1,200-word Book Review by Mark Henkel

“Life is Tremendous!” [Book Review]

“Life is Tremendous! Enthusiasm Makes the Difference” (by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones)

© September 9, 2021

“Life is Tremendous!” by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones
“Life is Tremendous!” by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Do you want to be happy, involved, relevant, productive, healthy, and secure? Are you ready for leadership? Motivational speaker and author, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, shares his insights, enthusiasm, and lots of old-time humor in this book from 1968 to help you do just that.

“Life is Tremendous!”

is a good book, worthy of a rating of 3 of 5 Stars.

I have owned this book since the 1990s, back when I had first read it. I chose to re-read it after reading a separate book by John Maxwell, published in 2004, titled,

“Winning with People”

On Pages 8–9 in Maxwell’s book, he told a story about a cranky Grandpa with “Limburger cheese” placed under his nose while sleeping — a story that I had recalled reading long ago. A few pages later in his same book, on Page 14, John Maxwell writes: “The words of author and speaker Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones really are true: the difference between who you are today and who you will be in five years will be the people you spend time with and the books you read.” That motivated me to re-read Jones’ book. As I did, I quickly realized where I had first learned of the “Limburger cheese” story. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones tells it on Page 13 of this book. Interested readers may use the following link where I explain more of that story in a separate book review I wrote for Maxwell’s book.


“Life is Tremendous!” begins with a two-page “I Guarantee,” followed by 4 chapters that could be separate concepts. Chapter 1 takes up one-tenth of the whole book content; Chapter 2 comprises five-tenths; and, Chapters 3 and 4 both fill two-tenths each too. Each “tenth” took me about 15 minutes to read.

Chapter 1 — Leadership is Learning to Live (12 pages).

Chapter 2 — Seven Laws of Leadership (46 pages).

Chapter 3 — Three Decisions in Life (20 pages).

Chapter 4 — Leaders Are Readers (20 pages).

Numerous cartoon illustrations appear throughout the book, even if not always specifically applicable to the content. Such cute cartoons certainly put a reader in a smiling mood and do seem to function in conjunction with the author’s frequent humor.


Jones opens on Page 6 with the exclamation, “The reading of these pages will be one of the most profitable things you have ever done. How can I make such a guarantee? In the past twelve months I’ve shared these ideas with companies that together have exceeded $20 billion in sales.” (Readers in 2021 and forward should note that that number is expressed in “1968-dollars” — over half a century ago when even “millions” of dollars were seriously significant.) Following that braggadocio, he clarifies on Page 7 that “the value of this book won’t be in your remembering what I say but rather in remembering what you think as a result of what I say. My objective is to prove to you that what you think as a result of what I say is far more important than your remembering what I say.” He concludes this guarantee, “My number one objective is to stir up your thought processes and help you frame your best thoughts with words so you can harness them. Concentrate on what you think from here on, and I guarantee a tremendously profitable adventure through practicing the Laws of Leadership.”


On Page 9, Jones writes, “The most tremendous experience of life is the learning process. The saddest time is when a person thinks that he has learned enough.” He explains what he calls the “First Steps.” On Page 12, “First, you must be willing to say something positive to everybody all the time.” On Page 13, “Second, be learning to see something positive in everything that happens.” On Page 14, “Third, you must be learning to See It Big and Keep It Simple” (SIB-KIS). He concludes the chapter with the segment, “Why — Not How,” in which he explains on Page 18, “The key to know-how is KNOW-WHY.”


Comprising half of the entire book, this chapter is subdivided into the anticipated seven “laws.”

1) Learning to Get Excited About Your Work.

2) Use or Lose.

3) Production to Perfection.

4) Give to Get.

5) Exposure to Experience.

6) Flexible Planning.

7) Motivated to Motivating.


On Page 67, Jones opens the chapter: “A person can either drive himself or be driven; motivation makes the difference.” He explains, “The three great decisions are: 1) Whom are you going to live your life with? 2) What are you going to live your life in? 3) What are you going to live your life for?” The third (question) section adds a humorous advocacy for the author’s own Christianity, without being preachy or offensive.


On Page 87, Jones writes, “One of the greatest thoughts I’ve ever heard is, ‘You will be the same in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.’” On Page 88, he writes the excellent quote, “I’ll never forget the thrill I got when I read a book filled with tremendous truths that were completely opposite to what I had believed.” Having enjoyed that same experience many times, I wholeheartedly affirm its wisdom for any of us. On Page 90, Jones quotes a man named Paul Valery, “One only reads well when one reads with some quite personal goal in mind.” I similarly attest to that wisdom, too. I wholeheartedly enjoy reading non-fiction books that educate me on topics and genres, fulfilling my intentional goal of increasing specific knowledge-sets. The chapter ends with a handful of summaries of books that the author recommends. The final pages list out (in picture-form) curated collections of a dozen or so books in each of what the author labels as “power packs.”


It took me 2 hours and 35 minutes to complete this book as my full read-time (including underlining and margin-noting). I read this book over just three days, from August 1 through August 3, 2021. I might re-open this book to scan and review the several great quotes I underlined throughout the book. However, if I do re-read this book from cover to cover again, it will likely be once every decade or two.

I decided to rate this book as 3 of 5 Stars. The concepts are insightful, the enthusiasm is infectious, and many quotes are excellent. For my preference, I found that over time, the author’s “writing voice” and style could start to feel… “too much.” If the book had been much longer than it is, I think I might have found that “voice” less enjoyable. Yet, it still works for this small book’s length. As such, I am comfortable with giving “Life is Tremendous!” a solid rating of 3 of 5 Stars.

If you allow yourself to just read this book for its insights, enthusiasm, and great quotes, I believe that you will enjoy reading this book and perhaps even having it in your own personal library too.

“Life is Tremendous”

is a 3-Star book.

If you’d like to see more of what Mark Henkel is reading, follow at MarkHenkelReader.com



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