Inside the Crips

Colton Simpson, Author, Ann Pearlman, Author, Ann Pearlman, Joint Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-32929-7
After being physically and emotionally abused by his mother and her live-in boyfriend, Colton Simpson moved in with his grandmother. She took care of him and brought him to church, but Simpson still became Li'l Cee. This was his name among the Crips, and on the night he was initiated into the gang-the same day that he hit a home run in Little League-he shot two men at a gas station. He was ten years old. In this often enthralling and emotional memoir, Simpson takes readers inside his life with the gang, from the time he joined through his 16-month prison sentence and to his leaving the Crips. Some passages are quite graphic and can drag on a bit too long, and some of Simpson's turns of phrase can seem a bit awkward or overdramatic. (""The tumbling dominoes of my life events lose their velocity."") But the world Simpson evokes with Pearlman's help is fascinating, and his narrative is clearly heartfelt. For those readers willing to look, the book provides a window into a misunderstood way of life.
Reviewed on: 08/01/2005
Release date: 08/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 335 pages - 978-0-312-32930-3
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