"By Rupert Boneham, as told to Lester Thomas Shane,
Rupert Boneham is perhaps the world’s least likely celebrity. Before winning a million dollars as America’s favorite Survivor, Rupert was best known here in Indy as the bouncer who looked and sounded like a grizzly bear at Broad Ripple’s Alley Cat Lounge.
On Survivor, Rupert proved that he was not only strong and determined, but that he was honest, loyal and had a bit of a soft side. What his fans may not know is that Rupert had to survive a lot of tough times before becoming a reality TV star.
In the first chapter he explains, “I’ve been a fat little kid who nobody liked; I’ve been a celebrity who millions of people love. I’ve been homeless living under a bridge; I’ve won a ton of money. I’m a dyslexic who never really read a book all the way through; and now I’m writing one.”
This is definitely not a celebrity fluff piece. It’s a book that doesn’t pull any punches. Rupert chronicles a life of family problems, self-destructive behavior, bad decisions and bad luck.
Then, of course, everything changes.
Rupert’s chapter entitled “Fame” is a sly joke on the legal contract all Survivor contestants must sign that prohibits them from writing about the show. From there we learn about the ups and downs of becoming an instant celebrity.
Before he became famous, Rupert was a mentor to kids that were down on their luck. Now he uses his newfound fame to help on a much larger scale with his organization Rupert’s Kids. If there is any way you can read this book and not be emotionally moved and inspired, then you are a heartless bastard that I never want to meet.
Rupert will be signing his book on Feb. 21 at Barnes & Noble at Clearwater Crossing, 3748 E. 82nd St., at 7 p.m.; 317-594-7525.