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Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A.Gang Member Paperback – 22 Jul 1994

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (22 July 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330331736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330331739
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 303,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"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"

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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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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 April 2003
Format: Paperback
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.
Unbelievable
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By stew on 14 July 2005
Format: Paperback
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 April 1999
Format: Paperback
I'd seen Mr. Scott on a program that ran on A&E about a year ago. I thought from the interview that the brotha was definitely intelligent and articulate. It was the manner in which he and his brother(biological) spoke about this gang war in California that captured my attention. They used military jargon when describing different situations and regarded non-gangsters as civilians. About six months ago someone mentioned on yet another TV program the book that Mr. Shakur(Scott) had written and I knew that I would read it. I started by reading the reviews online @Amazon then I placed it in my shopping cart for the longest time not sure if I wanted to buy it or not. I eventually called up my local librarian and was told that yes they had a copy of the book. I went immediately after work that day and borrowed it. I am an avid reader who loves getting lost in a story but this book was more than a story, this was someone's life and although I found myself at times very critical of the author in his real life decisions, by the following afternoon I'd read the entire book. Then I began to internalize what is was I'd just read, I became frightened for the young people in 1999. You see I am the mother of a 22 yr old, and a 17 yr old and I have often tried to see the world thru the eyes of a teenager when it came to understanding things that my sons were sure I just did not get. I am sorry Mr. Shakur I can't feel you, I'm confused. WHY??? I wanted to give the book to a couple of young men in my community as a tool of what not to do but then I thought what if they took it the wrong way and actually glorified what this person did (oh, how cool right?Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 May 1999
Format: Paperback
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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