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Summary

By age 12, Luis Rodriguez was a veteran of East L.A. gang warfare. Lured by a seemingly invincible gang culture, he witnessed countless shootings, beatings, and arrests, then watched with increasing fear as that culture claimed friends and family members. Before long, Rodriguez saw a way out of the barrio through education and successfully broke free from years of violence and desperation. Achieving success as an award-winning poet, he was sure the streets would haunt him no more - until his son joined a gang. Rodriguez fought for his child by telling his own story in this vivid memoir. At times heartbreakingly sad and brutal, Always Running is ultimately an uplifting true story, filled with hope, insight, and a hard-learned lesson for the next generation.

©2005 Luis J. Rodriguez (P)2011 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Critic reviews

"Rodriguez's account of his coming of age is vivid, raw...Here's truth no television set, burning night and day, could ever begin to offer." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"Every spiky anecdote from a life of guns, razors, uppers, downers, glue, heroin, sex, and early death supports this former gang member's view of the violence as collective suicide. That Rodriguez's memoir takes place... before the '92 L.A. riots only makes this beautifully written and politically astute account more compelling." ( Entertainment Weekly)
"Luis J. Rodriguez gives voice to a unique American experience...compelling...[a] fascinating, brutal and ultimately triumphant chronicle." ( The Philadelphia Tribune)

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Profile Image for Heather M. Vitz
  • Heather M. Vitz
  • 15-03-15

Book for all educators

This is a book that should be read by all who educate children/teenagers. We need to make sure we are still Honoring our Latino students heritage and are aware of their cultural background and struggles.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-11-16

Too close to home

Great book brought home many memories of the good and the bad still out there

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for SouthwestDude
  • SouthwestDude
  • 29-09-16

Narration like no other

This is an important book for many reasons. The narration, by the author, is remarkable and brilliant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Jediknight
  • Jediknight
  • 10-08-16

Decent book. Jumps from one subject to another.

The story can be strong. There's a lot of downtime in the narrative. Not a lot of violence but more focused on the authors youth at school and jumping from a gang to another.

The book does have its moments. Memorable scenes of stabbing, forced into committing assaults, but these are anomolies in a narration mostly focused on everyday mundane details about attending school and the obstacles all Latinos face in schools that don't share the same interest.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-07-16

one man's gift to the world

this book will invite you, snatch you, and bewitch you. these words can never be unheard, they are a light that can never leave your eye.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for 1234
  • 1234
  • 17-06-16

Zzzzzz... Zzzzz...

The first 30 minutes are just the author gloating about his "accomplishments". This book was more about adolescence and less about crime. I'm not saying that no one would enjoy this book, but there's are plenty of interesting stories from the barrios of la and this, to me, wasn't one of them. If you want to listen to a grown man make himself sound like a teenage revolutionary/civil right leader, this book is for you. If you want to read about a Hispanic gang members time on the street, and inside various prisons, buy "The Black Hand" by Rene Enriquez.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-05-16

This book is a great book to read!

This. book has anything you'll ask for. Great for passing time and just a great book overall.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Lin W.
  • Lin W.
  • 23-02-16

great book

my son who is in h.s. had to read this for his class, the book look interesting so I purchased the audio version. listen intently & finish in about 2 days, my son was astonished. It's been great discussing the book with him. Love Luis poetic descriptions & the book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Sean
  • Sean
  • 01-10-15

BEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN

I GREW UP IN EAST LOS IN MONTEBELLO IN PRIMERA FLATTS BARRIO. MY LIFE WAS EXACTLY LIKE THIS. IF YOU DIDN'T LIKE THIS BOOK THEN YOUR A SQUARE AND DO NOT DESERVE TO READ THIS BOOK GO READ 20 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA OR OLD YELLER. Hahaha!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-01-18

Mr Rodriguez offers a needed look into the barrio

A must read for those too privileged to have lived such a hard life. It is easy to pass judgment on troubled youth and those adults trapped in the industrial prison complex, but until we hear and understand the life Mr. Rodriguez, who shares many experiences with them, we cannot begin to fathom the struggle for survival a child living in a marginalized barrio must withstand. This is a story of temptation, survival, and hope. It is not pretty for the barrio life is cruel and it's beauty often dies with the children who are robbed of a healthy childhood by societies failures.