Gary Dale Cearley

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Filius Nullius

(No Chains on Me)

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Jack's Notebook: A Business Novel about Creative Problem Solving

By Gregg Fraley
ISBN-10: 0785221662
ISBN-13: 978-0785221661

The whole idea for Jack’s Notebook was intriguing to me. This was not the first book of fiction that I have read that the plot was written to illustrate business points or ideas. But this one was very different in my opinion.

The first part of the book is similar to my expectation of the book – the “judging the book by its cover” expectation. Before you even read the story, if you have read the cover, then you know that the book was written to explain CPS, creative problem solving. And in the beginning scenes we meet Jack Huber, yes, the owner of the famous notebook, who finds himself working two part-time jobs to barely make ends meet, his car is broken down and he is walking hopelessly through the rain in order to get a train for his long commute home. But on this night a stranger, Manny Gilbran, gives him a lift. After beginning his conversation with Manny his life is never the same…


The book at this point is still fairly cookie cutter for its genre. Manny gets Jack thinking about what he’d rather be doing. He becomes Jack’s mentor. Jack starts learning the importance of creative problem solving and decides he’d be better suited to a career path in photography. Along the way Jack meets Molly Dunne, who also knows a bit about CPS.


But then the fun begins…

Jack and Molly have fallen in love but they’d barely declared their love for one another and Molly’s past catches up with her. She mysteriously disappears and the pace picks up from there. Jack has to find her but is left with very few clues so he and Manny turn to… Creative problem solving!


Actually I would really like to commend Gregg Fraley the way he picked up the pace with this book. He has really set it apart from other business narratives and made the plot quite interesting and all the while never failing to lose sight of the book’s main purpose: To teach the reader the important facets of creative problem solving through an entertaining format. I believe that I will retain much of the lessons that emanate from this book simply because I will be able to remember the examples set by Fraley’s fictional characters. Gregg Fraley is a very capable writer and story teller as well as teacher. I think if Fraley continues to turn out such work he could legitimately be considered a master of business fiction.

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Copyright Gary Dale Cearley 2007.