Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: Kicking Ass and Saving Souls: A True Story of a Life Over the Line

Kicking Ass and Saving Souls is a biography that's nearly the polar opposite of the one I just completed. Two things:

First off, the story really does read like a Hollywood Action Film. I kept having to remind myself that the main character, Stefan Templeton, is a real person. Think Bruce Willis meets Jackie Chan meets 007. He survives the rough streets of Baltimore (training in martial arts, and finally standing up to the bully just like you'd want him to), lives the playboy life in Europe (think 007 style seduction) and completes Bourne-Identity-esque training in both martial arts and deep sea diving. All along the way he makes mostly terrible life choices which just lead from one crisis to another. Yet, somehow, he perseveres.

Second of all, the book is really only half a biography. It leaves off not at the end of Templeton's life, but at a natural inflection point where he finally seems to be on the right track. In some respects, this is a bit ballsy—but I like it. For anyone who's ever felt like the game is over, and that they're all out of options, Templeton's story stands to show just how false this reasoning is.

His message is clear: as long as you're still kicking around this rock, there's a way to use the gifts you've got for good. You've just got to go out and find it.

A fun read and a wonderful message of redemption. Go read it.

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