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As a sequel to My Bloody Life, Sanchez's memoir of sex, drugs and violence in the Chicago street gang the Latin Kings, the author recounts the hardships of postgang life. He vividly describes the struggle to separate himself from his previous "drunken, drug-crazed, violent" persona. Initially, the temptations of his "past glory" prove irresistible, and while he does not rejoin the gang, he moves back to the 'hood, gets involved with drugs and eventually goes to prison for possession. Incarceration, however, becomes a "blessing in disguise"; Sanchez spends most days "reading the Bible, sketching, and writing poetry." His rosy view of prison is a product of his past as a King, because their network in jail gives him protection and respect. Once released, he finds himself alone and tormented by horrifying memories of physical and sexual abuse and a deep sense of worthlessness, but he manages to get a job and learns to feel "the peacefulness of his freedom." Eventually, Sanchez finds his "soul mate" in Marilyn, an educated Puerto Rican woman from the Bronx whom he idolizes but later abuses, projecting onto her his resentment against his unloving mother. This detailed history can be exhaustive in its graphic, unsettling depictions of sex and violence, and Sanchez's prose is often clichéd: "She spoke softly and moved in a way that said, 'I'm all woman.'" The book also lacks specific year references (Sanchez explains he's concealing essentials to protect himself and other people). But in the end, Sanchez's story of survival in the face of great odds rings true.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Though many parts were difficult to read, the author's thoughtful introspection and bold honesty are painfully clear. An insightful, eye opener - especially for native Chicagoans.Published 3 months ago by Stephanie L. Seweryn
I finished the first book in two days. I immediately started be second book. You can't get enough of the life of Reymundo Sanchez. Read morePublished 5 months ago by teacher5
This book glossed over the explanation of his abusive mother. In other words it's like putting a band aid over a volcano.Published 7 months ago by Lauren Harrell
Craziest book Ive ever read. I will tell you I am no fan of reading books, especially if they are over 100 pages but dam this book is good. Read morePublished 8 months ago by steve