Slave to the Dream

Everyone's Dream

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
138 Pages
Reviewed on 03/20/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Slave to the Dream: Everyone's Dream by Gaylan D Wright is an autobiography that gives a powerful social commentary on the American dream. A state trooper examines his years of service for eighteen years and asks very pertinent questions on leadership and management, proper training and fellowship at work, personal fulfillment and purpose. As a highway patrol officer, the author got to experience the worst in human nature, looked tragedy in the face, and had to navigate very complicated situations. But how he finds meaning in his work is the point that drives the message of this book.

The writing is insightful with a reflective nature in the narrative and this unique style opens the story with a strong distinction between one who effectively leads and one who simply manages. Readers will find lessons in this book that will help them take control of their own lives, make decisions that positively impact others, and discover the intangible threads of our humanity that bind us together. The writing is simple and fluid and filled with insights. Gaylan D Wright makes social, political, and cultural commentaries, inviting readers to ponder on American reality and to be open to positive criticism. While this is supposed to be a personal story, the author uses it to uncover the broken parts in the American dream and shows readers the attitudes and values that can make the country a better place. Slave to the Dream: Everyone's Dream is a powerful testament of a patriot and an intelligently written story that shows the connection between personal life and nation-building. Gaylan D Wright made a difference in his career and, in this book, he teaches readers how to stand up.

K.C. Finn

Slave to the Dream: Everyone’s Dream is a work of non-fiction written in the style of a memoir by author Gaylan D. Wright. Sometimes focusing on some tragic and/or surprising events that more sensitive readers may not wish to experience, this candid and honest account details the history of the author’s eighteen-year career with the Wyoming Highway Patrol. Discussing themes of the American Dream and the true measure of success in life, Wright takes us through the life of a trooper from training to tragedy and back again, with the idea that dreams are not always what they seem, for worse and for better.

Author Gaylan D. Wright has crafted an honest work that is sure to speak to its audience on many levels. Fans of the memoir style of non-fiction will love the anecdotal narrative tone and the emotional freedom with which the author writes, allowing us into his unique world to see and do what must be done from his perspective. The life of a state trooper is a difficult and interesting lens to explore and, though some of the experiences are harrowing and even unjust, the overall message is one of service and of making the world a better place for those around us. This pivotal theme keeps the tone up and the message inspiring throughout. Overall, Slave to the Dream: Everyone’s Dream is a fascinating perspective that is sure to satisfy fans of both police history and memoir stories with heart.

Rabia Tanveer

Slave to the Dream: Everyone's Dream by Gaylan D. Wright is the story of a determined man as he shares his life’s story with readers and what it meant to be in his shoes. Everybody wants to live the American Dream, even if it is far-fetched or out of reach. Gaylan D. Wright was a proud member of the air force, but when the day came for his retirement, he accepted the change with open arms. Unlike other men, he was looking forward to living a simpler civilian life. What he thought would be a walk in the park turned out to be the adventure of a lifetime. He shares the sadness that comes with seeing the devastation of guns in his life; he also shares the happiness he found in the brotherhood he formed with the men he served with. He shares his life one day at a time with readers so that they can enjoy the ride along with him as he dreams on.

There is a lesson to be learned from this book. The way Gaylan D. Wright opens Slave to the Dream: Everyone's Dream and talks about guns being a normal part of his life was eye-opening. Gun control needs to be addressed more aggressively because it is being normalized; small children are exposed to firearms by their parents and their elder siblings from an early age, which is not good. That aside, it is hard to imagine that Gaylan D. Wright does not have a writing background. He has a very calming and soothing writing style. The narrative is smooth and flows beautifully and Gaylan shares sides of himself with readers that you wouldn’t really expect. I enjoyed reading his responses, the way he described scenes so vividly and gave me good imagery to have a full sensory experience. This is a really good and enjoyable book, especially for those who enjoy reading about real people.

Ruffina Oserio

Slave to the Dream: Everyone's Dream by Gaylan D Wright tells the story of the author, who served as a state trooper. But it is more than a personal history. The author looks at his journey as he served his country, analyzing the encounters with fellow Americans and underlining what went wrong in the American dream. In this book, readers find the author dealing with very stressful situations, from heavy traffic to encountering very demeaning people. The book examines a variety of themes, including conviviality, patriotism, leadership, and offers a unique perspective on the American dream. In reading the author’s story, the reader understands that it is not in doing extraordinary things that readers can experience fulfillment and happiness; they understand that, most often, the sense of fulfillment comes from a job well done, from taking the lead, and from deeply and genuinely connecting with fellow humans.

Gaylan D Wright has a unique way of sharing his story and I understood it in the light of the lessons shared from the experience of a state trooper. The characters are real; friends and colleagues, and strangers. The author explores human nature deeply and asks the question why people behave the way they do. There are powerful insights about life and living scattered throughout the book and I found myself stopping from time to time to savor some of these thoughts. I also enjoy the spiritual and moral depth of the story, with the author’s references to the harmony between our body and spirit: “I want my soul to live in a good neighborhood. There comes a point when we all choose what type of body houses our souls.” Slave to the Dream: Everyone's Dream is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

Vincent Dublado

The blunt honesty of Gaylan D. Wright’s short memoir, Slave to the Dream: Everyone’s Dream, presents a raw account from growing up in a large family in Chicago, where everyone in his neighborhood owned a gun, to his inspiring tenure as a highway patrol officer. His childhood years were tough but helped shape him to become an inspiring officer. He fills this humble memoir with his personal accounts from his beat in Wyoming. This memoir serves as an armature of his observations of the American dream and the typical societal ills reflected in his dealings with people on the road. These encounters with people from different walks of life give him a genuine desire for meaning, formulating questions, and drawing answers from actual observations.

Readers can find a genuine sense of openness in Gaylan D. Wright. He does not sugarcoat admissions of his past mistakes largely because he learned a lot from them. You will come to appreciate the authentic relatedness that you can extract from his experiences. A highway patrol officer’s job is never easy, but Gaylan D. Wright knows how to make the best out of any situation. He has had his share of blessings and curses. He demonstrates the power of creative response to confrontational citizens. It is fascinating to read that his fruitful highway patrol beat has become a wealthy resource in his self-exploration to unravel America’s moral fabric. Slave to the Dream: Everyone’s Dream is an apt title for the memoir of an ordinary man who is a good judge of character.