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When All You Have Is Hope Paperback – Aug 5 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Canada (Aug. 5 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143052551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143052555
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 1.8 x 20.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 9 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Author

John Lawrence Reynolds is the author of eight non-fiction books, including the award-winning Free Rider: How a Bay Street Whiz Kid Stole and Spent $20 Million and six mystery novels. He has also won two Arthur Ellis Awards (for best mystery novel) and a National Magazine Award. He lives in Burlington, Ontario. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

JOHN LAWRENCE REYNOLDS is the author of almost two dozen non-fiction books, including Bubbles, Bankers and Bailouts, the national bestseller The Naked Investor, and Free Rider: How a Bay Street Whiz Kid Stole and Spent $20 Million, winner of the National Business Book Award. He has also won two Arthur Ellis Awards for best mystery novel, a National Magazine Award, and an Author’s Award from the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters. He lives in Burlington, Ontario.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There are two good reasons to buy When All You Have Is Hope. One is John Reynolds' superb writing, and the other is his utterly fascinating subject, Mr. Frank O'Dea.

The prolific, multi award-winning author John Reynolds has long since perfected his trademark style: fluid, fast-moving, and structured for both clarity and punch. And he is in full flight here. Take these lines, for example:

"The year was 1971. I was thirty years away from being named an Officer of the Order of Canada, twenty years away from marrying a beautiful and successful woman ... ten years away from earning my first milion dollars, and a week away from deciding that I must either change or die."

Which brings us to Reynolds' subject. Frank O'Dea is fairly well-known in Canada for being the co-founder of two of the most innovative (at the time) businesses in this country --- Second Cup coffee houses and the onsite document shredders, ProShred Security. Entrepreneurs will learn more than a thing or two about the process from reading O'Dea's account of the founding and development of these and other enterprises, most of which follow the "Blue Ocean" strategy of creating fresh markets with no competition biting at your heels, And enjoy doing so, because Reynolds can really hold your interest --- not surprising because he has twice garnered lavish praise for business books such as The Naked Investor and Free Rider.

The average Canadian will be surprised to discover in this moving memoir the extent and reach of O'Dea's humanitarian work, including international landmine removal, AIDS research funding, the rescuing and rehabilitation of street kids around the world, and child literacy. The man has a huge, giving heart.
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Format: Hardcover
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"Forget about the mistakes you made yesterday; yesterday is gone. Don't dwell on tomorrow; nobody knows what it will bring. Focus exclusively on today. When you wallow in remorse over yesterday, or quake in fear about tomorrow, you lose hope."

The above is the advice a member of a self-help group for alcoholics gave Frank O'Dea (born: 1945) in 1971, now a successful entrepreneur and perhaps best known for being a co-founder of a successful, worldwide coffee shop chain. His true story as recorded by writer John L. Reynolds are on the pages of this amazing, easy-to-read book.

O'Dea describes this book as "the best possible catharsis" for him. I, as a reader, could tell this as he reveals all (and I mean all) of the "mistakes" he had made before he came to a self-help group for alcoholics from the streets of Toronto. After he heard the above advice, O'Dea tells us:

"I realized hope was all I had."

From this point on, O'Dea's tomorrows got progressively better (even though there were still rough spots) until we're told:

"My thousand-dollar Canada Savings Bond had spawned a mail-order coin-sorter business that had rolled into a coffee kiosk that had morphed into a leading edge marketing phenomenon that had expanded into a national corporation worth several million dollars."

By 2004, O'Dea received the Order of Canada. (This Order of Canada, OC, is Canada's highest civilian honor. Created in 1967, the Order was established to establish the lifetime contributions, made by Canadians, who made a major difference to Canada and, as well, recognizes efforts made by non-Canadians who have made the world better by their actions.
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Format: Hardcover
The storyline itself is marveleous. To read that a founder of Second Cup was once a homeless person is astounding. To read that this same person has also started a number of other businesses and charities is even more astounding. But what really makes this book a gem, is the way the author tells the story. It is as if he is sharing his story with you. You are right there, with him, when he is being accosted by the police or talking with the Governor General. I cried, I laughed, but most of all I was inspired by this wonderfull Canadian success story.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well-written with honesty and compassion. We knew Frank when we were young and my husband was actually involved in one of the nighttime escapades. We are so thrilled at how he shared his life and delighted at the turn-around he effected. Bravo,Frank. We have learned never to judge someone we see begging on the street. There but for the grace of God..
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