Sutton

J R Moehringer, Author
J.R. Moehringer. Hyperion, $27.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4013-2314-1
Reviewed on: 07/30/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Downloadable Audio - 352 pages - 978-1-4013-2633-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-75132-2
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4013-0477-5
Paperback - 341 pages - 978-1-4013-1268-8
Compact Disc - 352 pages - 978-1-4013-7039-8
Open Ebook - 242 pages - 978-0-316-33061-9
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Moehringer, a Pulitzer Prize winner for feature writing in 2000, brings infamous bank robber Willie “The Actor” Sutton to life in his inventive debut novel (after the memoir The Tender Bar). True to history, the ailing 68-year-old Sutton was released from prison on Christmas Eve 1969 and spent the following day with a reporter. Though the journalist’s actual take on that day revealed little, Moehringer uses the excursion as an entrée into Sutton’s dramatic life. The ex-con revisits old haunts, recalls successful and failed heists, and reminisces about the woman he sought always to impress. Alternating between Christmas Day and Sutton’s earlier years, Moehringer stays in the present tense, making the action immediate, but the shifts in time easy to miss. Nevertheless, he paints a mesmerizing portrait of a remarkable man: a talented thief, an aspiring novelist, and a student of the classics (“Dante, Plato, Shakespeare, Freud”) even in prison, where he spent half his life. The author’s eye for detail and sense of place make every stop on Sutton’s internal and external journeys resonate—from smoking a Chesterfield to Sutton’s first sight of the moon as a free man, every scene is saturated with life. Agent: Mort Janklow, Janklow & Nesbit. (Sept.)
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