When famed bank robber, and folk hero, Willie Sutton is released from jail on Christmas Eve of 1969, he agrees to an exclusive interview with a news magazine. A photographer and a reporter pick him up for the interview and he asks them to take him to some of the places that mean something to him. As they visit them, Sutton reminisces and regales them with stories from his past.
Sutton, by J. R. Moehringer, is loosely based on the life of well known bank robber Willie Sutton. Sutton was robbing banks at a time when banks were engaging in some questionable practices so many people saw bank robbers as folk heroes. Sutton was well known for his use of disguises, his gentlemanly manners, and his famous quotes. For some reason, I wasn’t familiar with him but it seems that just about everyone else I know was.
I’m sure Moehringer did his research so I assume the events and dates in the book are accurate and the private life of Sutton was imagined by the author. I found Sutton to be fascinating and am always amazed when criminals like him are idolized by the public. He’s portrayed as a kind and gentle man who took pride in the fact that he didn’t harm anyone, so I could understand the public’s interest in him. For the most part, I enjoyed reading about Willie Sutton but I did find some parts of the story redundant and think the book could have been more effective if it were a little shorter.
I listened to the audio version of Sutton. It’s narrated by Dylan Baker and he does a great job. His narration kept me invested even through the two or three slow spots of story. The audio book is on 13 CDs and last approximately 15 hours.