Words On Words

The Miami Herald's Business Monday Book Club.
Click here for information.

Music Reviews and Features
Dion Dimucci

Lester Bangs in Buffalo

Lester Bangs in "Almost Famous"

The Cure In Concert

Pearl Jam In Concert

History of Warner Brothers Music

Food and Dining
Creolina's Cajun/Creole

People's Bar-B-Que and Soul Food

Penn Dutch Food Center


Very similar to the version published on Monday, May 31, 2004 in The Miami Herald.

If you're captivated by Trump, you've gotta get his book.
Platitudes, opinions, observations, anecdotes and gossip from The Donald.

Trump: How to Get Rich. Donald J. Trump and Meredith McIver. Random House. 272 pages. (available in a variety of formats).

Fresh off the mega-successful television "reality" series, "The Apprentice," The Donald offers his sage wisdom to the masses in print and by audio.

I've never met or heard of anyone getting rich by reading a book, although I guess it's possible.

Regardless, it hasn't halted an endless parade of executives and entrepreneurs from writing (or causing to be written) tracts relating their life stories, worldviews, philosophies and more. Apparently believing that their successes are replicable, they freely offer oodles of advice on every aspect of life and business.
So too, does Trump. He is a walking, living, breathing brand, projecting the middle class dream of wealth.

His new book is mis-titled. Though he freely dispenses a melange of platitudes, opinions, observations, anecdotes, gossip and more, the effect is more entertaining than enlightening. Though he indulges in much mock-profundity, little is revealed of his inner life (except, perhaps, that's he's a big Neil Young fan and doesn't like to shake hands because it's unsanitary).

Trump's prose style (or, more likely, his collaborator's) is breezy, but bombastic, with lots of superlatives and absolutes. Also, petty slights or disloyalties by politicians (Mario Cuomo) or TV personalities (Joy Behar) are recounted with precision. Of course, friends and cronies are praised to the heavens; Everyman Entertainer Regis Philbin is a master of his craft, and incessantly sycophantic Larry King is a "sharp interviewer." Yeah, right

And almost every Trump employee seems to be name-checked in this book. I lost count after 100, though some received the literary equivalent of a back slap several times (but who's counting?).

Yet, despite the ceaseless self-abuse and endless promotion of his properties (all named The Trump this or The Trump that), The Donald manages to come off as an OK guy. Pompous, a bit of a blowhard and an equal opportunity vulgarian, he nonetheless fulfills his self-made image as a populist rich guy guided by common sense.

For example, he advises: "Find a receptionist who can speak English. We had a breathtaking European beauty out front who could easily rival Ingrid Bergman in her heyday, but I discovered that her ability to recognize well-known people in the United States was limited to myself and maybe President Bush. She wasn't so familiar with the likes of Hugh Grant, Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner, Jack Welch, Paul Anka, Mohamed Al Fayed, Regis Philbin, or Tony Bennett. Their calls never got through to me and their
names were placed on her 'psycho list.' But you should have seen her. What a knockout. She's since moved on to better career opportunities, but we'll never forget her. Neither will anyone who ever called in. Or tried to."

The audio edition is read by actor Barry Bostwick, whose lead role in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" might have helped prepare him for playing Trump, which he carries off with appropriately campy abandon and not an ounce of seriousness.

If you're seeking a thoughtful lesson in wealth creation and entrepreneurship, look elsewhere, but if you're one of the millions of viewers captivated by Trump's persona, gravity-defying hair or swaggering spirit, have I got a deal for you!

Like business books? Join the club.










©2004 Words on Words, All rights reserved.