As a fan of both smart reality television and behind-the-scenes stories, I was excited to dig into Dianne Burnett’s story about the creation of Survivor and her marriage to producer-extraordinaire Mark Burnett. I wasn’t disappointed!
The book effectively mixes personal memoir with the origin story of one of the best reality shows out there. When watching the show, it’s easy to forget how many people and how much work goes into creating the “castaway” experience. Reading the book reminds us about the real people who are living real lives behind the scenes.
As a personal memoir, it’s not particularly deep (Burnett includes a lot of stories with a cursory sentence or two about what they meant to her or how she felt about them), but the overall point is clear – it is the story of how she gave up her own dreams and goals in service to someone else’s dreams and goals. The fact that she can recognize and discuss it so clearly is a great service to other women who are looking for their own way forward.
While I don’t subscribe to the theory that “money is evil” or that power is necessarily corrosive, this is also an excellent character study in what money and power will do to someone when they’re not prepared for it.
Overall, I give it an enthusiastic thumbs up!
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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