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Review: Sutton

January 3, 2013


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.

Review copy provided by Harper Collins. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
36 Comments leave one →
  1. bookingmama permalink
    January 3, 2013 6:46 am

    I’ve seen this one pop up on a few best of 2012 lists. Maybe it would have been less slow in print?

  2. January 3, 2013 6:46 am

    Glad u enjoyed this one Kathy. I wasn’t familiar with this one.

  3. January 3, 2013 6:49 am

    Nice review! I’m going to skip this one, although I do love a man in a fedora! 😉

  4. zibilee permalink
    January 3, 2013 10:06 am

    I’m not sure if I would read this one because the subject doesn’t really interest me. I haven’t ever really been interested in books about robberies, but I like movies about them, which strikes me as strange!

  5. January 3, 2013 11:21 am

    This book was on my Christmas list and I got it from my secret santa! I’m super excited to read it. Good to hear you liked it even if it needed a little more editing.

  6. January 3, 2013 12:19 pm

    I never heard of him, but he sounds like an interesting character, enjoyed the review.

  7. January 3, 2013 12:51 pm

    I just loved Moehringer’s talk at the BEA breakfast last year. I really want to read this, despite the slow spots.

  8. January 3, 2013 1:07 pm

    I love that cover. Maybe this one would be better in print than on audio.

  9. Literary Feline permalink
    January 3, 2013 1:21 pm

    This sounds like a fascinating read, Kathy! Stuff like this really interests me so I’ll definitely be adding this book to my wish list.

  10. January 3, 2013 2:09 pm

    This sounds like a fascinating read for the beginning of 2013. I haven’t heard of Sutton before this either, but it sounds like a book I’d be interested in.

  11. January 3, 2013 2:10 pm

    I LOVE this author…..thanks. I have to get this book….sounds good.


  12. January 3, 2013 2:12 pm

    This sounds like a great book, though I have to admit, I would prefer a print copy. Definitely one I would be interested in reading though. Great review!

  13. January 3, 2013 2:20 pm

    I really enjoyed this one. I read it in print.

  14. Patty permalink
    January 3, 2013 3:02 pm

    What is amazing to me about audio…is 13 cd’s…wow…I would have to read a book while I was listening…is that possible?

  15. January 3, 2013 3:12 pm

    I’m sure many people thought of them like Robin Hood…making out all banks as evil, which some truly are but others not so much. I think authors should send their work out to real readers before they go to the presses…your insight is always right on!! 😀

  16. January 3, 2013 3:18 pm

    Haven’t heard of this one before, glad you like it! Love the cover!

  17. January 3, 2013 3:27 pm

    Willie Sutton: people of a certain age always say that name with a smile. Wasn’t he the one who was asked why he robbed banks? His reply was, “Because that’s where the money is.” Who couldn’t love a man like that? I don’t think this book is for me, but I sure do remember hearing about Willie Sutton.

  18. January 3, 2013 3:29 pm

    I like bios, even if they area bit fictionalized. Looking forward to picking this one up.

  19. January 3, 2013 3:41 pm

    Enjoyed your review on this. Sounds like an intriguing story.

    Thoughts in Progress

  20. January 3, 2013 4:07 pm

    I read and enjoyed another book by this author (The Tender Bar), so I’ve had my eye on this one. Thanks for your review.

  21. January 3, 2013 5:24 pm

    i’ve never heard of willie sutton either but this sounds like a fascinating book! i love books that are true stories. i’ll have to check this one out.

  22. Jennifer permalink
    January 3, 2013 5:35 pm

    Even though slightly imperfect this does sound like an interesting read. When I read the name Sutton, it sounded familiar to me. I’m not sure where/why I know that name. Perhaps I picked it up in history class somewhere …

  23. January 3, 2013 6:40 pm

    I’ve had this one on my WishList for a while! Can’t wait to read it! 🙂

  24. January 3, 2013 7:23 pm

    I thought this one looked very interesting and checked it out of the library but then had to turn it back in before I got a chance to read it. I’m still on the fence about giving it another try.

  25. boardinginmyforties permalink
    January 3, 2013 7:34 pm

    Sounds like a fun one for the car rides to work!

  26. January 3, 2013 7:34 pm

    I’m not familiar with Willie Sutton either ~ the cover looks like an old-fashioned gangster image of matt damon (i think)

  27. January 3, 2013 8:10 pm

    I haven’t heard of this guy either. Sounds like I would enjoy listening to an audio version of this book.

  28. January 3, 2013 10:22 pm

    I hadn’t heard of him until I read your review! It sounds pretty good.

  29. florinda3rs permalink
    January 3, 2013 11:43 pm

    I liked this a lot (read it a few weeks ago), but I don’t know if I’d have been interested in it if I hadn’t heard the author talk about it at BEA 2012.

  30. January 3, 2013 11:57 pm

    Nice review. The cover grabbed me, and once again I realise how important the covers are for me, how about you?

  31. January 4, 2013 2:06 am

    Sounds intriguing and thanks for a nice review.

  32. January 4, 2013 12:35 pm

    I’ve seen this one all over. It does sound fascinating, although 15 hours is long.

  33. January 4, 2013 7:49 pm

    I agree that it was too long, but what an audio production!

  34. January 5, 2013 12:03 am

    I never understand why people idealize criminals either. This is the first I’ve heard of Sutton but it’s not my thing, really.

  35. January 5, 2013 3:20 pm

    I’ve never been into gansters, bank robbers, or mobsters, but I think I may enjoy this book anyway. Thanks for the review.

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