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A Bum Deal: An Unlikely Journey from Hopeless to Humanitarian Hardcover – September 1, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
"A Bum Deal" brings us into the disintegrating worlds of friends Rufus Hannah and Donnie Brennan, alcoholic, homeless, and hopeless. For the price of a few beers, Rufus and Donnie perform as stars in hideous videos that further disable them while earning rich kid Ryan McPherson and his buddies big bucks.That is, until Barry Soper, a San Diego businessman in a Red Sox cap, steps in. Soper’s extraordinary generosity to this unappealing duo, and the courage with which they respond, is nothing short of a miracle.
This fascinating true story is a parable for our times. We have too many homeless. We have vicious psychopathic kids like Ryan, looking for opportunities to have fun and make a buck while tormenting the less fortunate.Too many police turn a blind eye to crimes against the homeless. Some courts buy the “affluenza” defense, excusing the wealthy and privileged from the rules that apply to the rest of us. Fortunately, we also have some Barry Sopers, big-hearted souls willing to take a chance on their fellow man. We need many more like him. And we have a few like Rufus Hannah, whose brave and inspiring story this really is.
As for those who enjoy watching others, whether mis-trained and abused pit bull dogs or homeless humans, rip each other apart, they may not know what they do; but they must be educated.This engrossing book can do that.
Read this book and tell your friends about it. You’ll be glad you did.
It almost seems Rufus was doomed from the start. Coming from southern working class parents with alcohol problems, he was born jaundiced due to his mother's drinking. Even so, they often resorted to the old southern remedy of lacing the baby bottle with vodka to keep the child quiet. Yet the parents instilled a work ethic into all of their children that served him well when little else did.
His journey takes him through failed marriages and jobs lost due to alcoholism across country and finally to San Diego where he meets Donnie, a fellow vet with similar problems. They migrate to Donnie's hometown of La Mesa where they manage an existence as the only homeless men in the town and are somewhat absorbed into the community. At the insistence of another resident they're hired on as handymen by Barry Soper, a local businessman. The three men are mistrustful of each other but over time they develop a real friendship- especially Rufus and Barry.
A chance encounter with a HS student with a video camera- Ryan McPherson- sets them on the path to notoriety together. Ryan's callousness towards the two men is apparent to Rufus from the start but as he supplies them with the necessities, namely booze, they feel obligated to go along.Read more ›
The "Bum Fights" video series that resulted garnered much publicity and controversy at the time, so surely some will pick up this book because of the association. Hannah's book is fascinating because he explains how alcoholism and bad decisions led to his participation, and ultimately how ultimately he got sober and turned his life around with the help of his co-author. Hannah's honesty is admirable in that he accepts responsibility for his actions and expresses genuine remorse, although he was also a victim. His descriptions of the sense of humiliation and regret he still faces about the "Bum Fights" videos is gut-wrenching.
Ultimately this story is one of hope, and is very inspirational. I read the book in one sitting, and highly recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Artfully written with an abundance of compassion.
This is a story that reveals the human side of those who many of us choose to dismiss, the homeless . Read more
This is a truly uplifting and heartwarming story of success. One of those feel-good stories that can really remind us that even in the face of evil and life's biggest challenges,... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Paul Vellucci
It was a good book about a man who really turned his life around. I always love an inspiring story and this one was.Published 14 months ago by peezmonster
OK. Not going to lie here. In my teens, I watched Bumfights with my stupid friends and thought it was the funniest stuff ever. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Ss
This was a great read, and I hope the best for Mr. Hannah and Mr. Soper in all their future endeavours.Published 19 months ago by Glenn Erickson
A Bum Deal is a quintessential story that can only take place in America. The chance meeting between Barry Soper the businessman, Rufus Hanna and Donnie Brennan the homeless guys,... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Michael Gonzalez
What an inspiring read. This story brought back memories of a very ugly time in San Diego's history that I had personally put aside, particularly the trial of those unrepentant... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Jessica Lewis
Such an amazing story! I could not put this book down. I finished it in less than 3 days. I moved to San Diego two and a half years ago and the homeless situation shocked me. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Catherine Babcock
I have heard nothing but good about this book! It restores your faith in humanity and gives hope that no matter what your circumstances you can always climb back up to where you... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Janene R Horrocks