Power is not always a corruptive force, but can be when put in the wrong hands. The Turk’s tale is that of a regular kid from southern Ontario in pursuit of a dream. He reached it only to become an innocent victim of a world he knew nothing about. Sanderson does a fantastic job talking about reaching the highest level of play in the world’s greatest game, being successful there, and then throwing it away on vices he never thought would become a part of his life. He gives the grisliest details of his business investments gone bad, falling into holes of addictions and alcoholism, and coming dangerously close to death in what should have been the prime of his life, doing so in a manner that shows strongly a multifaceted retrospective view of the debacle his life as a public hero (or “hero” depending on which stage of that roller coaster ride he was on) and North American icon was. At one point he states that he himself would never suffer for the lessons he learned in that time, but feels it is important to make an example of it for younger generations. Sanderson writes that “this book is about conquering fear”, and he definitely leaves an impression on the reader with what he tells him or her. Another strength is that the book serves as a reminder of the importance of family values and loyalty. Towards the end of the book, Sanderson recalls a story about a man staying true to his word (for that is all he has). His father was a frequent scratch ticket buyer and promised his coworker a 50/50 split when he finally won. He hit the jackpot years after the tradition began and followed through. It’s a reminder to us that in this day and age we need to prove our dependability to people that we care about. Derek is a modern age guru with an old school mentality, and his character is revealed to us through his narrative of the great duress he endured. It’s just as he says:
Fear carves us. It’s what makes us. Life is about learning to deal with it.