Sunday, November 11, 2007

How Starbucks Saved My Life

I discovered Michael Gates Gill's memoir, How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else in a book display at a librarians' conference. I was immediately intrigued by it. Not only was the title interesting, but the back cover provided a strong endorsement by Thomas Moore, one of my favorite authors.

Gill, a child of wealth who attended Yale and earned a large salary as a creative director at an advertising company, was laid off from his job as he approached retirement age. Not having much success at his attempts to be a consultant, Gill accepted a barista job at Starbucks.

I imagined Gill's memoir would provide profound insights into how he found enjoyment serving others. I thought the memoir would be Zen-like in its approach. Unfortunately, I was never convinced by Gill and his near worship of Starbucks. There was no depth. I found his constant reminiscing to a time long ago, where he interacted with such notables as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Frost, more important to him than his present work at Starbucks.

I wanted to believe enlightenment was reached, but came away from this feeling like I was reading a long advertisement for Starbucks. I read today that the memoir is being made into a film. Perhaps the film adaptation will be more moving and less contrived.


At 22.1.08 , Blogger Jeane said...

I'm glad I read your review. I was considering this book but I already have gripes about Starbucks...


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home