Published by Grand Harbor Press on December 1st 2013
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Social Issues
Source: Owned Audible Book
Gloria Gaynor’s #1 hit single “I Will Survive” debuted in 1978 to overwhelming success. Shortly thereafter, the single went double platinum and over three decades later still strikes a chord among men and women everywhere.
Over the years, the disco legend has received thousands of personal messages from adoring fans whose lives have been transformed by this timeless song. Their remarkable stories reveal that ”I Will Survive” has reached people from all walks of life and touched their lives in thousands of unique ways. From individuals triumphing over illness to those suffering from the painful loss of a loved one to others piecing their lives together after bearing witness to national tragedy, “I Will Survive” has become an emotional anthem for them and for millions of Gaynor’s adoring fans around the world.
In We Will Survive, Gloria shares forty of these inspirational, true stories about survivors of all kinds—individuals who have found comfort, hope, and courage through the power of this one song.
I love audio books. In the author’s notes on the audio version of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I’m in the car, shopping, and playing Candy Crush Soda Saga or Trivia Crack.
In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don’t take notes and I don’t always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.
This is a collection of survivor’s stories read by Gloria Gaynor (and includes her own triumphs over the shiz storm we call life and the audio has her music too… which just sounded creepy because I listen to my audiobooks at 2x speed. 😉 )
Some of the stories were touching, and some had me tearing up. But… they were very uneven because not everyone’s story was well written. As they all linked to Gloria Gaynor’s song, some of the author’s went a bit overboard trying to work in the lyrics (like the woman who’s son tricked her into signing over her house to him and then KICKING her out and selling the house, but she just moves on after reciting song lyrics to him… um, no, sweetheart, you rip him a new one and hire a lawyer because you have rights and your child is evil incarnate).
In the beginning I thought this was going to be more of a three star- I like stories of people overcoming life because it gives me hope. I know lots of very strong people, friends who have had to deal with some epic shiz, and are still standing. I know people who are in pain, physical and emotional, every damn day of their lives, who can still smile and ask how I’m doing (and actually mean it). Although I don’t read a lot of Christian books, I don’t avoid them either- I’m a Christian and I like that Gaynor got through some really tough times through her faith. In past years she has changed up some of her lyrics to “I Will Survive” to reflect her faith, and I think that’s lovely.
But… it began to feel like a lot of the stories were written by people promoting themselves. A lot were told by writers, who make sure to mention that they wrote a book or articles. Often times though, they were just too abrupt. Like, this horrible thing happened in my life, but I went to Walmart and sang some Gloria Gaynor so I’m all good now.
That, by the way, actually happens to one of the women who submitted her story. Her son is convicted on child molestation charges and sentenced to 30 years, which she thinks is too severe, but then she goes to Walmart at 4am to shop and discovers that she’ll survive. Out of all the stories, she’s the only character I didn’t feel that much sympathy for. She’s awfully defensive about his culpability (yes, he did it, but it’s not really his fault because he’s childlike himself). So, while I sypathize with her- she’s his mother no matter what, I just find the whole idea that she’s so upset over how long his sentence is that she goes into this super deep, dark depression, prays about it, sings some Gloria Gaynor and finds peace while shopping at Walmart at 4am to be a bunch of bullshiz.
Some of the stories were truly inspirational- the women who found strength to leave abusive relationships- the woman who suffered physical abuse in childhood only to create a wonderful family that is torn apart when her bright teenage son is killed but finds peace in adoption, to the woman who’s beloved son is killed by friend playing with a gun only to lose her father a week later in a bizarre accident- all these people are not only surviving, but many are thriving. Many are helping others, and these stories may well help others. There were also several stories involving 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing and Hurricane Katrina.
I picked this book up during an Audible sale, and it was worth my time to listen. I just wish some of the stories had been edited better.
Gloria Gaynor narrates and she does a lovely job reading all the stories- although I can’t help thinking that they might have been more powerful read by each of the survivors.