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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rudy: My Story by Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger chronicles the life story of a man many people are familiar with – the title character from the 1993 hit film Rudy. Moving beyond the dramatized, Hollywood version of his story, Rudy retells exactly what happened that brought him from a kid who “wasn’t college material” to a student and football player at the prestigious Notre Dame University. He then continues the story past where the movie ended and details his journey in getting his story made into a movie that became a nation-wide hit. The overall message of Rudy’s story seems to be that persistence and dreaming big will allow one to go anywhere, or do anything one can set one’s mind to.

Overall, Rudy reads like one continuous motivational speech. The enthusiasm and passion that carried Rudy through all the amazing events in his life oozes off of every page. One can’t help but get excited and caught up in the drama of Rudy’s story. While his perseverance and passion for what he believes he was called to do is something to both be admired and emulated, it also leaves me with a somewhat bitter taste in my mouth. I consider Rudy to have an exceptional story; however, I’ve seen too many other examples of people who have both perseverance and passion to spare, and still don’t end up living their wildest dreams. For a book from Thomas Nelson, I would’ve expected a bit more mention of following God’s will while pursuing one’s life dreams.  While Rudy mentions God a few times, the overall message seems more like a pep talk than a recommendation to follow God’s plan for one’s life. God is gracious and loving and often gives us the desires of our heart; however, this only happens when we’re pursuing Him and His desires for us become our desires.

Despite the unexpected lack of mention of God, Rudy is still a powerful story worth reading and sharing. Americans love an underdog, and Rudy has one of the most compelling underdog stories of all time.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255