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Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. Paperback – October 4, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
-- Jonathan Kozol, author of Savage Inequalities
"Rodriguez's account of his coming of age is vivid, raw...fierce, and fearless...Here's truth no television set, burning night and day, could ever begin to offer."
-- Gary Soto, The New York Times Book Review
"Every spiky anecdote from a life of guns, razors, uppers, downers, glue, heroin, sex, and early death supports this former gang member's view of the violence as collective suicide. That Rodriguez's memoir takes place...before the '92 L.A. riots only makes this beautifully written and politically astute account more compelling."
-- Suzanne Ruta, Entertainment Weekly
"Extraordinarily haunting and evocative."
-- Paul Ruffins, The Washington Post Book World
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Rodriguez joined his first gang at age eleven, and by age eighteen, he was a veteran of gang warfare, killings, police, drug overdoses, rapes, Mexican funerals, and suicides. He has watched his friends die one by one at such early ages as he waits his turn of his finalty. The turning point of Rodriguez's life turns out to be when he killed an innocent man as his initiation to a new gang. Because of this he was sentenced to jail where he was able to think hard about what he wanted to do with his. And now look at him he is an award winning journalist and author. but despite his successful transition he later experienced the karma of his childhood when his son Ramiro falls into the wrong crowd in their home Chicago, and joins a gang. Always Running is a novel dedicated to Ramiro Rodriguez and all the other lost children in the world who has lost hope and turned to the hellish streets of gangster life. Through his novel Luis not only shares his life experiences, but he also shares with us how he saved his son. So waste no more and read this very compelling, moving story of a father and son reunion.
Luis has shown these kids living in the barrio's do not have time to be children and enjoy the simple things in life that growing up has to offer. Instead they are frustrated, and pushed into a world of drink, drugs, murder, violence, rape, sex and parenthood well before they have turned into adults physically. I hope peace can be brought to these barrios as killing themselves is not the answer. I will not preach to have the answer.
The deeds done and written in the book by Luis and his friends, depicted images of grown men, however they are mere teens who need more assistance from the governments, police and each other to forge friendship and peace instead of hatred and death.
Maybe politicians, parents and the police should read books like this and other gang books to try to understand the plight of those living in these barrios and then educate themselves to enable the vatos locos to make their barrios places of pride without fear of death and allow them to grow into whatever they want to be just like Luis.
Rodriquez' language is harsh, brutal, intentionally ugly, and in the end, pitiful. Yet it is in this particular combination that allows his poems to find their combustible energy. They show his life's journey from victim to perpetrator to witness to revolutionary. And at the basis of his work is now the palpably virulent need to reach his son in an attempt to prevent a repetition of his own 'la vida loca'.
Rodriguez is not easy to read but his poems are essential to understand the particular peripheral life that borders our cities. And for this reader he captures the power of Dante's Inferno in a language that is crucially immediate and ultimately human. He has earned out attention and we are the better for his poetry. Grady Harp, November 05
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this book, everything that I would have wanted to know about a young thugs life in south central LA was covered in this bookPublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a good book but the title is very misleading. The San gabriel valley is in L.A county and in no way is part of east los angeles. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Fernando mann
I am not sure how I stumbled across this book.. Maybe it was because I enjoy memoirs and running?
I am a middle class white person, that is far removed from Luis's experience... Read more
This was an absolute fantastic book to read. I've never really fully understood all the race and gang violence/wars that are in LA mostly because news wise it's horribly biased and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Blow Pop
I had not read very far into the book before I was reminded of Barack Obama's, "Dreams From My Father," which was published two years after Luis Rodriguez' "Always... Read morePublished 1 month ago by charlene at Dosido Bookshelf
Very interesting! The end kind of dies but the entire book is great!Published 1 month ago by Vs Mom
I had to read this book for a criminology class but ended up really enjoying it. It was an easy read, short, yet provided a lot of insight into his life.Published 2 months ago by Angela L.