Life Goes On

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As a child, John E. Budzinski was constantly threatened with the words, “This is going on your permanent record!” These words, which were intended to shape him into a morally upright human, still torment him today. Looking at his different experiences in life, Budzinski wonders if being a flawed human qualifies him for an unfavorable judgment when standing in front of Saint Peter and “The Boss” in the afterlife.

There’s always more to the story, and in John’s case, it involves going the extra mile at work, partaking in a spelling bee, going on dates, feeding a stray cat, listening to interesting stories from hoboes, and much more. There’s always more, but is his legacy good enough? In Life Goes On, Budzinski looks back on his life through a jovial, introspective, and inquisitive lens and presents a candid dissection of his legacy.

From giving abstract replies that challenged his teachers in high school to finding the confidence to talk on a TV video dating show and losing track of time while experiencing his first Fourth of July in New York, Budzinski’s story contains several engaging experiences that are closely packed together and leave no space for boredom. I had a silly grin on my face for the most part; the story put me in a good, cheerful mood as I pictured the vivid descriptions of the events, like the street concerts and fireworks in New York and the animated discussion about blind dates with a date while surrounded by curious onlookers in a restaurant.

In addition to looking back at his life, John adds a unique element to his story: the afterlife. As I read the possible discussions he might have with Saint Peter after life, I reflected on my journey through life and began experiencing a holistic, out-of-body view of myself and life on earth.

Life Goes On employs a conversational, friendly tone, which made me feel like I made a friend through a book. Budzinski’s struggles and thoughts are quite relatable, and the questions asked in the book magnified some things I’ve been contemplating myself. Even though it might appeal more to baby boomers, the book contains several concepts that are common to most adults: dating, following one’s passion, reflecting on life and the afterlife, family, friends, work, religious institutions, and more. Life Goes On depicts how great value and true beauty can be found in an imperfect life through one man’s multifaceted story. It’s a must-read book for fans of profound memoirs as it is both mightily entertaining and mentally stimulating.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 280 pages
Publisher Booklocker
Publish Date 18-Sep-2021
ISBN 9781647196981 Buy this Book
Issue December 2021
Category Biographies & Memoirs