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The Constant Outsider: Memoirs of a South Boston Mechanic Paperback – February 27, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"You will smile, laugh, and cringe with horror as you read his efforts to survive in the Mob-controlled environment of South Boston. While remarkably courageous, Tom has not always had the wisdom to match." --Izzy Kalman, Bullies2Buddies.Com

"The Constant Outsider" is a well written memoir that gets you to think about the impact your actions, even the most ordinary ones, have on others." 
--Jordan Rich, WBZ Radio, Boston

"Folks! Read the book now, because when they start filming the movie you'll be able to say 'I read that when!' I give it Cranberry Country Journal's Excellent Read Recommendation." 
--Paul Lazarovich, Cranberry Country Journal TV & WVBF Radio

"He really is like the rest of us, often just trying to fit in, even if it required standing up and putting up a fight." --Christopher Lovett, Boston Neighborhood Network News TV

"His story is one wrought with tension, danger, love, laughter, tales of poor judgment, and the lessons to be learned from a life lived on the edge. It's a multifaceted, complex, interesting story." --Nikki Pringle, ReaderViewes.Com

From the Author

Each of us is a book waiting to be written, and that book, if written, results in a person explained.  Sincerely,  Tom 
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Xlibris; 2nd Revised edition (February 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1436320933
  • ISBN-13: 978-1436320931
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #954,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Dorchester, Thomas Cirignano moved to South Boston as a young man. He took over his father's auto repair shop in the heart of "Southie" during the reign of infamous mobster James "Whitey" Bulger. His experiences at that shop would be considered surreal by most standards. Only through pure luck did he survive numerous life threatening situations.
Tom's true life story is titled "The Constant Outsider: Memoirs of a South Boston Mechanic." Due to its time and place in Boston's tumultuous history, along with the situations and people Tom encountered, "The Constant Outsider" is an exciting story in its own right, vividly demonstrating how important even the smallest decisions we make in life can be. But, in his second book, titled, "67 Cents: Creation of a Killer," the author explores an even more intense and dangerous path. In this fictional adaptation of his memoir, Tom explores that alternate path which truly was available to him. Within "67 Cents," Tom's alter ego character, "Nick", says "Yes" to each and every offer that was made to the author in real life by both the Italian Mafia and "Whitey's" Irish Mob. Those offers were significant, and even included an offer to kill a man for him. As is true in everyone's live, just a few different choices can change everything.
Tom Cirignano is a certified scuba diver, ultra-light aircraft pilot, has owned several motorcycles, and loves boating. Unfortunately, a spinal fracture, Scoliosis, and Harrington Rod surgery have limited his ability to enjoy most of those activities. In 1987, Tom decided the time was right to relocate to Florida, where he spent the next eleven years. In 1998 he and his family returned to Massachusetts. He has been a contributing writer and served as an advisory member on "The New Bedford Standard-Times Newspaper Editorial Board." He served two terms on The Freetown-Lakeville Regional School Committee, and has served on several other town committees and commissions. Visit TheConstantOutsider.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AvidReader on February 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Who would think that an ordinary Joe (or Tom, in this case) could write a book out of the story of his life? Coming from a small town south of Boston myself (actually just a stone's throw from where Mr. Cirignano spent his early years) in the same era, I could relate to this guy's experiences.... the cars, the bars, the friends, the poor judgment of the teenage years that make you wonder how you made it to adulthood! He brought back so many memories - both good and bad - things I hadn't thought about in years. This book gets more intense as it goes along, putting the reader on an emotional rollercoaster between hilarity and horror. What makes this book different is that while telling the stories, Mr. Cirignano takes the time to note life's lessons learned by these experiences, and allows the reader to personalize them. I have to admit I was skeptical when I first picked up this book (sorry, Mr. Cirignano), but I can honestly say that this is a read you shouldn't miss!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jerry cullity on September 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Constant Outsider; what a diamond in the rough is the book,and what a diamond in the rough is Mr.Cirignano.It is the first writing for public view for this former
auto mechanic, and yet it is brilliantly written. It is a classic, a must read, and told in a flawless, smooth, literary style.

"the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn" are quite tame to the life adventures of Mr. Cirignano from childhood to the present. The book is serious, funny but, as the reader will see very uplifting and heroic.

Born in the 50's, 60's, 80's, and 90's this good hearted high energy, and adventurous Italian- American kid lived and worked in Boston in generally Irish neighborhoods and he learned as a child even that he had to stand his ground to be respected and just be friends. Boston was in a bit of turmoil especially in South Boston during those years. This is where the family owned auto repair gas business was located. Drugs became rampant, school ordered busing came in effect, mob violence, which heretofore was quiet and unnoticed became open. Killings and beatings escalated while the FBI looked the other way. But that's another story

Tom Cirignanos shrewd observations and own personal, frequent, and dangerous confrontations at the business during those times are well chronicled in the book

Despite all that you will be charmed by Mr. Cirignano's own boyish and oft dangerous shenanigans as a young man and his oft dangerous shenanigans as an adult. Drinking bouts with pals, drunk driving, car accidents, motorcyle accidents, boat accidents, and even crashing into the water in a gas powered ultra lite flying contraption days after he bought it.

Mr. Cirignano who call himself the "constant outsider" wherever he went but, wherever he went he would charm them all with his decent inner qualities and his generous love he has for people that he just cant hide. you will love the book you will love the author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Oconnor on June 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
When you grow up in Massachusetts, you hear stories about what South Boston is like: tough, gritty and not a place for the faint-hearted. Most of the stories you hear are mumbled rumors, but "The Constant Outsider" sets one man's stories down in black and white. And oh, what stories they are...

Tom Cirignano, by his own admission, wasn't much of a tough guy at first. In fact, he was forced to survive a major health crisis in childhood and the experienced primed him for a lifetime of close-calls, second-guesses and decisions that affect the rest of your life. Cirignano has seemingly done it all: faced down local gangsters, survived inumerable crashes (auto and otherwise), drank, stood his ground and saw history unfolding on the mean streets of Boston from his gas station. Half of the time, you feel a bit ashamed that you haven't fit nearly as much in your life as he has in his. The other half, you're glad you didn't have to face the things that he faced.

Cirignano is a survivor. The book reads almost as if he lived through all these episodes so you won't have to. In a world where reality TV brings new and often disturbing scenes into your living room, Cirignano recaptures what real living is all about and tells it in a quick articulate style. This is required reading for all those planning on relocating to South Boston.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Perry on December 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Constant Outsider, a memoir by Thomas M. Cirignano, chronicles his life while growing up in South Boston during some of the city's most turbulent times. He writes firsthand accounts about forced bussing, racism and the violence of the mobsters who ruled the streets. The author recounts the difficulties he encountered while growing up in an Italian family in predominantly Irish neighborhoods. That never stopped him from trying to make friends even when his attempts to impress the kids led to taking chances that would almost kill him. Mr. Cirignano took even greater risks when he entered adulthood and began drinking.

What impressed me the most about the book is the author's gritty resolve in the face of adversity. Mr. Cirignano clung to that trait whether struggling to keep control of his motorcycle hitting a guardrail at nearly eighty miles per hour or inserting himself in the midst of a group of teens he wanted to befriend. He never backed down nor abandoned his principals to make a few dollars or seek revenge.

I highly recommend The Constant Outsider for the life lessons contained within the book.

Patricia Perry- author

Quest for the Source of Darkness

The Fortress of Darkness

The Edge of Darkness: The Final Battle
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