"The Imposter" is the well-written "transformation memoir" of Kip Kreling. The author tells the dark story of his violent youth--numerous arrests,, abuse at home, drug addictions, runaways, drug dealing, robberies (both perpetrator and victim). As a young man, Kreiling was well on the way to a life in prison or bare survival on the edge of society.
But then comes the transformation, when Kreiling changed his life, quit drugs, went to college, and succeeded in business. The cover accurately calls this a "transformation" memoir; once Kreiling has established the basics of his descent into a troubled life, he focuses on that principles of that transformation that redeemed his life, with examples from his life after the transformation.
Some things that stand out about "The Imposter?"
--Unlike many writers who are primarily public speakers, teachers, or pastors, and very good with the spoken word but less so as writers, Reiling is a good writer. The story flows well, with good transitions. While it is clear that he has honed the details in public presentation, the book is better than just a transcript of a speech.
--While Kreiling believes that his transformation was God-given and spiritual in nature, he generalizes his principles of transformation so that anyone could feel comfortable reading and applying them.
--When introduced to Ayn Rand and her philosophy of the mind and will, he struggles to reconcile those philosophies with his adopted and heart felt belief in God and Christianity. This is a struggle I have also faced as a dedicated Christian who enjoys the truth and strength of Rand's philosophy, but with an unresolved guilt about the conflict with my Christianity. Kreiling's approach to reconciling these opposite approaches is interesting and useful (see Chapter 6).
--The title of the book plays on the "imposter syndrome" as described by Wikipedia:
Regardless of what level of success they may have achieved in their chosen field of work or study or what external proof they may have of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced internally they do not deserve the success they have achieved and are actually frauds. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they were more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.
Kreiling faces this internal struggle as he opens the book at a black-tie event at an exclusive private club, displaying again his writing skill as he describes the sweat on his brow as he remembers, and flashs back to scenes from his troubled past.
A worthy effort and and well worth the time to read.
I will admit that I am not much of a reader of self-help/transformation books. The preamble for most of them starts off with, "Do you like the way things are going in your life?" Perhaps that's a cynical judgement call on my part, but I've never been wrong so far when dealing with books that fall into that category. The Imposter, however, is not like that. It is in a different league, because it possesses tidbits of the memoir genre, positive psychology, science, religious awakening, … more
Subtitled "How a Juvenile Criminal Succeeded in Business and Life," "The Imposter?" takes its title from several people telling the author that people cannot really change and that if that statement is true, then he, the author, must be an imposter. The early years of Kip Kreiling's life were made up of physical abuse, crime, drug addiction, homelessness, drinking, being kicked out of school, and generally giving up on anything positive in life. His mother continually tried to reach out to him, … more
I have a great deal of respect for author Kip Kreiling and what he has given the world in THE IMPOSTER? He has taken us into a dark place in his own past and decided to use his experiences to help others while helping us understand what we can do to break the cycle. There is nothing worse than feeling like you are the only one having to deal with a bad situation. Kip lets you know that regardless of what you are faced with and how bad things might appear, the one thing you … more
I can't really bring myself to call this a self-help book; it reads more like a cross between a memoir and a psychology book. On the other hand, it helped me greatly, so maybe it is a self-help book of sorts. It's not hard to imagine that Kip might have picked up some wisdom during his hard fought transformation from a young criminal fleeing a troubled home to a successful father and husband. You also might imagine that someone in his position would write a book filled with aphorisms about "never … more
Kip Kreiling contacted me and offered me a copy of The Imposter. As a reviewer, I'm a little apprehensive when it comes to books that are published outside of the traditional route. I've read some pretty rough traditionally published books and some really, really rough self-published ones. But Kip's story intrigued me. He had a rough background and extreme addictions, failed or dropped out of or was expelled from many schools. So how could he end up becoming a power player in some pretty impressive … more
For the last decade, it's been easily observed that there are thousands upon thousands of self-help books conceived and written around the concept of helping any individual achieve life-alerting change. Everyone -- from self-help gurus to industry-leading professionals to curious politicians -- has jumped aboard this life-shaking franchise, offering up perspective after perspective about what steps are required to reach a life of successful living. While some of these books go to great lengths … more
Kip Kreiling's book is an inspiration to all to show that change is not only a possibility but can be made reality by just starting with a few small steps. He draws you in immediately by relating how he is in an executive dining facility and the waitress senses he doesn't belong and Kip himself starts to feel that maybe he is a "successful" imposter. He then proceeds to tell a brief summary of how he was a juvenile criminal and a drug user. As Kip tells his tale … more
Kip Kreilig had a troubled childhood and he was involved with crime, drugs and alcohol. This book is a semi-telling of his transformation into a successful professional and certain principles he has recognized as having a transformative effect on his life. Mr. Kreilig hopes that, with this book, he can inspire and/or encourage others to achieve a positive transformation. The main issue with this book is that it alternates between memoir and a semi-self-help book. This results … more
Review of: "The Imposter? How A Juvenile Criminal Succeeded In Business And Life." Kip Kreiling's memoir about his mental and spiritual transformation is mesmerizing. I have read many books ascribed as transformation accounts couched in the self-development/self-help genre which promise to illuminate the reader's "consciousness," etc. However I find Kreiling's account unique in that it appears to be very honest and lucid without commercialization. I have have read enough … more
When the author contacted me about doing a review of his book, I very nearly said no. I get several review requests per week, so I have been forced to get choosier about the review copies I accept. But I took a closer look at the book description and changed my mind. We don't have nearly enough books that talk honestly about the shortcomings of our juvenile justice system. Perhaps Kreiling had something new and important to add? I was a little put off by the large print of … more
I love reading and writing about what I have read, making the connections and marking the comparisons and contrasts. God has given man the amazing power to invent language and the means to record it which … more
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I just received your published book in the mail. Thank you. Your dedication to your mother brought tears to my eyes, which caused me to turn to your acknowledgement section. It affected me so strongly I had to leave my desk and go to a back room to finish reading it; tears were streaming down my cheeks. Your mother's love for you overwhelmed me. And you keeping the erector set that John gave you for all those years so touching.
I thought your story was truly amazing as you shared bits and pieces of it with me when we worked together at Tomax. Then, when I read your transcript, before your book was published, I was flabbergasted, for lack of a better word. Having read your acknowledgements section today it touched me so deeply. It really testifies that God knows every single one of his children and what their needs are and brings people into our lives to help us when we need it most. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing!.
Lastly, I truly hope your books gains the kind of momentum so that someone like Oprah picks it up. Your story needs and deserves a national audience. People need to know that it is possible to triumph over the most hideous of circumstances and how to do that. And, another reason the world needs to know your story is so the John's, Mr. Fosters, and Sims' of the world won't give up and will provide as much help as a hurting boy will allow them to give at that time with the hope that, even though it may seem futile at the moment, a ...