Tuesday, June 25, 2013

J.R. Moehringer - Sutton

There are few things in this world that make me happier than walking through Barnes & Noble with no set goal in mind. Usually when I go book shopping, it's "Okay, let's hurry and get to the Mysteries section. No, don't check out the special edition classics, you don't need five copies of Pride & Prejudice. Oh, and don't you dare even THINK about going near that Buy One, Get One 50% table..."

But there are a few days a year I allow myself to meander and browse for purchases. One such day was the day this past school year that one of my more... hmm, how to phrase this... quick-fingered students made off with my iPhone. I was distraught. Not because my phone was gone, but because I always thought I was one of the teachers the students actually LIKED (which I was assured I was once word spread that someone took it). I trusted my students, and I take it personally when my trust is betrayed like that. So I needed that retail therapy... specifically I needed that literary retail therapy.

I picked up Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, because I'd been dying to read it. And while randomly wandering away from the W's, the cover pictured above grabbed my attention and forced me to pick it up. Once I started reading, I quickly realized that the book itself was just as good as its cover.

This novel is a fictional account of Willie Sutton, a real life bank robber. You've all heard of Al Capone. Willie Sutton was friends with him and even took some notes from the notorious thief. This novel travels back and forth between the events that led to Sutton's arrest(s) and his retelling of his life's work to two reporters. Moehringer gives Sutton a voice that is only too suited to a 1920's wise guy. Sutton details his crimes, his motives, and most importantly his love for a very special woman. It's a truly entertaining read. But what makes it better is that it is based off of a real person. Willie Sutton really lived, really robbed, and really loved. I highly recommend this underrated book. It's a great palate cleanser if you're coming off of a hefty classic (I'd just finished the previously mentioned Wharton novel) or if you're looking for the not so typical beach read.

Diagnosis: It's a quick read, but it's a quality read.

No comments:

Post a Comment