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

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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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

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,634,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is amazing the author is alive. What a life story. Quite entertaining. I don't get the title of the book at all. When he was young it might have been outsider but after that it sounded like it was surrounded by a lot of friends and it seemed that syncing to the theme of the title was forced. It wasn't needed. I would have found another theme or angle for this story...but it any event his life was interesting enough that it held my interest. Good book.
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Format: Hardcover
It's easy for me to recommend this book as I found myself pulled in from the first chapter. Maybe it was the way it is worded or the detailed descriptions but my imagination was in overdrive to the point where I could practically place myself in the moment.
Another aspect I enjoyed was the similarities in life experiences and thought provoking ideas as they relate to my own. This book brought back memories I had not even thought of for years.
Although the best part I think was the bouts of uncontrollable laughter at some of the funny stories. I would be reading along quietly and then "BOOM", Tom would find himself in some crazy circumstance. The folks at the library told me to hush so I held up my book and said "You just gotta read it"
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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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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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