In 2005, recent graduates Alex Herman, Paul Matthews, and Andrew Feindel realized they werent entirely sure where they were going in life. Then they had an idea. Over the next two years, they interviewed 70 well-known Canadians and asked them how they got started. The answers they found were not always what they expected.

Kickstart profiles over 30 prominent Canadians, including professional athletes (former CFL star Norman Kwong), TV personalities (Valerie Pringle), Native leaders (Matthew Coon Come), and former prime ministers (Brian Mulroney). Their collective wisdom, offered in their own words, just might help readers "kickstart" their own lives and careers.


The intent for the book was to feel like a casual conversation and it doesn't disappoint. The book has a natural dialogue feel which extends nicely into the authors' plan to invite others to submit stories, interviews and especially get young people talker ... This is a great book, and simply put, written by some great guys.

... a great and unexpected look across the country at the different paths people take to different kinds of success. The book is kind of comforting to those who aren't entirely sure of how to proceed or even of how they have already proceeded along their road through life. This book would be a good recommendation to a student looking for their path or unsure of their own potential to succeed. It does a good job of reinforcing the notion that there is not always a singular and defined path to success and for different people success can take on very different forms. The fact that the book is specifically about Canadians helps the cast be more relatable and human, which strengthens the effectiveness of the book.

It is quite remarkable that three self-described nobodies took it upon themselves to harangue and cajole some of the most powerful people in this country - politicians, star athletes, captains of industry - into giving them not only their time but a revealing look at their lives.

In Kickstart, Herman, Matthews and Feindel ... have produced an interesting biographical work that has the potential to encourage and inspire anyone who reads it.

CM Magazine

The style is casual, well written and interesting. The text is filled with quotation marks imparting almost a personal feeling between reader and subject. Sure to pique reader’s interest. Very well done.”

About the Authors

Paul Matthews

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Paul Matthews

Paul Matthews studied English Literature at Oxford University. His writing has appeared in Toronto Life, Maisonneuve, and the Globe and Mail, and he has directed three short films.