The genuinely honest story of an inspiring musician, Renee Eleftheriou
“I made the impossible possible…”
Those simple words really do tell this story. The first chapter of Impossible by Stan Walker really hooked me to read more because it showed what kind of person the author is- not as a singer but as a human being, and how he got to where he is today. From the time he was exposed to drugs and violence, to winning Australian Idol, this is Stan Walker; this is his story.
To sum this book up in a few words would be seriously hard but they would include heartbreaking, inspiring and powerful. Impossible is a very moving book and to be honest, I found it hard to put down. I loved to learn about the places in New Zealand and even Australia, although it would have been cool to have a map of them, because if you are like me I know places around where I live but not as much about anywhere else.
I loved how inspiring this was. It shows that no matter where you come from or what your past is, you can do anything. Stan started off as a nobody and turned into a New Zealand icon. He wants everyone to know that if you want something enough, you will get it, and I think that that is the main message of the book.
I learned a lot about Māori culture too. There was lots of information about the marae and tikanga and I liked that. Throughout the book, there were a lot of Māori words which are explained in a glossary at the back. I hated that I had to go back and forth. It would be nicer to have them put in a footnote instead of into the glossary.
Impossible starts off from when Stan was a small boy in a big wide world, and how he was exposed to lots of scary things. We don’t get much detail into the time around Australian Idol because the focus is more on his childhood, but I guess it leaves it open for another book. Each chapter focuses on a new aspect which made it easy for me to go back and find something specific. This also meant that the chapters weren’t too long and weren’t too complex.
There are two sets of photos, 55 in total. It was very hard for me to not look at them until I had read up to that point. It was great to put faces to the names and see his life described through pictures, however, it would have been good to see them throughout the book with their corresponding chapters.
Something that I really like about Impossible is that it seems genuinely honest. Nothing is sugar-coated or downsized – you feel like you are hearing a truthful story even though some bits are horrible and cruel. It is described so well that I felt as though I was a bystander in real-time, especially the times when he was on his hill singing to the whenua and wharenui, the land and meeting house.
I really enjoyed this book and would certainly recommend it to anyone. The story was shocking but very well described. I loved this book and will read it again. To anyone who loves Stan Walker, this is a great read.
“You take the photos, but it’s what happens in between that’s the real truth.”
- Renee is 12 years old and lives in Rangiora.