B Positive by Dai Henley

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B Positive by Dai Henley

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Category: Autobiography
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A life in sport and the sport of life as Dai himself says. It's a social history of England and Wales just after WWII and inspirational on the subject of business.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 300 Date: July 2010
Publisher: Pen Press
ISBN: 978-1907499180

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Dai Henley counts himself lucky to have been born to loving and nurturing parents. When they discovered that his blood group was B positive they gave him his motto in life, and coincidentally, the title of this book. As he explains, it's not a celebrity autobiography (you might be selling yourself a little short there, Dai) and nor is it a misery memoir. It's the story of a man who has made the most of every opportunity he's been given – and a few mistakes along the way – but he's won through despite the difficulties and played a fair amount of sport too.

Born in South Wales to English parents, he moved to St Albans soon after starting grammar school. It was sport that was the focus of his life rather than academic work and he even preferred to spend Saturday morning in detention for not playing rugby than miss his football game on a Saturday afternoon. He was determined to earn some money when he left school and is still grateful for his father's advice that he should become an accountant. He found getting through the professional exams a struggle, but did so through sheer will power. The training eventually took him into the motor industry where he was to find his true home.

If's Dai's stories of life jut after the Second World War make a good social history of England and Wales then his time in the car industry makes an inspirational business read. He has a real talent for working out what it is that the customer really wants and delivering it – or finding out what the customer isn't happy about and putting it right. It's simple and good business practice but worrying that so many people in business still don't really want to know what's happened once the sale has gone through. I've read the chapter on Dai's life in business twice now and they're the ones that I'm likely to go back to again.

Dai's subtitled his book A Life of Sport and the Sport of Life and sport in one form or another is the thread that runs through the book. Some of the stories he tells are truly hilarious. Names have been changed in some instances to protect the not-so-innocent, but they're the sort of stories which fuel life in any sporting club. I loved the story of the judge telling the down-and-out that he must never touch alcohol again – not even a small sherry before dinner.

The book is unflinchingly honest: Dai's taken a look at himself and given us a summary of what he saw, metaphorical warts and all. At the end of the book you really feel that you know him and I'd like to thank him for sending a copy of the book to Bookbag. Reading it was a pleasure.

Recently I've also enjoyed A Sailor's Tales by Captain William Wells. You might like it too.

You can read more about Dai Henley here.

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Buy B Positive by Dai Henley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy B Positive by Dai Henley at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy B Positive by Dai Henley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy B Positive by Dai Henley at Amazon.com.


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