Make or Break

The Extraordinary Life of Paul Innes

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
270 Pages
Reviewed on 11/29/2022
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Author Biography

Now living in the tropical paradise of Cairns, Paul Innes was born in Darlinghurst, Sydney. He began an acting career before sustaining a spinal injury causing quadriplegia whilst swimming in Kuranda at age 20. Founding a rights incorporation for people with disabilities, Paul went on to also become a founding committee member of a number of community organisations.

Developing a sustainable self-sufficient community which eventually became home to 4 of Queensland’s missing frogs and the site of Australia’s first Rainbow Gathering, Paul is currently searching for the next property that he will develop as a resort style sanctuary.

34 years later, Paul Innes is a holder of two Guinness Book of World Records and teaches astral travel. He opened his own disability care service, Independence World, which now runs independently of him, while he spends time writing and filming as a sit – down comedian and recording with his band Sweet Island Time.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Erin Nicole Cochran for Readers' Favorite

Make or Break: The Extraordinary Life of Paul Innes is the most inspiring autobiography I have ever come across. Paul takes you on a journey that you’ll never be able to experience again unless you read the book twice, that is. It’s an adventure through and through, from living off the land and its many wonders and gifts to helping others who are physically disabled and in need of better care. The thread throughout Make or Break is that Paul Innes is a man who won’t quit and will fight for himself and others from whatever corner of the world he finds himself in.

Paul Innes’ Make or Break is one of those books that I know was put on my life’s path for a reason. It spoke to the life spark that lives in this bag of bones and organs. The knowledge I took from reading Make or Break is beyond valuable. You will want to get your hands on every other book that he writes in the future. The way he speaks through the book warms you like a fire; you feel connected not just to him but to the people he speaks of like his friends and family. And when he speaks of losing them, you feel the loss. When he speaks of his accident, you feel the pain.

One of the quotes that nailed my soul to my feet was on page 249: “The delight I get when our passing eyes catch, and I get a smile, extends from toddlers to shy teenagers, wild-looking adolescents, burly men and the aged. They all try to relate somehow.” It spoke to me so much, because I am very much in my own body yet never far from trying to put myself in someone else’s shoes. Make or Break: The Extraordinary Life of Paul Innes is a book that you just cannot miss out on. It will help you grow in ways you didn’t think possible.

Grant Leishman

Make or Break: The Extraordinary Life of Paul Innes by Paul Innes is a deeply inspirational and uplifting autobiography by a man who has been through the worst that life can throw at us and comes out the other side with a grin the size of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. In this story, Paul takes us from his childhood, a typical suburban Australian upbringing with its usual series of troubles, mischief, heartache, teenage angst, and joy through to the moment, at age 20, that would not only define the rest of his life but also provide the inspiration and determination to achieve the amazing things he has achieved in the subsequent years. Paul has not let his life-threatening and permanent injury affect his love of nature, the world, and most especially of humanity. With music, wit, graciousness, and an amazing zest for life, Paul guides the reader through some fascinating and hilarious experiences that he describes as the rock and roller coaster of his still young life.

Make or Break is a testament to the indomitability of the human spirit. Despite the tough cards dealt to Paul so early in his life, he manages to find joy and peace in living through the power of his spirit and his deep love for humanity and nature. Paul Innes is the epitome of that expression, “the little Aussie battler”. He was never prepared to accept that his injury and subsequent confinement to a wheelchair was going to destroy his love of life, his love of the country, and his love of people. What I particularly appreciated was Paul’s understanding and concept of the power of the Universe and the ability of human beings to create with the power of their thoughts and feelings, a viewpoint on life that dovetails so well with my own. I also found his concept of astral travel fascinating. I loved the last few chapters of this book where Paul expounds more deeply on his philosophy of life and also gives the readers some excellent short, pithy lines from his poetry that are truly words to remember and live by. I was inspired by this book and I know many others will be also. This is the first of what I hope will be many more of his books and I reveled in his words. I can highly recommend Make or Break.

