortunately, what little enlightenment his memoir has to offer is swamped by Gill's mawkish tributes to a mega-corporation. Tom Hanks, whose production company has optioned the book, will have a tough time redeeming this nauseating paean. Way too much sugar. Film Rights to Playtone

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101216996
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/20/2007
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
114,203
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Wayne Dyer
A great lesson in finding your highest self in the unlikeliest of places-- proof positive that there is no way to happiness-- rather, happiness is the way.
Thomas Moore
How Starbucks Saved My Life is based on the simple idea that down-to-earth, humbling labor can help you re-orient your values and priorities and give you new life. It will speak to anyone in need of radical surgery on their worldview, and that includes most of us. Sit down with a cup of coffee and this book and entertain yourself toward enlightenment. (Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, Dark Nights of the Soul, and The Worth of Our Work)
Denis Waitley
I like my Starbucks, but I loved this book. It hit me emotionally and intellectually, right in the gut. The message, what the world needs to embrace most, made my cup runneth over! (Dr. Denis Waitley, author of The Seeds of Greatness)

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