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Summary

Memoir of a Life from John Street to Wall Street 

Chris McGale lived a life of "fight or flight" and always chose to fight. His memoir tells of a remarkable journey from being bookies-runner at his family's Irish pub, to mega-stakes gambling, and to a dazzling City career with the Wall Street giant Merrill Lynch. Along the way, he nearly died in a collision with a lorry and his fundraising for the Omagh Bomb victims led to a nomination for the New Year's Honours List. 

The story also traces the emotional conflict, return to education, and reconciliation between the author and his fellow-orphan sibling, Paul. Then at the height of his City career, The Million Dollar Irishman went on sabbatical and never went back. He had burnt out, doing too much of what he called "The too muches" - a never-ending cycle of long days, late nights, booze, gambling, and the compulsion to win. This is his life story.

©2021 Chris McGale (P)2021 Chris McGale

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Spectacular

Chris provides an authentic and moving account of the early part of his life in a story telling fashion that pays homage to his Tyrone roots.

There is something in this book for everyone, a thoroughly gripping listen from start to finish!


1 person found this helpful

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An autobiography that's a page turner

Why do we love autobiographies? I think it's because we like to know he 'real' person, because we're interested in human stories. Everybody has a story to tell and Chris has written his in an engaging way, from childhood to middle-age and he's packed it in.

The first part of the book is a tad too long in terms of details of his accident, the second part is unputdownable. You can see flashes of this man and are regularly wanting more, wanting to hear what else was going on in his head, his life.

There's a lovely piece on bottling the Guinness in the family pub, which is in great contrast to the misery of having a dying mother.

The book is at times a bit disjointed, uneven in terms of balancing the timeline and in emotions. He talks of writing by hand in a notebook as his daughter sleeps, the complicated relationship with his brother and the violence of teachers at school - this is juxtaposed with his high flying financial career where he seemed to have to keep proving that he was good enough, if not 'the best'. How exhausting life can be for all of us and yet, we chase dreams driven by circumstance, by fear, by imposter syndrome, by anger and we can only speculate what Chris will do next as he's talked of the 'too muches' but what demons and dreams will drive him next.

I enjoyed this book on audible and bought a hard copy for my father.

The icing on the cake here is Colm Gormley - beautiful, engaging reader.

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  • KS
  • 08-04-21

Excellent read!!

A really engaging wonderful book that takes you across 50+ years. Chris has overcome some very difficult and some very interesting times. Really enjoyed the story!

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A fantastic mix of dealing with tragedy and success

A great story of how hard work and determination can take you places you never imagined while overcoming so many different challenges along the way. This mans story would make a great movie!

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  • P
  • 30-03-21

A must read

An excellent book recounting the highs and lows of a highly talented, risk-taking survivor who defied death and hardship and hopefully found peace and happiness.

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Fabulous; deeply moving account of life .

I loved the sincerity of the book, the troubles and the good times. I'm sure Paul is very proud.

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Amazing journey!

Really enjoyed hearing Chris's story in audio format (narrator is excellent). A real insight into life in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and an example of what you can achieve with grit and determination. Incredible ups and downs, and lesson's learned. A movie in the making I'm sure!

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An Incredible Story of Triumph

I was interested to read The Million Dollar Irishman to get an inside look into the stock market, but this memoir is so much more. McGale's life has been a true rollercoaster ride, ending with his decision to walk away from Wall Street. A must-read if you're interested in the stock market and high-stakes gambling.

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Must Listen

A must listen book about a man who after a difficult childhood and a near death car crash became one of the top dogs at Merrill Lynch.

Motivation for any man or woman in hard times!

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Read beautifully by Colm Gormley, RSC

This memoir means a great deal to me. I am delighted with the excellent narration provided by Colm Gormley, RSC, and the excellent production for Audible by Antoine Collin, Bush Studios, London.