One of the most notorious criminals in American history is brought blazing back to life by a master storyteller. Willie Sutton was born in the squalid Irish slums of Brooklyn, in the first year of the twentieth century, and came of age at a time when banks were out of control Over three decades, from Prohibition through the Great Depression, from ...
One of the most notorious criminals in American history is brought blazing back to life by a master storyteller. Willie Sutton was born in the squalid Irish slums of Brooklyn, in the first year of the twentieth century, and came of age at a time when banks were out of control Over three decades, from Prohibition through the Great Depression, from the age of Al Capone until the reign of Murder Inc., police called Sutton one of the most dangerous men in New York, and the FBI put him on its first-ever Most Wanted list. But the public loved him. He never fired a shot, after all, and his victims were merely those bloodsucking banks. Based on extensive research, Sutton is the moving story of an enigmatic man, an arch criminal driven by love, forever seeking the beautiful woman who led him into a life of crime, then broke his heart and disappeared.
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-07-30 Moehringer, a Pulitzer Prize winner for feature writing in 2000, brings infamous bank robber Willie "The Actor" Sutton to life in his inventive debut novel (after the memoir The Tender Bar). True to history, the ailing 68-year-old Sutton was released from prison on Christmas Eve 1969 and spent the following day with a reporter. Though the journalist's actual take on that day revealed little, Moehringer uses the excursion as an entree into Sutton's dramatic life. The ex-con revisits old haunts, recalls successful and failed heists, and reminisces about the woman he sought always to impress. Alternating between Christmas Day and Sutton's earlier years, Moehringer stays in the present tense, making the action immediate, but the shifts in time easy to miss. Nevertheless, he paints a mesmerizing portrait of a remarkable man: a talented thief, an aspiring novelist, and a student of the classics ("Dante, Plato, Shakespeare, Freud") even in prison, where he spent half his life. The author's eye for detail and sense of place make every stop on Sutton's internal and external journeys resonate-from smoking a Chesterfield to Sutton's first sight of the moon as a free man, every scene is saturated with life. Agent: Mort Janklow, Janklow & Nesbit. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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