Insightful yet grounded without being too sanguine and didactic.
Mar 8, 2010
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, recovery, business, ethics, difficult choices, et cetera. The language is straightforward, and the simplicity mirrors that of how most young adult novels are fashioned. The potency of The Imposter lies in its intentness, for the honesty is palpable.
What I liked about this book is that the author-Kip Kreiling-is the proof of what he's written about. His life is the testimony. He details the step-by-step process of his own transformation from vicious, often drug-induced juvenile criminal who would blatantly show his gun as one would a middle finger in a moment of rage, to a successful, philanthropic businessman with a happy marriage and a loving family. That is a stark and unlikely contrast indeed, for statistics often show that when a person is treading on the road of criminal rebellion, they stay on the trail of criminal defiance, often to the bitter end to permanent imprisonment or even worse. That, for the most part, is often the criminal's only consistency. Hence, what was the turnaround? First, at 17 years-of-age, it was a religious conversion to his Mormon faith, a profound happening that graced him with the gift of quitting hardcore drugs cold turkey. It allowed him to see the woundedness in others as he himself was wounded, thus transforming his circular perception-with heightened depth-of his environment and everything contained therein. But even when a religious conversion happens, it does not make all things easy squeezy lemon easy, as they say. If anything, it creates only the foundation, not the walls and roof. Often, people are grateful for the radical change for the better, despite the fact that they really had nothing to do with it. So, it leaves them with the question, What now? In Kip's case, even though he consciously didn't want to, he reverted back to his crippling bad habits via the aid of a co-worker at a limo service nicknamed Mean Irene and her friend crystal meth. And the addictive cycle started all over again. Gradually and with much struggle and hard work, he climbed out of this, too, and garnered a new enlightenment. Though he never doubted his religious conversion that started him on to the path of health and betterment, he knew that he could not change himself for religion alone. He had to change himself for him and his own individual worth. And in The Imposter, Kip showcases that one positive transformation often leads to another. It is not easy, and he makes no bones about it; he himself would attest that he was the lab rat for that evolution. Aside from himself, however, he offers historical transformative examples, citing specifically Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln, two truly compelling case studies. And while religion is often a catalyst for improved lives, it does not have a monopoly on that. Even as a stand-alone, money can be a reason why people change and not religion. Read chapters five and six for further elaboration. The causes for improved change have a wide spectrum and Kip cites what he believes were his personal impulses. Yet, he offers a plethora of instances whereby the reader simply can't help but ponder to what degree and what level of quality he or she is fully living their life. Through his own life development, he is offering a microscope of self analysis for others. The reader has to do the hard work.
At the beginning of The Imposter, the scene is set at a high end restaurant frequented by CEOs, COOs, CFOs and other folks in the upper echelons of the business world; people are at ease, comforted, comfortable and confident. Because they were blessed to have a unified, loving, organized and structured upbringing, they possessed all the necessary ingredients to later lift them to the pinnacles of business success. Kip Kreiling did not have that. He had chaos, inconsistency, violence and hard-bitten cynicism imbued into him, components that very rarely catapult a person to any kind of success. Yet, he managed to sit in that restaurant among the elite. And though he privately doubted whether he really belonged there, whether he was in actuality an imposter with a nice suite, degree and salary, deep down, he knew otherwise. He envisioned something better and worked hard for it. The Imposter is not a typical "self-help" book, a genre I normally dislike. It is a book of constructive insights learned through the school of hard knox, tenacity as well as a sundry of epiphanies.
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
"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 … 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
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 ...