Starvin' Artist

Hunger for Success

Non-Fiction - Memoir
224 Pages
Reviewed on 11/25/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite

On its surface Starvin' Artist: Hunger for Success is an inspirational memoir by graphic artist and businessman Anthony Waldren. On a deeper level, it’s a thoughtful, insightful, and reflective work of philosophy about life based on the lessons Waldren has learned. As a memoir, it’s impressive. A young boy falls asleep in class because gunshots keep him awake at night. His early exposure to business ethics and the search for prosperity are the drug dealers in his neighborhood. Yet he rises beyond them to find success through talent, intelligence, and diligence. As a book about philosophy, I find it even more impressive. Waldren is able to express life’s lessons in a comprehensible, almost guru-like manner, and there is something here of value for everyone.

In Starvin’ Artist, Anthony Waldren depicts a “real life” struggle that plays out in American streets every day. What is it that leads one child born into harsh conditions to succumb to a criminal way of life to acquire the wealth and prestige he desires and another to reject it? The one, it seems, proves highly adaptable to his surroundings, to surviving and even prospering in the violent “box” in which he lives. The other sees outside the “box” to another world. Through the stories of life experiences and the lessons they brought him, Anthony Waldren gives hope that we can climb out of one “box” and into another with persistence, toughmindedness, and the ability to learn from the lessons of life. This is an utterly amazing read. Highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

Starvin’ Artist: Hunger for Success is a work of non-fiction in the memoir genre. It is aimed at the adult reading audience and was penned by Anthony Waldren. The book follows the author's life as they grow up through tough times in a community suffering from social hardship. Determined not to let his surroundings define him for the worse, the author instead uses his experiences to push forward with their art and grow into a loving husband and father as well as a respected business owner and artist. Through the book, the author candidly shares how every good and bad experience of their life was used to build the road to success.

This book is a seminal example of a memoir, written as an exercise in vulnerability and contemplation on the effect on a person’s life of being able to express yourself as you struggle through hardships. Anthony Waldren’s life story is one from which every reader can learn a lesson of hope and determination, and his frankness about his life’s hardships and the effort needed to overcome them creates a realistic but inspirational response in the reader. There are elements of Starvin’ Artist which move toward advice and strategies for readers in similar situations, almost so that this book may double as a self-help book. Waldren has learned a lot of hard lessons in his life and it’s a testament to not only his skill as a writer but also his character that he has turned the hardships into not just a positive career and family life for himself but also this book which will serve as a beacon of hope for those trying to find their own light at the end of the tunnel.

Vincent Dublado

Starvin' Artist: Hunger for Success by Anthony Waldren is a celebration of the American dream and personal success, an inspiring memoir that gives you the necessary boost to get up and mount again after falling from the horse. The author chronicles his experiences beginning at an early age where he immediately gets a taste of both the bitter and joyful realities of existence. Growing up in a seemingly forgotten neighborhood where you cannot sleep because you are hungry, cockroaches are your roommates, and gunshots often punctuate the air, this heart-racing story gives you a clear idea of how the author found the courage not to fear death and develop the strength to face adversity. The major highlight of this book is lessons learned from the wrong side—that even negative surroundings can teach you something that you will carry for the rest of your life.

Every now and then, a non-fiction book sneaks through which profoundly reminds us how we can win if we choose the right path. Anthony Waldren wanted something that he never had, and so he chose to do something that he had never done before. That is, to keep his hunger aflame and use it as motivation to sustain and grow a legitimate business. His neighborhood taught him how to hustle, but it also taught him to dream higher, to escape from his lot by understanding entrepreneurship. The humanity in Starvin’ Artist is remarkable. It affirms that there is truly no excuse when you want to make things happen. I enjoyed reading this memoir and you will, too. It shows a man who is deeply committed to personal change and continues to commit himself to making it in this tough world.