When Ray Avery became the
winner of the New Zealander of
the Year award for 2010, it was the first time many had heard of his
remarkable life and achievements. Born in the UK, Ray arrived in New Zealand in his mid-twenties. Having survived a traumatic childhood,
he has gone on to achieve great success as a philanthropic scientist and inventor of medical devices for third world countries. This is an inspiring and heart-warming
story of obstacles overcome,
and opportunities embraced.
Recounted in Ray's distinctive
style, this book is an enjoyable
and easy read. NZ Interest. [Larger font] What's Hot - April 2013
Inspirational. His character came through in his writing. Even though he was from England Mr Avery embodied what it is to be a New Zealander. Highly recommended. Te Awamutu 003
What a marvellous fellow. A little egotistical! ... All husbands read it as well. Christchurch 294
Such drive and ability to absorb new skills. An insight into 'aid' in other countries.Coromandel 001
How encouraging to read how someone overcame personal abandonment and channelled his life into helping others.Tauranga 004
We all agreed this is an inspirational book, at times provocative, but Ray Avery's story together with his colleagues deserves to be one we should all know... We could have gone on and on talking about the book." Taupo 006
Really enjoyed this book. Inspirational.
We all loved the book and thought it was an inspiring story - raised many issues.
Most of us really enjoyed this amazing life story. Some members found some of the author's morals a bit lacking and didn't want to finish the book, but this in itself caused good discussion about our judgements & expectations of people.
The discussion was very positive - we all thought it was a very inspiring life story in the face of early adversity, of a man wanting to change the world which he did very significantly. A couple of members felt it wasn't well-written and that at times he tended to be quite self-promoting - but we would highly recommend it.
The whole team unreservedly loved this book. We were amazed at what this GIFTED man had achieved, and wondered why he was not acknowledged earlier than 2011. What a hero!
An insight into the background of a unique individual, which the group found extremely interesting. Some debate about the merits of including the final chapter with its criticism of other aid agencies, but generally the group enjoyed the book as an easy to read account of the man, his vision and how he has achieved so much in his life.
What an amazing read! We all loved this book; an amazing man who was able to rise from shocking beginnings to being a real humanitarian - one who really cared about the underdog, and understood how to use his skills to help people.
Interesting personality and a very kiwi "do it yourself" attitude, but many in the group found it a little self aggrandising, and Ray Avery's larger than life personality a little grating. However, this may well have been a reaction to his very difficult upbringing and early years. He should be commended for making a mark. The language of the book shows he is a storyteller, who has had help to collate it into readable form, but we would recommend it for all book groups.
An interesting life and man. Incredible resilience and work ethic. Found some of the details of building/designing boring at times. Some very funny stories too, however.
A really inspiring story about a man who has achieved amazing things despite his extremely difficult childhood. Everybody really enjoyed it!
Excellent book. Very inspiring.
Most loved this book; found it funny and endearing. Very easy to read and grabbed you from the beginning.
We were all pleased to learn more about this high-profile New Zealander - we admired his achievement from such a ghastly beginning but found the writing flawed in some respects. The book was effective in engendering stimulating exchange of ideas about social issues, comparing NZ/Britain and so on but we especially enjoyed learning about aid agencies, Eritrea and Nepal.