Always Running Paperback – Feb 9 1994
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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.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
First, there can be no doubt that conditions that exist in such areas as East LA and surrounding areas for those of Mexican heritage aren't even comparable to those in, say, Beverly Hills. So, "taking responsibility "for one's own actions only goes so far. Things aren't ëqual "much less "fair" in America, and this is evident. Just look at how we have a privileged person in the White House.
Second, and related, Rodriguez does nothing of the sort in terms of äbsolving himself because of the conditions in his youth. It's interesting that instead of seeing Rodriguez's story as one of transcendence, this reader instead focuses on a negative, conservative viewpoint, rather than the positive, very human story of transending. It all depends upon what one's reference points are.
Stories such as Rodriguez's and Piri Thomas's, Malcolm's, Claude Brown's... are inspirational. They point the way for others in similar situations and show that with the help and attention of others in the community, young people in bad situations can go far, much further than those with narrow minds who sit back and see negativity in transcendent examples.
"The babies wail for feeding, for touch and the internal knowledge of being special, wanted. If it doesn't come as soon as they commence the bleeding, they ache for what they never had, with an emptiness which is never filled"
I think it was his major pain throughout the entire life - that "emptiness which is never filled".
By: Luis Rodriguez
Reviewed by: Erick Villalvazo
Have you ever thought about being in a gang? Well, in the book "Always Running" it tells how life in a gang can be so dangerous. When Luis came to the United States he was an immigrant and he had trouble finding friends. He was so desperate and lonely that he made friends with teens in the Lomas gang. Later on he got jumped into the Lomas gang and after so many fights, shootings and trouble he wanted to get out of the gang but his friends wouldn't let him.
When Luis was thirteen he was already in a gang. In school Luis was involved in many fights. He was suspended from school many times and was expelled once. He was also involved in many shootings. Many of his friends died in drive-by shootings from rival gang members.
By being in the gang Luis was in trouble all the time. He was in jail many times. His mom was tired of visiting him in jail. His mom tried to help him by talking to him but he just wouldn't listen. Nobody could change his mind.
When Luis was seventeen he began to think about the future. That's when he realized that being in the gang wouldn't have no future for him. Then he decided to get out of the gang. He didn't hang out with his friends anymore and decided to change for good.
The life lesson of this book is not to join a gang. It only gives you trouble and you might get killed or end up in jail. If you are thinking about joining a gang I think you should read this book first so that you learn what can happen to you if you join one. Think about it twice before you join a gang.
Luis Rodriguez is the author of this famous and best-selling book. It is based on his biography that took place in Watts and East Los Angeles in the 1950's to the 1990's. Watts was an old community, primarily made up of black and Mexican people. It was a ghetto where country and city mixed together. East Los Angeles was also a run down community with a high rate of crime.
Ramiro, Luis' first child, has gone off again. He reminds the author of his gang days. The author fears Ramiro will cause harm to himself if nothing is done. In the preface the author talks about his family and about his life as an early journalist. The author also says that in writing the book Ramiro will change.
Always Running is the author's autobiography about moving from Mexico to Los Angelos. His family was poor and hoped to succeed one day. He did poorly in school because he and his family did not speak English. As the author grew up he experienced prejudice because he was Mexican. At ten he and his friends created 'clicas' (gangs) which they called Thee Impersonations. Luis Rodriguez was a young East L.A. gangster that had witnessed countless shootings, beatings, arrests, murders, suicides, and senseless acts of street crime by the age of twelve. Facing many tough times in his life, Luis turned to violence and gangs to get away from his problems. He felt closer to his fellow gang members than to his own mother, father, sisters, and brother. As a child, Luis never seemed to fit in: not even at school. He came from a dysfunctional family. At thirteen the author was already into drugs and gang violence. Throughout the book Luis Rodriguez talks about friends, school, gang fights, problems at home and his love life.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on March 22 2004 by Raul Rivera
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,... Read morePublished on March 22 2004 by Guillermo Murillo
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. Read morePublished on March 15 2004
Always running is the best book I have ever read. This book tells us what's happening around the world. Read morePublished on Dec 8 2003 by Martin
Always Running was a very powerful book, it's poetic writing and creative detail gave the book a life-like twist. Read morePublished on Dec 5 2003 by Juan "Daddy" Contreras
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... Read morePublished on Nov. 21 2003 by Lady Scorpio
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. Read morePublished on Nov. 5 2003 by Miguel Medina
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... Read morePublished on Sept. 30 2003
Luis Rodriguez' autobiography should be required reading in every high school in America. No exceptions. I finished it today, shed some tears, and said, "wow." Mr. Read morePublished on Sept. 6 2003 by D. Scott
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