Most helpful positive review
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From a tough and rough life, the "Dog" has refocused his life.
on August 9, 2007
You Can Run but You Can't Hide, by Duane "Dog" Chapman, is a tough book to review. This is not fine literature. It is the autobiography of a man who journeyed far afield: petty thief, felon, creep, volunteer, doper, gang banger, boxer, biker, convicted murderer, champion vacuum salesman, evangelist, loving father, loving son, abused kid, prison inmate, bounty hunter, hero, homeless man, A&E star, father, grandfather, husband, cellmate, barber, laundry worker, entrepreneur, counselor, and more.
Chapman burst on the Americana scene with his audacious capture of convicted rapist Andrew Luster in Mexico, which itself caused an international incident. He has been a big hit on A&E ever since.
In You Can Run but You Can't Hide, Chapman is blunt, blunt, blunt about his past, which is not pretty. He lived fast and furious, and one big omission in his summary of his life, and in his philosophy, is how he is making up for these past discretions. Frankly, it is a wonder that he survived to age 18. He was never a model father, and this is reflected in the behaviors of some of his children. With that said, in this book you do sense a "change in the Force" with him. It will be interesting to see whether he stays on a positive track over the next decade.
Some interesting tidbits:
- Chapman is one quarter "Indian" (his phrasing)
- He got the nickname, "Dog", from his gang, in reference to his devotion to God.
- Hawaii was a fluke, as he visited in 1991 and fell in love with the place.
I found myself, for right or for wrong, comparing him to Eddie Aikau of (deserved) "Eddie Would Go" fame. Aikau had a troubled youth, although nothing like Chapman, and his heroics only increased throughout his life until that fatal tragedy. Chapman fell deeper, and must climb higher to get out of the abyss. He has a ways to go, as his life stabilizes, but I suspect those affected by his past continue to suffer.
I find myself intrigued and engaged by the A&E show, "Dog the Bounty Hunter." I look for familiar landmarks. I watch the interactions between Dog and Beth, and Dog's children. I listen to Dog explain to captured bad guys that they can turn their life around, just like he did. "I've been there, brudda."
Chapman dropped out of school in junior high, so this clearly needed some severe editing, and that was accomplished. This book is "reality TV" in book form... now there's a concept!
At the writing of this book, the legal issues with Chapman and his sons in Mexico have not been resolved. Thanks again, Dog, for capturing Andrew Luster (who was raping women in Mexico), and for getting other bad dudes off the street. Keep your life clean, and work to deserve being a role model outside of being in show business. The show business fame is fleeting... just ask Paris Hilton!