I’ve read a book written by Donald Trump. There, I’ve said it. And I don’t even feel ashamed. What’s more, I read it 3 times.
(Over a long period, not one time after another – heaven forbid!)
The book was called “Surviving at the top” – and, in my opinion, it contains 2 valuable lessons about life (one intentional, one not):
#1: Trump tells a story about when his company was billions of dollars in debt. He was walking along 5th Avenue one day when a homeless guy asked him for spare change. In that moment, Trump realised the homeless guy was $4bn richer than he was.
Lesson: the ability to make money is more important than having money.
#2: If you have low self-esteem, no amount of money is going to cure it. Trump seems to carry grudges against pretty much anyone who ever said anything negative about him – and spends a lot of the book re-writing history and settling scores for some laughably petty reasons.
Lesson: if you have a lot of money and low self-esteem, spend some money on therapy. The money isn’t going to make you happy.
Where does Ignatius J. Reilly fit into this?
I think the best way to approach this book is to view it as a version of John Kennedy Toole’s book, “A Confederacy of Dunces”, with Trump in the Ignatius J. Reilly role.
They are, after all, similar. Both have delusions of grandeur, both seem constantly at war with the world around them, and both wear strange things on the tops of their heads.
“Surviving at the top”, part cautionary tale, part comedy … but not a business book.