One Red Paperclip: How a Small Piece of Stationery Turned into a Great Big Adventure
3 journalers for this copy...
A red paperclip is currently sitting on my desk next to my computer. I want to trade this paperclip with you for something bigger or better, maybe a pen, a spoon, or perhaps a boot. If you promise to make the trade I will come and visit you, wherever you are, to trade. So, if you have something bigger or better than a red paperclip, email me. Hope to trade with you soon! Kyle PS: I'm going to make a continuous chain of 'up trades' for bigger or better things until I get a house. Kyle MacDonald wanted his own house. The problem was he didn't have a job and he didn't have any money. Thinking back to his childhood he remembered the game he loved to play 'Bigger and Better'. It was a way of trading your old stuff to get bigger and better new stuff. Legend had it, some people managed to trade an old biro for a brand new car! This got Kyle thinking. If that kind of entrepreneurial spirit could turn tiny objects into big ones, then why not try trading up to a house? And then he saw it. One red paperclip, sitting on his desk, holding the pages of his CV together, ready to go out into the world and help him find the job that would eventually get him a house. But that didn't sound nearly as much fun as trading. So he wrote an internet advert hoping to trade one red paperclip. Suddenly his inbox was full of responses. The trading had begun. Did he get the house? You'll have to read his story to find out. He certainly did a lot of trades and met a lot of interesting people, including Alice Cooper. One small paperclip was to be the beginning of a great big adventure.
This definitely is not the best written book in the world (in fact I think I could have written it just as well), but the journey from each trade is captivating. It's such a simple idea and yet it amazes me how much effort was required to make some of the trades. At the end of each chapter, which is the story of moving from one trade to the next, there were "lessons" that MacDonald learned from that trade (or didn't, because some of them honestly had nothing to do with the chapter before it), which were very out of place in the book. I stopped reading them after a few chapters because it felt insulting that a guy trading from nothing to something was going to try and teach me life lessons.
This is a fun book and should be treated as such, if you're interested in how a Canadian boy traded a paperclip for a house.
The writing in this book is atrocious with many repetitive sentences seemingly to fill up space. Also Kyle writes what he considers hilarious events which for this reader fell dead. Although the trades were interesting there was a lot of media attention for the latter ones which helped Kyle immensely. What I couldn't help wondering all along the way was who was paying for the flights, hotels and meals, etc. None of this was mentioned but his father accompanied him many times and assisted him, maybe he was the financial backer.
At the end of each chapter was a motivational quip which was rather insulting but sounded like Kyle need to prove to himself he was doing something worthwhile. Maybe if this book had been written just in fun and not so serious and preachy, it would have been a better read.