Plot/Idea: Markham ably communicates his main theme, without falling into distractions or unnecessary sidetracks. His narrative is clearly structured around a well-organized, straightforward concept.
Prose: Markham’s prose is simple but powerful, replete with poignant moments and thought-provoking wording. His use of natural phrasing adds depth to his crisp writing style.
Originality: Big Lucky is comprehensible and methodical, with some notable additions that elevate it from others in the genre.
Character Development/Execution: Markham is precise and diligent in following through on his advice. He delivers on every promise in a way that will be accessible to a wide range of readers.
Date Submitted: November 24, 2021
Markham starts by chronicling his early life and his childhood with a mother who barely made ends meet, to an in-and-out father who “was never there to protect me.” Markham himself was married and a father by the age of fifteen, and he frankly acknowledges the pressures he faced as a young man with his own family to care for at such a young age. His story is rousing, with lessons and sage advice to encourage anyone striving to succeed in life, and he urges readers never to give up or feel defeated by unforeseen circumstances. Each chapter’s attention-grabbing “ingredient” to add to one's recipe of success is a clear imperative—“Don’t Dance With Ghosts” and “Add Color”—and build to Markham’s encouraging takeaways from his own intense, and sometimes painful, life lessons.
Markham’s lucrative entrepreneurial history is a theme throughout, and he displays the drive and acumen to make something out of nothing by sharing his private battles, including his victory over a period in which he was unhoused. This is a straightforward guide full of inspirational tips, relatable stories, and wisdom that will resonate with those who need some guidance, an example, or a gentle push to keep pursuing their dreams. Readers will enjoy Markham's raw, honest style and his confident reassurance that “you can do anything with your life.”
Takeaway: An inviting, encouraging self-help guide that delves into the life and drive of an entrepreneur who has overcome great hardships.
Great for fans of: Angela Duckworth’s Grit, Eric Ries’s The Lean Startup.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A