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Where the Money Was: The Memoirs of a Bank Robber Hardcover – August 23, 1976


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (August 23, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067076115X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670761159
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,195,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A slam-bang story loaded with anecdotes and marvelous vignettes.” —United Press International

“Willie holds the undisputed title as the world’s most endearing bank robber . . . A lively, disarming memoir of a very gentlemanly rogue.” —Cosmopolitan

“The most famous bank robber since Jesse James . . . crafty, humorous, pragmatic, worldly-wise.” —The New Yorker

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

The Broadway Books Library of LarcenyLuc Sante, General EditorFor more than fifty years, Willie Sutton devoted his boundless energy and undoubted genius exclusively to two activities at which he became better than any man in history: breaking in and breaking out. The targets in the first instance were banks and in the second, prisons. Unarguably America?s most famous bank robber, Willie never injured a soul, but took on almost a hundred banks and departed three of America?s most escape-proof penitentiaries. This is the stuff of myth?rascally and cautionary by turns?yet true in every searing, diverting, and brilliantly recalled detail.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Excellent fast paced read.
indusak
I did a little research on Sutton after I read the book, thinking that perhaps he had just tried to make himself look good.
Jesse Rouse
Interesting how he got in the business of robbing banks and how he fought like crazy to get out of jail.
E. Helm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Debbie J on January 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book makes you feel like you are side-by-side with Willie thru the planning, bank robberies, getaways, and even prison breaks. It is written in down-to-earth language and makes you feel like Willie is your buddy, and you are sitting there listening to him tell his story. Willie makes you feel like it was okay to rob the banks, and you find yourself rooting for him. It was amazing how his mind worked, so methodically planning breaking INTO the banks, and the same mindset is what helped him break OUT of prison.
"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Rouse on September 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
I stumbled upon this book in the library, and thought it looked pretty interesting, so I checked it out. Little did I realize how interesting it would be. This book details the life of Willie Sutton, bank robber extraordinare, a man who held the #1 most wanted spot for over two years. I expected him to be a thuggish man, but boy was I wrong. It turns out he was quite a gentleman and intellectual, who had some kind of compulsion to rob banks. He never fired a gun, never physically harmed anyone, and managed to steal so much money from the government that they made him their most wanted man. When they caught him and sent him to prison, he spent his time reading Kierkegaard, Kant, Victor Hugo, etc. He then escapes from a maximum security prison which no one has escaped from in it's 100+ year existence, and works in a nursing home while trying to lay low, because he wanted to help people. He gets caught again, escapes again from a maximum security prison, makes the Most Wanted list, and is finally caught when he is in his 50's. He ends up with three life sentences. He decided he was too old to escape from prison again, so instead he spent a few years reading all the law books he could get his hands on, appealed all of his court decision, and had all of them overturned on technicalities that he had come across while reading. He spent the last 10-15 years of his life peacefully, as a law abiding citicen. Quite an interesting story to say the least. When asked by a reporter why he robbed banks, he supposedly said "Because that's where the money is." Hence the title of the book.

I did a little research on Sutton after I read the book, thinking that perhaps he had just tried to make himself look good. It turns out that he spent his post-jail life lecturing on prison reform and helping banks increase the level of their security. Mr. Sutton is perhaps the only class act robber I have read of this side of Robin Hood.

Overall grade: A
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jose Lopez on April 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Although I disagree with Mr.Sutton's Chosen Profession, I believe the man a genius. And sadly what other things he could have done.but I am not GOD to pass judgment on anyone. This book tells like it is, like it was For Willie.
It is very high paced and informative reading. Highly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard E. Noble VINE VOICE on April 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating tale. But even before I get into the story of Willie, I must pay tribute to Ed Linn. The influences of a professional writer are all over this book - and I say that in a positive way. The story line, the editing, the sentence structure, the characterization, the plot development, the embodiment of the image, the conscious manipulation of the reader - obviously undetected by the other reviewers who all feel as though they were sitting in Willie's lap all through the book. A great job that I must credit Mr. Linn for, even understanding Willie's potential for genius. This is Willie's only book. If Willie had gone on to write several other books, I may not have been so bold as to credit Mr. Linn so lavishly. But this book is too good to have been written by a one time writer who has expressed nowhere to have had an interest in writing.

Ed Linn gets no credits in this book other than the three words ... "with Ed Linn" printed on the cover. Mr. Linn assisted other greats like Leo Durocher and Bill Veeck in the same type "autobiography." He has also written a biography of one of my favorite sports greats, Ted Williams, "The Hitter." Ed was also a very successful sports writer and journalist. So giving Ed Linn his due, I will move along to Willie Sutton.

Despite the heroic nature of the book Willie Sutton was an admitted professional criminal. He loved robbing banks. "Why did I rob banks? Because I enjoyed it. I loved it. I was more alive when I was inside a bank, robbing it, than at any other time in my life. I enjoyed everything about it so much that one or two weeks later I'd be out looking for the next job. But to me the money was the chips, that's all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Helm on June 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
Interesting story of an interesting man. One of those books you're surprised there hasn't been a movie of.

Not the typical bank robber. Never used a gun or violence, or so he said. Instead, he used his mind, dressing up as bank employees, postal workers, cops, or other people that could get into banks and rob them easier than a guy with a gun. Interesting how he got in the business of robbing banks and how he fought like crazy to get out of jail. Definitely lets you get a glimpse into the mind of a smarter-than-average career criminal.

Over all, a very fun read. Much different from what I normally read, but I enjoyed it so much I'm going go through the other books in this series.
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