Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Review: Dude and Duder by Jeff Goodrich


Genre: Self Help/Memoir


“There comes a time in some people’s lives when they fully start to understand the depth of their dissatisfaction. After being unhappy for years and letting that feeling grow in the background, refusing to address it or try and change it, they eventually have to come face to face with the reality of things: My life is miserable, and it’s going to stay that way until I make the change myself.

This was the case for Jeff ‘Dude’ Goodrich, at forty-nine years old. He, like many people do later in life, felt like he couldn’t make the necessary changes on his own, so he got a little help from his new puppy, Duder. Together, they were able to get Dude’s life back on track, and after his firsthand experience with this type of transformation, Dude has taken to sharing his story in hopes that others can learn from it as well.

Dude & Duder is the transformation story of Jeff ‘Dude’ Goodrich. See how the power of reflection and compassion can radically change your life.”


Jeff Goodrich lives in the western US with his wife, referred to as “The Blonde” in his book. They have three adult daughters and four grandkids (not to mention a dog or two). You can find out more on his website or follow him on that site that used to be called Twitter.


I’ve long been a believer that books are a great way to learn. Yes, with some kinds of books (those monster text books from school, for one) this is obvious, but it goes beyond that to every kind of book. I even feel that way about fiction where characters experience things that, even if they couldn’t happen in real life, can get you thinking. How would I react in that situation? Would I make the same choice as this character? Why or why not? I find that characters who are like me, I’ll explore their motivations and actions, comparing them to what I think my own would be and pondering whether their choice is better than mine. For characters not like me it helps me understand others better.

A biographical book, whether biography or memoir, is a learning experience with the added bonus that it is real, chronicling something that actually happened to a real person, and I tend to enjoy those as well. Obviously the lessons, like the stories, are much more real. However, there is one book genre that I’ll often react poorly to whatever potential life lesson is there. That is the self-help genre. Too often the authors of these books approach their writings as coming from a position of authority, thinking they have all the answers for everyone with no exceptions. I’m at least as likely to get irritated (or not pick the book up to begin with) as I am to take anything positive away. (Yeah, I know, maybe I should work on that bad attitude. :) )

There are valid arguments to call this book memoir or self-help. I think either or both would be valid. Dude and Duder describes a period of the author’s life that was difficult with things that many people could relate to, having observed or experienced similar situations themselves. I sure could. The author explains the process he went through to improve his life, chronicling his thought process, resulting actions, and the results. But any sales job along the lines of “you should do the same” felt low key, more like “this is why I think this did the trick for me, it might do the same for you” instead of “you need to do the same NOW” or “if you do this, it will turn your life around.” It felt like more of a prompting to figure out whether you have a similar issue, if it is causing problems, and if so here’s one approach to consider. Reading the book as a memoir or uplifting story of someone else’s success in working through some of life’s issues, is good enough. If you read it and want something to push you more than the story did, there is an appendix with a bunch of pages with what are called “Duder’s Challenge” that provide a good list or summary of those things described in the book to attempt yourself if you’re so inclined.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:

A small number of typos and proofreading misses.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 30-35,000 words

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