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Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member [Paperback]

Sanyika Shakur
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.74 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 July 2004
At the age of 11, Kody Scott was initiated into the L.A. gang the Crips. He'd just done battle with the enemy, pumping eight blasts from a sawn-off shotgun into a group of rival gang members. From then on, Kody channeled everything into gang life - earning the gang name of Monster. Written from his prison cell, this autobiography is an account of the violent life of Monster Kody Scott.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic; Reprint edition (1 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802141447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802141446
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 203,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A shockingly raw, frightening portrait of gang life in South Central Los Angeles today." -Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times""I propose to open my mind as wide as possible to allow my readers the first ever glimpse at South Central from my side of the gun, street, fence, and wall." -Monster Kody Scott""Monster"is unquestionably one of the most disturbingly authentic triumphs of the human spirit ever executed in print." -"Los Angeles Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
June 15, 1975. I proudly strolled across the waxed hardwood stage of the auditorium at the Fifty-fourth Street elementary school under the beaming stares of my mother, aunt, and Uncle Clarence. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A frightening insight to another world 16 April 2003
By A Customer
This book has certainly had a lasting effect upon me and truly opened my eyes to a whole new world. Before reading this brutally honest piece of work, i felt i had an idea of what life in South Central L.A. was like, the book simply highlighted my own ignorance and showed how naive i realy was.
Kody Scott symbolises both the immature, violent thug that has grown to terrorise America's streets and also the strong, courageous character that gives Los Angeles hope. "Monster" Kody Scott reveals the story of his struggle to stay alive on the harsh streets on which he grew up, the crazy, senseless path he chose to take which led him into the heart of gangsterism in it's cruelest form. He takes the reader on a journey through a troubled youth involving drugs, theft and murder in search of "ghetto super-stardom" and all it's mindless glory. The powerful imagery Scott uses in describing the unforgivable sins he has committed and the hostility he came to face from prejudiced police is truly mind blowing. The way in which he talks of homicide as a daily routine and the murders he commits as being formality hits the reader hard. It is upsetting and disturbing almost to the point of wanting to stop reading, but the intrigue and suspense is enough to keep anybody's eyes glued to the paper. The most difficult part about reading the book is reminding oneself that it is not fictional, displaying the madness and ferocity of a very real world. The glimmer of hope that can be gained from reading such a book is in Scott's efforts to change the path he has carved himself and find a new lease of life away from the violence.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Salvation of a monster 14 July 2005
Many of us have seen and read books about what happens in the gang infested areas of LA, we see newspaper reports and TV footage off riots. Thus the violence in the book is not something that I found massively new or shocking.
What makes this a compelling read is that we get an insight into the thought process of a gang member and that is truely shocking. At eleven years of age Kody was happy to shoot and kill people who in relaity were the same as him but were on the otehr side of a war. This is the part of the book that shook me, at a time I was doing paper rounds and going to school he was already a full gang memeber.
The second insight and what explains why so many ex members turn to religion is the undying faith that they hold to a cause. His belief first in the gang and his people is unshakeable and not open for question it is total, and this is the force that drives him both then and now.
This is a very good read intelligently written and both brutal and at times moving, it opens up another side to a world which I relaised I knew nothing about.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars monsta or misunderstood 15 May 2001
By A Customer
Sanyika's autobiography is quite simply an astonishing read. It would be easy to label this book a sensationalised account of a semi-literate, hard headed, no hoper who slips into the world of random, senseless gang banging. But it truly isnt. The most remarkable aspect of this book is the clarity with which he writes on a any given subject. Whether it's historical background on the inception of the Crip; his first night out putting work in; describing personal feelings of seeing his homies killed - all are written with a maturity and objectivity that belies his lack of a formal education. Some of the accounts are truly horrible - but not for its graphic description (of which there are plenty), but more to do with the cold, analytical way with which Sanyika describes them. Furthermore, no one can accuse Sanyika of attaching ridiculous ideals to the actions of gangbanging because he doesn't. That is probably the most heartbreaking aspect of the book: the sense of sheer worthlessness of lives in South Central and their exclusion into the wider community and of America in general. This book is all the more complete because of Sanyika's undoubted intelligence and his commitment to shedding layers of gang facade in order to expose raw, personal, insightful emotions. I dont think I've been more touched by an autobiography. If u care about human life; if you worry over your own selfishness and the sheer horror of what could happen on a wider scale if we continue to ignore those who need it most, this is a must read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This book is one of the best autobiographies i have ever read. It takes normal people like me into the heart of what the whole gang warfare is like in the real streets of America. I got this book in a second hand shop in spain and i could not put it down the full holiday i have read it several times since and all my friends have read it to, i would recomend this book to anyone who has a real love for finding out about diffrent cultures and how some people struggle to survive in the street of L.A'S biggest gang land.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I thoroughly enjoyed Sanyika's narrative of his life growing up with the Eight Tray Gangters.He also sheds real life about the reality of prison gangs(BGF, AB, EME...) in our "correctional system". As one of his cell mates failed to realize (in the book), life in prison is very harsh, you not only do time, you enter a whole new subculture that harvests the criminal mentality.You simply cannot go to the pen and do your time and go home. Prisoners find new ways to hustle once back out on the street. Definitely an eye opening, riveting and honest look at the reality today.A must read for any one who's willing to open their eyes and look at the other side of the law, from a gansta's point of view. Props to Sanyika for being real and honest, even to the point of including his homies real names and criminal activities...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not enjoying this
I brought this book after reading great reviews! It's ok! I am finding it a bit ridiculous - kids shooting people then escaping on push bikes! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sissie515513
5.0 out of 5 stars Great t
Great read real story of a journey so many young souls travel, Hope everybody can choose to live.
Jail is not a place to live.
Published 5 months ago by Joanne Mangan
5.0 out of 5 stars Monster
Amazing read by Sanyika Shakur pointing out crime commited by young black teenage Crips coming from their point of view. Read more
Published on 9 Oct 2011 by craig
5.0 out of 5 stars monster
amazing and powerrful and shocking. i loved it but it is harrowing at times and stays with you. read it and learn.
Published on 22 Mar 2010 by J. durham
5.0 out of 5 stars book review
This book is ACE couldn,t put it down till I done wit it and now upset it has finished a truly wonderful grim and often brutal reality check on gangland war fair in LA and how out... Read more
Published on 6 July 2009 by S. Bingham
4.0 out of 5 stars monster cody?
i agree with previous reviews that this is an "interesting" book to read but sadly it shows what a real waste of life these kind of people live. Read more
Published on 30 Jan 2008 by reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not mindblowing
This is the first book I have ever read about ganglife, and I bought it on the strength of the glowing reviews. Read more
Published on 2 Feb 2006
4.0 out of 5 stars No depth
The book was good, a real eye opener when it came to the stuff about living and dying in the prison of LA and the vivid images and fear I felt when reading the stuff was great. Read more
Published on 24 July 2004 by Christopher Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A great insight
Ever wondered what gives South Central LA it's notorious reputation? Look no further. Monster is a well detailed book with important characters all the way through the story. Read more
Published on 15 July 2003 by "acousins8"
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
i feel sorry that kody scott had to grow up in such a harsh violent society. you are judged on not how smart you are or if you are a good person the only thing they care about is... Read more
Published on 14 Jun 2002 by scott phillips
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