Wednesday, October 10, 2007
IN THE EYE OF THE TIGER: SURVIVAL PRINCIPLES FROM SYLVESTER STALLONE'S FILMS AND LIFE BY GERALD CHUAH
Gerald is an old friend of mine and an office colleague. For a better part of 18 years, he has laboured on his pet project. There were times when he must have felt like giving up because he wasn't sure if the book he was working on will eventually seen the light of day.
I recall the times through the years when he came to me to express the doubts and the frustrations he has had over this book. In many ways, I understood, sympathised as well as empathised with what he was going through.
For one thing, finding a publisher for a book with that kind of title is never easy. Then there are the copyright laws and other legalities that make publication seemed like an uphill battle at times.
Gerald underwent all that and more. Finally one day about a year or two ago, he again engaged in a conversation with me over "In the Eye of the Tiger". Out of a sense of frustration with Gerald's consistent hesitations and procrastinations, I blurted out: "You are not getting any younger. You have walked this path longer than most normal writers. It's time for you to do what you must. If you have any satisfaction or reward that you think you deserve for slogging on this project of yours, now is the time to do it. Spend your own money. Forget about cornering or signing that book deal with a faceless publisher. That may never come. Once it's done, at least you know you have done it.
"Decades from now, Gerald, when all is said and done, at least you can boast to your grandchildren that their grandpappy has one book to his name. And nobody can take that away from you."
Before I know it, Gerald went on an overdrive and got his book published at last - all at his own expense. I thought that was the best testimony of what he has expounded in his book, In the Eye of the Tiger.
Figuratively, he jumped on the tiger and rode it. Now that that mission has been accomplished, I am pleased to say that the book is undoubtedly a good read.
Any reader would realise quite quickly all the passion that has been invested in the book. Gerald lives his life along the principles he so believes. A man can have any hobby in the world, my friend Gerald has seen it fit to absorb the principles embodied in all of Sylvester Stallone's movies, especially The Rocky series.
I am glad this book has brought much joy to an old chum. It is not often that a person can truly feel happy with his own achievements. To have a book with such a title on the book shelves of major bookstores is truly something to be proud of.
Initially, there were doubts among a number of people, among them Gerald's friends, that whether this journalist can see it all through. But praise the Lord, Gerald stuck to his guns and romped home a winner.
The principles expounded in the book and the anecdotes that accompany most of the guideposts make a book of such nature quite palatable. Even if you are not an admirer or a fan of Stallone, you would appreciate the trouble that the writer had gone through to amass the mini-mountains of facts to put his points across.
In the Eye of the Tiger is recommended for those who are seeking answers to their lives. It doesn't matter if you are young or old, Gerald's book will shine a path in the darkened corners of your mind, and hopefully lead you to higher ground.
I have read a draft of this book before it was published and I have just digested the finished product. The writer has gone through numerous revisions of the manuscript before it saw print.
It has taken thousands of hours and much mental energy on the part of Gerald to finally sculpted it to its final form. The end product will make any writer proud.
Gerald Chuah has done a fine job. The important thing is he believes in himself. It has been a long and interesting journey. I am sure there were times when he probably question whether it was worth it.
Thank goodness, those moments were fleeting. Those painful moments are now history. The door is thrown wide open. Gerald can now hold his head up high and walk with a steady gait.
He has done well and he knows it. Congratulations, Gerald. You have earned it all. Now go and reap the rewards of your literary labour.