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Always Running [Paperback]

Luis J. Rodriguez
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Feb. 9 1994 --  
Audio, CD --  

Book Description

Feb. 9 1994
A former L.A. gang member describes his experiences in that world, recounting the sense of security and power found in a gang and the grim reality of violence and poverty. Reprint. 60,000 first printing. Tour. NYT.

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Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

As the preface of this admirable but ultimately disappointing memoir states, Rodriguez, an award-winning poet and publisher of the small press Tia Chucha, decided to document his youth as an East Los Angeles gang member in an effort to steer his teenaged son, Ramiro, away from the gang that he recently joined. A member of various Latino gangs based in and around the South San Gabriel Valley during the late 1960s, Rogriguez participated in random acts of violence, and was imprisoned on several occasions for the crimes he committed. Unfortunately, he offers frustratingly little detail behind the facts of his life and activity in the gangs. Rodriquez presents colorful characters and highly charged events, such as shootings, Mexican funerals, rapes and arrests, but his writing style renders much of that rich material forgettable.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Suzanne Ruta

"Entertainment Weekly"

Every spiky anecdote from a life of guns, razors, uppers, downers, glue, heroin, sex, and early death supports this former gang member's view of the violence as collective suicide. That Rodriguez's memoir takes place...before the '92 L.A. riots only makes this beautifully written and politically astute account more compelling.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT AN INCREDIBLE BOOK!!!!!!! MUST BE READ!!!!!!!! March 22 2004
As he was growing up, Rodriguez had a vivid lifestyle in which he had witnessed countless shootings, racism, beatings, and several other negatively hard crimes. At 12 years of age, he experienced some illusions of gangs and rascim. People would relate to this book in many different ways, as they were growing up too. I believe this book could get to your fealings, but when I started to read it, I was resenting against the people who were rioting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ BOOK!!! March 22 2004
It's about a lifestyle of a young child, growing up in the streets of Los Angeles, Luis J. Rodriguez writes about his vivid life, encountering racism, killings,cruicial beatings, and shootings. Moving around the areas of the Los Angeles he gets involve in gangs later on his life, learns that the gang life is not great. Turn his life into school. Write this book for his son so he won't make a mistake. Relates to people who are in gang activity and show that there is another way in life to succeed, Instead of living by a gun.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing More Than a Glorified Ex-Gangbanger March 16 2004
By A Customer
I read this book about ten years ago for the first time. My son was being "courted" by a gang in our area and a fellow parent recommended it. It did not help.
Neither does it help to read that Rodriguez' son went back to prison after the publication of that book.
In my modest opinion, but is worth something nevertheless in a world where our Latino and Black youth are being killed and killing on the streets everyday--for all the hype I have heard about Luis Rodriguez--he is no more than a glorified ex-gangbanger who found an angle for self-promotion. As a parent I must ask myself, where was he when his own child needed him?
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I Have Read Dec 8 2003
By Martin
Always running is the best book I have ever read. This book tells us what's happening around the world. The authors writing makes us feel like if we were inside the book and makes you feel what he felt when he was young. I believe that many kids who are not involved in gang's would have to read this book before they get involved because they don't know how it is to be a gang member and this book might make them think deeply. Many kids will find it interesting because this is not a book written by someone who is old, this book is written by a teenager who lived the way we all live in this days. I think that the schools all around the United States should make the students read this instead of reading books by old authors because old authors bore the young students.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It was off the hook Dec 5 2003
Always Running was a very powerful book, it's poetic writing and creative detail gave the book a life-like twist. It is a very "real" book, it don't beat around the bush, or sugarcoat the truth, it gives it to you raw. It shows other people how gangs are, for the reason that he wants to remove his own child from a gang that his son recently joined.
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3.0 out of 5 stars always running Nov. 22 2003
I think this book is well written. It tells a lot of truth about what the life is about, but i feel that rodriuez is portrayed as courageous for escaping the street life when he only left the life because he was a leva.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stop running. Nov. 5 2003
This book is extraordinarily catching.I read it for an English class, and am glad I did. It opens the readers eyes to another world that only one who has lived it can tell of. A must read for anyone who loves poetic literature.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject matter but short on insight Sept. 30 2003
Luis Rodriguez's autobiographical account of his childhood in East Los Angeles presents an opportunity for the reader to gain valuable knowledge and insight into a culture/community that is completely foreign to many people. While the book relates numerous accounts of gang activity, sexual encounters, and drug use, it often fails to explain the emotional and psychological framework in which these events occur. As Rodriguez's writing style is choppy, the book, at times, reads like a laundry list of a child's escapades and exploits, instead of a novel that is attempting to promote social change.
Nevertheless, the subject matter is extraordinarily interesting and the book is definitely worth reading. Luis Rodriguez's story is an incredible account of the perseverance of the human spirit against great adversity. Just don't expect to come away from the novel with a much greater understanding of gang mentality than you can get from reading the newspaper.
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