Book Review: Being Franklin Zebb by Nyla Naseer

franklinBeing Franklin Zebb by Nyla Naseer

Franklin Zebb’s life had never been straightforward.

From a very early age it became clear that Franklin was different and appeared to have a somewhat charmed ability to ‘get lucky’ in all sorts of different and mind-bending situations, from launching a global multi-player computer games business as a teenager, to being an international athlete, a strategic subversive and an innovative media mogul with a penchant for investigative journalism and ‘helping deserving causes’ that might appear, at first sight, a little unusual or even dubious. He had certainly made an impact.

Supplied in ebook format by the author in return for a review. Read on an ipad using the kindle software – the formatting is good, leaving the book nicely laid out and easy to read.

The book starts with Franklin Zebb deciding to become a hermit-guru and finding a cave to spend a year in as he writes his book. It needs to be a special kind of cave – whilst he wants to be isolated, he cant be too isolated, because he still needs to have his food deliveries from Waitrose, a nearby Helipad for his visiting friends, and power to charge his ipad and surf the internet. Because of course he *is* Franklin Zebb.

Having found his cave, and some followers camped a short distance away, the remaining chapters are split into Franklin telling his story to his followers of how he came to be who and where he is.

Through a mixture of talent, good luck and fortune, Franklin manages to be in the right place at the right time with the right people round him, so that he becomes involved in such things as MRPGs on the newly invented internet (becoming fabulously rich at the same time before he leaves school), an anti-poverty and environmental campaigner, a long distance runner of almost Olympic standard, an undercover and award winning journalist, an obesity and body image guru, music industry leader etc. And all before he’s 30.  Franklin has a knack to find the right people to do all the schlepping and the hard work  and who get everything up and running before Franklin has the good sense to get bored and move on.  Few are mentioned by name in the book – even fewer last more than a chapter – and he seems oblivious as to how much work is involved in getting him to where he is

This is actually a satire on much that has happened since the 1980s, both in England and globally. There are some nice touches for those who know Birmingham, Wolverhampton and the surrounding areas. At the start of the book,  I was a bit worried that the “well I am Franklin Zebb” would get tedious, but it soon stops and on the rare occasion it happens later in the book, you (I) look at it with a certain level of fondness.

I rarely accept books direct from authors for review, but this time I’m glad I did.  I hope that it soon comes back on the market for others to pick up and enjoy



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