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The Upside of Fear: How One Man Broke the Cycle of Prison, Poverty, and Addiction
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The Upside of Fear: How One Man Broke the Cycle of Prison, Poverty, and Addiction

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  95 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The Upside of Fear allows reader to experience the harsh reality of a criminal life and creates a riveting portrait of true crime at its fundamental level. From buying the duct tape for an armed robbery to saving the life of a prison guard, author Weldon Long recounts his harrowing journey of self-discovery and how he went from being a drunk in a jail cell to the CEO of a ...more
Hardcover, 199 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Greenleaf Book Group
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Tim Wood
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, non-fiction, kobo
I attended an event related to my wife's job and Weldon Long was the main speaker. I'm not a fan of the greater realm of life/success coaching. But, here we go again. Another life coach with a how-I-turned-my-life around and you-can-too story. And I'm hear with the kids playing supportive family. Sigh. Okay. Funny thing happened. This time I didn't feel like I wasted my time. I thought, what the heck and bought his book (this one). Two days later and it's finished. The ebook version has the stan ...more
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I selected this book after the title was recommended to me by an inmate library patron. It wasn't until a judge sentenced an inmate to read the book, that I actually read it. An incredible story of hope, redemption and change. Wally Long went from a life of poor choices, crime, selfishness and hurting others to one filled with promise, change and better life decisions. The memoir is fast-paced and hard to put down.
Jan 15, 2013 rated it liked it
An easy read and interesting. However, I got sick of the convict life story and would have enjoyed more in depth writing on his solutions. It's his story though, and it is what it is.
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book!

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to cement the idea that 'education will set you free'. It doesn't matter if you have previously failed at something (or many things), even if you are a convicted felon, as outlined in this book, education can turn your life around.
Oct 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-the-best
I am recommending this book to everyone I know! The author delivers a true tale that is heartbreaking, funny, motivational, and feel-good, all rolled into one book.

Growing up, Wally had a father that was distant, and while never really in big trouble, he was a classic underachiever and didn't really fit in well. He married young, and it was a dyfunctional relationship. Neither he or his wife were happy, and neither really knew what was wrong, or how to fix it. One night Wally is out driving aro
Joab Cohen
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Plot summary

This book describes the fall and rise of Weldon Long, a young man from Denver, who slipped from alcoholism and irresponsible fatherhood to robbery and attempted murder. He spent nearly ten years in different jails, during which he miraculously managed to climb out of his miserable life. Now he is a model citizen and a wealthy one too.

The book is written on a timeline, beginning from 1987 and ending at 2003, with an epilogue that brings the book up to date (2013). The events are descr
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is the true story of one man’s journey from rags to riches.

The author was a twenty-something alcoholic high school dropout; overall, a pretty dislikable person. One night, driving around in his pickup, he picks up a hitchhiker. Fueled by large amounts of beer and cocaine, they rob a couple of businessmen coming out of a Colorado restaurant. They are arrested later that night, which begins a decade-long journey through the criminal justice system.

After several years in prison, he is sent to
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The Upside of Fear How One Man Broke the Cycle of Prison, Poverty, and Addiction by Weldon Long Weldon Long

One man’s journey from Fear and self-centeredness to an emotionally, healthy, productive life.

Weldon Long spent 13 years in prison over 15 years of his life, and from that experience he changed his thoughts, desires and actions. This story is a combination of self-help, biography and promotion of sales materials that have worked for him. Weldon Long is a motivational speaker and sales training expert that put his life story on paper for others to learn. When he was in his early 30’s Weldon was
Pam Sheridan
Mar 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marcus Calvin
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book in 1 day. Last time that happened was with the 5th Harry Potter book that I read back in...the day! That means this book grasped my attention immediately and I could not put it down! Weldon Long's story is simply powerful and griping; it allows you to visualize what was happening in his life as he portrays it throughout his journey and he made it worth reading with every event in this book! He's real! He gives you who his is and who he is striving to become so I could defini ...more
Alison Wizer
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I almost LOVED this book. I was thrilled to see my little hometown and local community college mentioned and I enjoyed hearing about the author's transformation while in prison. I work in a Com-Corr and I appreciate the new perspective this book gave me but I think that if I hadn't looked up the author I would have liked the book more.

I am glad that Mr. Long was able to change his life for the better I just hate how commercial his story has become. I would love to hear if he donates time to spe
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
An inspirational memoir of a man who got started in life on the wrong foot and ended up in prison for armed robbery. Mr. Long tells his story frankly and honestly without sugar-coating anything. He explains his entry to the prison system and how he went from being a model prisoner to an alcoholic at a halfway house before going back to prison. Along the way the author learns something about himself and his life and explains it to you without beating you about the head with it. Only 199 pages, I ...more
Ross Zwelling
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was very inspiring, though glorified in my opinion. It's a one and a million shot to go from "rags to riches", especially with a felony conviction. The man was caught red handed and played the role of the reformed convict. Mr. Long is very persuasive and convincing which is a trait of a convict, so either he's truly changed, or he's truly a convict, who found a hustle and ran with it. I don't use the word convict lightly. There are inmates and there are convicts. The distinction of the ...more
Jun 29, 2012 rated it liked it
I recently met Weldon and heard him speak, which was fascinating.

However, I felt the book focused a bit too much on his demons... It would have been refreshing if a bit more of the literature focused on his rise, rather than his constant defeat.

Maybe those details are coming in his next book... If so, I'll be sure to add that to my wishlist.

Overall, an interesting biographical read.

Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I truly appreciated this book. My husband heard Weldon speak as a motivational presenter during a company meeting and was quite impressed--so I had to read it. A warning, there are quite a few areas of thick, foul language which the book could have been written without. I love his true example of someone "repentant" of previous choices and fighting the difficult struggle to rise up from the stigma that society had placed him in.
Nov 06, 2009 rated it liked it
This book is an easy read. This author did everything wrong in life--- dropped out of high school, had two failed marriages, went to jail for fraud and armed robbery. Yet, he turned his life around. You'll have to read it to find out how. That's what kept me reading. I saw him on a TV interview and I knew that he was now a multimillionaire. So how did he do that???? It's very interesting.
Jason Preston
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a great read, that reminds us no matter where we stand today, it's never to late to change and have the life we deserve.
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this story: how the author Wally struggled through his personal problems and conquered them.
Rebecca Sharpe
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great positive message to help you have hope.
Barb G
Mar 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Good book - inspiring!
Roseena Peralta
Aug 29, 2014 rated it liked it
I really like it. he is such an inspiration for an ex con. shows anyone can do anything
Kimberly Simpson
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
An easy to read .... hard to believe memoir.
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