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Cook, Peter D.

Toronto, Stoddart, c1986. 272pp, paper, $12.95, ISBN 0-7737-5068-1. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Thomas F. Chambers

Volume 15 Number 1
1987 January

According to Peter Cook, there are many Canadians who want to start their own businesses, but do not know how. His suggestion is, buy my book, and I will tell you. If people are foolish enough to part with their money to buy this book, I doubt very much if they will become successful entrepreneurs. The information in Start Your Own Business is too general to be of much value. Anyone trying to start a business career on Cook's advice will soon face more problems than the book answers.

Cook's style is also boring. He does not write well and makes numerous grammatical errors. Such statements as: "It is difficult to remember that things as they are now is not as they always have been," and "Upon seeing the automobile he counselled his son that by working hard and smart the son some day might also be in a position to own a Rolls," irritated me. How do you work smart?

In fairness to Cook, I think his approach might do better in a classroom, where his personality and experience would help him to get his ideas across. The book format is a liability because the reader has no chance to question Cook's concepts. You have to take him at his word.

Starting a business yourself is difficult. As Cook admits, sixty per cent of all new businesses fail within the first five years. Certainly, buying a book such as this one before you begin is not a key to success. Talking with other small businessmen about what to do and what not to do would be far more worthwhile.

Thomas F. Chambers, Canadore C.C., North Bay, Ont.
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