Foluso Falaye

Paul Innes describes crucial experiences from his amazing life in Make or Break: The Extraordinary Life of Paul Innes, from lovely moments spent with friends, to disputes with others, daring escapades, and wholesome relationships. Growing up in Sydney's western suburbs as the youngest of three children, he had a childhood full of adventures and outdoor escapades. Even though an awful accident rendered him a quadriplegic at the age of 20, he did not allow this terrible circumstance to prevent him from leading an active life. Paul's autobiography includes amazing information about his many achievements, such as founding refuges for both humans and wildlife (including four nearly extinct frogs), establishing the first advocacy company in Cairns for individuals with disabilities, and providing care services to others. Paul Innes also discusses his paranormal activities and offers perceptive opinions on a variety of issues about contemporary human values, beliefs, and ways of life.

Make or Break is evidence that life can be an interesting and colorful adventure. The book's examination of spirit travel expanded my consciousness to new heights. It features remarkable tales of intriguing persons with ties to the spirit world, such as a witch who assisted the author with a complex problem, as well as the author's in-depth explanation of what spirit travel provides. The book has no dull moments since it blends a variety of subjects and emotions to produce an amusing, informative, and motivating reading experience. This memoir by Paul Innes will inspire readers not to settle for a mundane existence but to live their life to the fullest, despite their limitations. I'm thrilled about the fresh possibilities that this work has opened up for me, both in the material world and the spiritual realm.

Diana Lopez

Make or Break is the story of a man who has done everything to enjoy life despite adversities. Paul Innes tells us how, from a young age, he was energetic and curious, always looking for new jobs and opportunities. Among his stories, he tells us about the accident that left him a quadriplegic and the support he received from the community. But this did not stop his spirit because he eventually added more activities like parachute jumping or owning a property that he turned into a self-sufficient sanctuary. Each chapter is a new adventure, where Paul Innes tells us about his family, friends, and the charitable actions he did. He is currently a comedian and writer and has many projects in process. Make or Break will show you that with determination, anything is possible, and the stories will motivate you to enjoy life.

Make or Break is inspirational and is focused on spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical healing. Paul Innes narrates to us all the stages he had to go through. He tells of his difficulties but does not linger on them, using them only as a guide to understanding how to overcome them. The narrative style is fluid and entertaining. I loved the photographs because you can see a lot of happiness in every moment. In them, we see his family and friends in diverse places. In addition, Paul shares the satisfaction of helping others because he is involved in inspiring projects for the good of society. Paul has many stories to tell, and Make or Break will inspire you to follow your own dreams as he did.

K.C. Finn

Make or Break: The Extraordinary Life of Paul Innes is a work of non-fiction in the memoir and adventure subgenres. It is intended for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Paul Innes. In this fascinating and larger-than-life recollection of his life’s adventures so far, the author regales the audience with engrossing vignettes and the important lessons of freedom and inspiration that those experiences taught him. From the highs of comedic and musical careers to the trials of extremely serious and life-changing injuries, and to recovery and building oneself up from nothing, even when others have counted you out, Paul’s inspirational life is filled with ambition, curiosity, and drive from the get-go.

Every memoir makes its claim to be extraordinary, but the stories recounted with passion and vigor by author Paul Innes are truly unlike anything I have ever read before. One of the things which I found most engrossing about his work was the sense of determination, but also fun and freedom that Paul has throughout even the most troubled times in his life, always seeking joy and ways to impact positive change for himself and others. The frog advocacy section was an area of Aussie culture that I knew nothing about, and it was so interesting to see the small, seemingly unimportant steps that one might take in life and how they lead to major change and new opportunities. Make or Break is a work that reminded me how you never truly know what’s around the corner, and readers are sure to find that they can approach this fact of life in a positive and welcoming way with Paul’s experience and guidance.