- File Size: 576 KB
- Print Length: 208 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: AC Links LLC (December 5, 2011)
- Publication Date: December 5, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006IH6TCC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,223 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
NewYorican Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It is mesmerising. But it is also a difficult read.
Not because it is poorly written, because it is not.
Not because the story bores, because it does not.
It is difficult because it is a litany of drug selling, easy betrayal, casual terrorism, casual sex and brutality on a monumental scale.
The author's voice is raw and flatly uncompromising. It portrays without seeming embellishment a world that most of us fervently thank the fates for sparing us from. How the author escaped death or jail is testament to perhaps his survival skills, his incredible luck or his wish to put such a life behind him.
This is a story that stirs emotions, often anger, while reading.
So why have I given it a 5 star rating?
Because the story is a powerful one, powerfully told.
Has the author forgiven himself? Could you come to terms with such a past? Has he earned his second chance?
Perhaps we find out in the sequel, King of the Woods.
However, I didn't care about that. This is a memoir of a fascinating life. Mr. Cruz experienced more hardship and amazement before turning 20 than many experience in a century. It's also a tale of dealing with internal battles and anxiety created from living such a perilous life.
Growing up poor in Brooklyn, New York and facing harsh realities of family deaths and family needs, Cruz finds himself dealing cocaine and heroin by adolescence. The events he deals with--the money, women, sex, drugs, guns, life hazards and more kept me intrigued from first page to last.
Cruz grew up Puerto Rican in NYC, bilingual and admits to not having more than a 7th grade education. As a young teenager he becomes "the Kid," the unspoken leader and money man of the drug lords he runs with, handling more money and responsibility than many people encounter in a lifetime. How does a teenage city kid deal with the fast life of money, drugs, guns and women? I'm glad it was Mr. Cruz and not me. It's a small miracle he lived to write the book.
This is a rags to riches to rags to riches story, several times over, a remarkable life adventure in just a few decades.
The author's detailed accounts of his personal, and iconic social experiences lead readers from abandonment, culturally related religion, familial dysfunction, and the eighties...in New York, no less. ...and Puerto Rico. Sex, drugs, dancing, partying, guns, cars, fighting, family, and fear are all part of this incredible life most only know in tiny parts.
As riveting as the story is, there are just some things in life that most of us may want to know "about"...but would really rather not know from "experience."
Thanks for the virtual experiences shared in your book, Mr. Cruz. I wouldn't have survived half of them beyond the written words.
For folks wondering why I gave 4 stars instead of 5, have no fear. I absolutely do recommend NewYorican to anyone who enjoys "slice of life" memoirs. There are a few issues with grammar/spelling that keep it from the perfection of 5 stars, and there are a few gaps/missing pieces in some of the stories. Considering the author was a 7th grade dropout (though highly self-educated) and some story details should probably remain unwritten, I can certainly forgive these tiny issues and still recommend the book. I just can't score it a perfect 5. This solid 4 is definitely worth the read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I admire this author for telling the story of his life for a number of reasons. First of all, he portrays poverty and inner city life at a level I have never seen before. Read morePublished on June 27, 2013 by SUSAN H. MCINTYRE
This is a very interesting story of how you can be at the top one minute and back to the bottom numerous times over. Read morePublished on November 26, 2012 by Chloe Campbell
NewYorican is one of those books that if I didn't get to know the author personally, I probably would not buy and would definitely not finish. Read morePublished on May 20, 2012 by Amazon Customer