Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sutton by J.R. Moehringer

by J.R. Moehringer
ISBN: 978-1-4013-2314-1
Buy from Indigo

Description: Willie Sutton was born in the squalid Irish slums of Brooklyn, in the first year of the twentieth century, and came of age at a time when banks were out of control. If they weren't failing outright, causing countless Americans to lose their jobs and homes, they were being propped up with emergency bailouts. Trapped in a cycle of panics, depressions and soaring unemployment, Sutton saw only one way out, only one way to win the girl of his dreams.

So began the career of America's most successful bank robber. Over three decades Sutton became so good at breaking into banks, and such a master at breaking out of prisons, police called him one of the most dangerous men in New York, and the FBI put him on its first-ever Most Wanted List.

But the public rooted for Sutton. He never fired a shot, after all, and his victims were merely those bloodsucking banks. When he was finally caught for good in 1952, crowds surrounded the jail and chanted his name.

Blending vast research with vivid imagination, Pulitzer Prize winner J.R. Moehringer brings Willie Sutton blazing back to life. In Moehringer's retelling, it was more than poverty or rage at society that drove Sutton. It was one unforgettable woman. In all Sutton's crimes and confinements, his first love (and first accomplice) was never far from his thoughts. And when Sutton finally walked free - a surprise pardon on Christmas Eve, 1969 - he immediately set out to find her.

The Good Stuff
  •  Was completely enthralled with the story and with Wilie
  • Little hints throughout story grab you throughout the story and keeps you from wanting to put book down. Had a couple of late nights with this one - not to mention a couple of times I really didn't want to go back on the sales floor I was so engrossed
  • Makes you think about so many things - especially about nature vs nurture
  • How can you not love a bank robber who went out of his way not to kill people
  • Need to know more about Sutton -- think I will be looking into some of the research
  • Author obviously thoroughly researched Sutton 
  • Authentic & you feel like you are back in the era
  • The characters love of the written word is delightful and gives you another reason to be intrigued by him
  • The part with the psychiatrist really gives  you pause for thought
  • Get a real understanding of America during the depression
  • Delightfully dark and funny at time
  • I dare you not to fall in love with Willie and cheer him on - a moral quandary for sure, you know what he has done is wrong,  yet you can understand what brought him to this place and think maybe just maybe if you were in the same place, you to0 might make the same choices
  • An intriguing and unusual love story
  • O.K. - enough - it's also a Heather's Pick. I'm usually not the type of girl that goes for the Oprah picks or Globe and Mail lists and definitely not anything literary - but man I think Heather and I have similar tastes (If it wasn't already a Heather's Pick I would give it a JR staff pick)
  • Just go buy it - you will thank me
 The Not So Good Stuff
  • A wee bit slow moving at times
  • Still confused about one part (And damn you Moehringer - it just broke my heart if I get what happened)
Favorite Quotes/Passages 

"Because Sutton robbed banks, the TV reporter says, and who the hell has a kind word to say for banks? They should not only let him out, they should give him the key to the city."

"He invited death in with that suicide note. Once you let death in, it doesn't always leave."

"Oh kid, it's all about confidence. That's the whole game right there. Whatever you do, do it with your nuts.  That's how Ruth swung a bat - with his nuts. Rob a bank, date a girl, brush your teeth - whatever. Do it with boldness, with swagger, with nuts, or don't do it all." 

"A man is his job, kid, and I had no job, so I was a bum. A loser. America's a great place to be a winner, but it's hell on losers."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Not to be sexist or anything but this one will really appeal to men but at the same time most women will be as enthralled with the story as I was 
  • Perfect Christmas gift for pretty much everyone on your list -- there is something for pretty much everyone in this one
  • Not for those who need things clear cut and fast paced
  • One that you could give to both Non-Fiction and Fiction lovers 
4.5 Dewey's
Borrowed this one from our staff room library - basically a bunch of ARC's from publishers and we can borrow and pass around - another truly awesome part of my job


  1. Ive been hearing a lot about this one but I didnt think I would be interested in it. Now Im not so sure about my first thoughts. I think I need to check this out. Great review... Im a little nervous to find out about the part that confused you.

    1. Hit the book store & check out a few pages than you should know if you should go with your first instinct. Dont worry about the confusing part -- it could be just me (since I read a couple of reviews afterwards and no one else mentioned being confused)

  2. Sutton certainly has received a lot of attention lately! I should definitely pick up a copy!

    1. I know and that usually turns me off a book, but I truly recommend a look at it