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Talking to Strangers: The Adventures of a Life Insurance Salesman Hardcover – 7 May 2013
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"Peter Rosengard is quite, quite mad- but is also brilliant and funny and can sell anything to anyone. As many of us know to our cost."
-John Lloyd, TV producer.(QI, Blackadder, Not the Nine o Clock News)
"If Peter Rosengard writes half as well as he talks this is a work of genius. If he writes half as fast as he talks you will have finished reading this before you started."
-Howard Jacobson, Booker Prize winner.
"Few careers outside show business have encompassed such vivacity, such bravado, such adulation, such immodest rewards- in short such sexiness."
- Richard Askwith. The Evening Standard :ES MAgazine
"Peter was a key figure at the birth of what became known as Alternative Comedy. Because of that I am very grateful to him. Hence this quote, highly recommending a book I haven't read. But it means I don't have to buy a policy."
Peter's book is a marvellous rollercoaster tale of a life well lived. He delivers wisdom, jokes and empathy in equal measures. His experiences range from founding the Comedy Store, managing a chart topping pop group, to selling the world's biggest life policy for$100M -from a cold call. I heartily recommend it to anyone interested in business- or indeed life."
-Luke Johnson, Chairman, Risk Capital Partners and FT columnist. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Paperback.
"I became a life insurance salesman in London in May 1969, for the glamour, the fast cars, the groupies... the beautiful women who'd stop at nothing to buy life insurance. It's a very well-kept secret. "Thus begins Peter Rosengard's extraordinary account of his life so far, and the endless adventures in which he made, lost and remade a fortune; founded London's famous Comedy Store, discovered and managed some of the greats in stand-up comedy; turned an unknown boy band into a chart-topping sensation; and from a cold call in a public phone box, sold the world's biggest ever life insurance policy, for $100m, for which he is still celebrated in the Guinness Book of Records. This is a book about "chutzpah", testament to a simple belief that "nothing's impossible".
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Anyone that may be shy/introverted will find this an eye-opening read, I for one have taken a leaf out of Peter's book (no pun intended) and adopted a whole new attitude to chance encounters. Talking to strangers is not only socially valuable, but can lead to exciting opportunities which I came to learn upon meeting Peter in Spitalfield's Market just over two weeks ago.
I am fortunate enough to have joined the man himself for breakfast this morning at his infamous 'corner table' at Claridge's. The book was of course in my bag and he was kind enough autograph for me, picture attached!
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It's well formatted in bite sized entries, reading more like a diary and when the brazen bon viveur routine is getting a touch suffocating then a story emerges of a man with depth, passion and soul. His acts of kindness and charity are sketched over in far less detail than they are worthy of and this helps get a better understanding of the character of the author. All in all I'm very pleased I read this book and it has really given me a more positive outlook and what's more, it has encouraged me to talk to strangers.
As a footnote to the above review I should add that overhearing Mr Rosengard on the phone in the back as he was trying to ask me questions at the same time I heard him mention that his world record insurance policy sale had just been broken. Having arranged to pick him up again later (not something I'd normally do but this fellow intrigued me) I set about google to find out who the fast talking mad man was and it wasn't long before I found out that I had had quite a star in the back. I tried three bookshops to get a copy of "Talking to Strangers", none of whom had a copy in stock, and before long it was time to pick him up again. I related this to Mr Rosengard on the return journey. He asked for my address saying he'd send me a hardback copy on the understanding that I still bought the paperback I was going to buy in the shops as it would help his sales figures (I kid you not), gave me his business card (plus a generous tip) and vanished in to the station. This was the Thursday. I went home and ordered the paperback on Amazon. When I returned home from work on the Monday there were two parcels waiting for me. One, my Amazon paperback copy and the other, a "Claridges" headed package containing a hard back copy with a very nice signed inscription. It's things like this that restore ones faith in human nature.
Talking to Strangers is a wonderful series of anecdotes woven together in conversational style that creates a book that you dip in and out of, or consume at a single sitting. Perfect holiday accompaniment and once finished a worthy addition to the downstairs loo collection.
For those of you who have read Piers Morgan’s The Insider, I can assure you that it is as readable but it comes without the irritation of knowing that you are enriching Piers Morgan.
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Peter certainly did any spectacular things in his lifetime and has achieved a lot.Read more