The Bottom Line
- Gardners childhood memories range from the sad to the uplifting
- Readers will be motivated and inspired by his dedication to education and hard work
- Gardners sincere expressions of devotion to his children are touching
- Violence and sexuality make this book inappropriate for young readers
- The writing is more complicated than it needs to be; sentences can be hard to follow
- Chris Gardner grew up in a struggling African-American neighborhood in Milwaukee
- Gardners childhood was marked by his stepfathers abuse of his mother
- Gardners two goals are to be a good father to his son and to work on Wall Street
Guide Review - Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner - Book Review
Gardners message can seem inconsistent. On the one hand, he was moved by his own troubled childhood to vow that he would be a good father to his children. On the other hand, a flashy red Ferrari caught his eye one day, prompting him to adopt the goal of becoming a stock broker in order to earn enough money to buy his own Ferrari. The two goals arent incompatible, of course, but Gardner doesnt mention any tension he may have felt between his selfless love for his son and his more superficial-seeming financial goals.
Any self-reflection present in Gardners story seems to be mostly the self-reflection of a motivational speaker, which Gardner has become. There is much discussion of working hard to overcome the paucity of other African-Americans on Wall Street, not to mention Gardners lack of a college degree. The Pursuit of Happyness makes for an enjoyable story, and an inspiring one, but leaves the reader looking for something more.