Review of “First American Back” by Simone Camilleri
“I have yet to read a memoir as gripping as this one. It's a page turner that reads like a thriller, except that the author is a real character, as are the events that shape him and that drive the story. I loved March's style and wit, not to mention the humour he injects into situations that for the average person would be alarming. This memoir is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit; of victory over great adversity. It shows how character is key to overcoming insurmountable odds and that integrity is possible in business; so refreshing in today's cutthroat corporate environment that knows no scruples.
The author's expertise in Middle-Eastern business dealings, his knowledge of multiple Arab cultures, and his acumen in adapting his methods to suit each one, should be an excellent guide for any businessman seeking to break into this lucrative market. March imparts his skills, again with that added touch of humour that makes his narrative a joy to read. Even in despair the humourous element comes into play and is often laugh-out-loud funny.
"First American Back" is imbued with danger, adventure, success, failure, and loss. March faces betrayal from business partners, political upheaval, war, abduction, huge personal losses, and, yes, even despair. His struggle to reach the top of his game is long and arduous, yet no sooner is glory at his fingertips than fate conspires to snatch it all away. Years of effort and determination, not to mention sacrifice, are reduced to rubble, and from a millionaire March faces destitution. But did it faze him? Not a bit. From nothing, he again strives to pick up the pieces and begins anew.
What makes a wealthy man and what forces cause his downfall? How does a man on the edge of despair find the strength to turn the tide when he's literally at rock-bottom? I found the author's character to be the most enlightening aspect of this memoir. It is also pivotal to his story. Throughout his life, March's greatest assets were his inner strength, his sheer determination and will power, his integrity, and his loyalty to his family. This is what the reader will learn from this exciting memoir—that it is character, not chance, that determines one's success or failure.
What an amazing journey this was. A truly enjoyable read that I'd recommend even to readers who do not usually go for this genre. It will not disappoint.“