Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review: Sutton

Sutton by J.R. Moehringer

Willie Sutton was born in Brooklyn to a poor Irish family. He grew up in times when everything was scarce, including jobs. He began robbing banks and discovered he was good at it. Over the course of three decades he stole an estimated $2 million and his talent at committing the robberies in disguises earned him the nickname Willie the Actor.

Part truth, part legend, the book resembles Willie himself. How much is real? How much is Willie's imagination? It's hard to know for sure. Willie's own books contradict each other. 

But what Moehringer does with this story is art. He takes what should be an unsympathetic character and makes you feel for him. You want Willie to get what he wants... the love of his life Bess. You want him to find his freedom and his happiness.

One thing I found fascinating is that Moehringer didn't name any characters that weren't criminals. Instead they were given monikers like Reporter or Bartender.

Entertaining and well-written, I would recommend this book.

Next month - In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion for this review.

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