What You See Is What You Get: My Autobiography by Alan Sugar
A bit about Alan Sugar
For those that don’t know, Alan Sugar is the TV star of The Apprentice here in the UK. If you are from the US, I believe that you also have the TV show The Apprentice, but it is headed up by Donald Trump.
As characters, I wouldn’t say that Alan Sugar and Donald Trump are anything alike. In my opinion, the only similarities between the two are the TV and the fact that they are both businessmen.
The book itself
This book is very large. It is easily the largest book that I own and the largest book that I have ever read from cover to cover. We’re talking over 650 large pages that are well filled with content.
Throughout the book, you’ll come across three sections that contain inserts of photographic paper depicting images throughout Sugar’s life. Because they are printed on photographic paper rather than the usual inner paper gives the book a much nicer feel and makes the pictures much more vibrant.
Overall, it’s an entertaining autobiography and the size is well justified. Sugar doesn’t dwell over certain times of his life or certain events, the book does move along quite quickly. Simply put, the book is just so big because so much has happened.
It contains everything from Sugar’s childhood right up to the day that the book went to print. This includes his first experiences in business, growing his business, meeting his wife, some deals that worked, others that didn’t, his experience as chairman of a football club and obviously his role on The Apprentice.
And because this is an autobiography, his character shines through on every page. He is a very straight-talking guy which is suggested in the title, What You See Is What You Get.
There are no frills, no fluff, it’s his version, of his life, with his own thoughts and opinions. He really does tell you exactly what he thinks – at one point, he’s happy to point out that estate agents are tossers. It’s a very refreshing.
Even though I read and review books, I can lose interest in books quite quickly. Considering that this book is over 650 pages, it’s a testament to the book that it managed to keep me engaged for that long and that I managed to read it all.
However, there was one section of the book that I did almost phase out. This was when he was the chairman of the football club. I personally have no interest in football and therefore that section was very boring for me. But in saying that, it was a very big part of his life and I know many other readers who would be interested in that part, it just didn’t appeal to me.
If you have any interest in the show The Apprentice, or Alan Sugar himself, or if you are interested in reading autobiographies from successful entrepreneurs, then I would recommend this book for you.
I know it’s a big read and a big-time commitment, but I do think that it’s worth it. It is very entertaining, and you can learn a lot from his experiences.
My review scores
With regards to my review scores, I would just like to note the reasoning behind them.
I gave an 8 for Design & Layout – even though the font is ideal and the quality of the images help the book, I sometimes found the chapters to be very large. I dislike putting a book down mid-chapter, but I was forced to do this several times.
I gave a 5 for Readability – this is simply because of the size of the book. The actual content itself is easy to read, but it can be a very daunting read because it is so big and it also commands a larger commitment of time to complete.
Finally, I gave an 8 for Quality of Information – I enjoyed how straight to the point and refreshing this read was, but even though Alan Sugar shares his experiences in business, you have to take your own lessons from them.