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Gangster Redemption (Book) Review

 
Gangster-Redemption-Book-Cover-Final-Draft1
Gangster-Redemption-Book-Cover-Final-Draft1
Gangster-Redemption-Book-Cover-Final-Draft1

 
At a Glance...
 

Page Count: 367
 
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Author:
 
Year Published:
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
3.5/ 5


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1 total rating

 

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A raw, unfiltered look at a life of crime, and a call to redemption.

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Not for the faint of heart; profanity and graphic violence are rampant.


Final Fiendish Findings?

“How America’s most notorious jewel robber got rich, got caught, and got his life back on track.” Larry Lawton has been to hell and back; and he is determined to keep others from straying toward the same path. In his new book, Gangster Redemption (co-written by Peter Golenbock), Lawton walks readers through his life, from […]

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Posted May 14, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

“How America’s most notorious jewel robber got rich, got caught, and got his life back on track.”

Larry Lawton has been to hell and back; and he is determined to keep others from straying toward the same path. In his new book, Gangster Redemption (co-written by Peter Golenbock), Lawton walks readers through his life, from a kid on the streets, to a gangster in a limo, to just another convict – and then, in the unlikeliest of stories, to a motivational speakers hired by law enforcement, parents, and educators all over to help pull youth at risk back from the brink.

An ex-convict who spent eleven years in prison following a life of crime, Larry Lawton has seen it all. His Reality Check Program is a way for him to use the bad choices and difficult consequences he has been through to help others turn away from a life of crime by giving them the cold hard truth of what really goes on in prison. His book, on the other hand, is more the story of Larry, good and bad, laid bare for readers. Beginning with his difficult childhood in New York, Lawton paints a picture of a neighborhood where criminal acts were the norm. This, along with a difficult experience with abuse, led him slowly but surely to a trusted place in the mob.

Even as a young teen, Lawton put great effort into making sure his work – criminal or not – was done to the best of his ability, aiding him in moving up in the ranks. A stint in the Coast Guard got him away from the action for a little while, but he was soon up to his old ways. His life of crime soon led him to the top, as he made millions robbing jewelry stores and lived a life of luxury and risk. It is a potent tale, simply because it’s true, and Lawton’s pride in some of his past work really shows through in the writing. While he seemed to genuinely enjoy many aspects of his life in the mob, he minces no words when he states that life can only lead to death or jail. For Larry, it was jail.

All of Gangster Redemption is pretty raw, with profanity and graphic descriptions being the norm, but nowhere is this more evident than in the chapters detailing Larry’s time spent in prison. Life inside is nothing like television makes it out to be, and Lawton is the first to tell anyone that it is not a place you want to be. While his accountings of beatings, deaths, abuse, and more can be very difficult to read, it is just that frankness and willingness to share that really gets his message through.

The final chapters of Gangster Redemption detail how his business came about. From a small favor for a friend, to a full time job, his Reality Check Program has grown tremendously in the past few years. As he discusses how the program has evolved and the people he has come in contact with because of it, Lawton sprinkles in success stories that show how his talks have really changed lives for the better. It is heartwarming to see such profound changes being made in the lives of youth at risk.

Gangster Redemption is a story like no other: if you are looking for a sugarcoated account of redemption and rehabilitation, then keep looking because this book is not for you. With raw and uncensored accountings of the worst our country has to offer, this is a book that will in turns shock you, disgust you, and inspire you. While it can get repetitive times (and some small editing mistakes may annoy grammar Nazis), Gangster Redemption is a great read for anyone who’s ever wondered what really happens when you turn towards a life of crime.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)