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I Love You Phillip Morris Hardcover – June 25, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
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Top Customer Reviews
The books is full of such highjinks, including Russell's love story with Phillip Morris, a scrawny miscreant he met at the Harris County Jail.
But most fascinating of all is the character study of a highly successful liar. Says Russell: "I'm persuasive because I understand and listen to people. I study everything about a person. No detail is too small. People love to talk, and I love to listen. Listening to a person is the key to being able to outwit them."
Mr. McVicker got the bulk of his information from interviews with Russell whom the author says he never caught in a lie. To his credit, McVicker does not try to analyze the reasons for what Russell did-- after all he is not a psychologist but a jouralist-- but lets Russell tell the events as he remembers them. Neither does Russell spend any time contemplating his own motives. "I live in my own little world. I build walls around me to keep from getting hurt. I don't understand why I'm like this. I've never tried to analyze it. It takes a lot of bumps in the road before I am able to trust another person." According to Russell, he has an I.Q. of 163. "Studyng people is a large part of what I do. . . When I talk to someone, I watch their eyes to see if they're looking at me in the eye or if they're drifting off somewhere else. I have to know that I can trust them before I know I can get them to trust me."
Russell first exhibited unusual behavior shortly after his parents told him when he was nine that he was adopted but that he was special. He soon proceeded to torch a cousin's parents' garage.Read more ›
Once I started, I couldn't put it down.
That said, McVicker's a writer for a (good) weekly alternative paper, and this book reads like an overlong story from those pages, filled up with anecdotes that go just this shy of deep. I'm just not as impressed with the depth of characterizations or the writing as I am with writings in a similar narrative vein.
As for the book itself Steven Russell's story truly is the stuff of legend and the author delves back to his early life with his adoptive parents, his marriage to Debbie Davis a member of the fundamentalist Church of God, realising his sexuality, his time with the police service, the first failed effort to meet and know his birth mother followed by the coincidence of eventually meeting his natural birth siblings.
Being tested as a kid with an IQ of 163 Steven Russell had later also obviously grown a remarkable self confidence of how to fool people into believing he was someone he was not. The audacious escapes usually of Friday the 13th (also the birth date of Phillip Morris)
His careful planning, forging documents, his confident ability to apply himself to do any job and impersonate judges medical practitioners or anyone he chose made him the ultimate con man but for his Achilles' heel, that being the love for his male lovers James Kemple and later Phillip Morris. The book also reveals that in spite of what he put them through Steven Russell's ex wife and daughter remain defensive of him as he faces years of incarceration. No doubt a result of embarrassing the Texas prison system.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This guy is a genius at making the Harris County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Department of Corrections look so royally stupid! Read morePublished 8 months ago by SETH WALTON
A husband and father, Russell was a church organist, prosperous businessman, and onetime Boca Raton cop before turning to his life of crime. Read morePublished on January 21, 2014 by chris reiss
After I saw the film, I thought there was no way any of it could be based in reality. After reading this book I learned that the reality was, if anything, more unbelievable. Read morePublished on September 18, 2011 by Mitch
Rented this for a date night with my wife, have liked most all of Jim Carry movies. All was good until the "intense" anal sex scene. Read morePublished on July 23, 2011 by bmadams
I SO enjoyed this book! The factual story was fascinating to read about, and I enjoyed every single page! I highly recommend this fantastic book.Published on June 1, 2011 by debjoy81
I had heard about the movie that was based on this book and after seeing a copy of the movie, I was inclined to read the book. I searched for it online and found it on Amazon. Read morePublished on July 19, 2010 by William Tim Wells
The story is told straightforwardly-- not overcrowded with detail. It's like a long version of a McVicker article in the alternative weekly the Houston Press, such an article... Read morePublished on July 15, 2010 by Gulf Coast Bob