The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell: Confessions of a Bank Robber

The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell Confessions of a Bank Robber A searing story about the painful climb one man must make from a life of crime to one filled with honorGrowing up in a devoutly religious family with a father who believed in firm discipline and who w

  • Title: The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell: Confessions of a Bank Robber
  • Author: Joe Loya
  • ISBN: 9780060508920
  • Page: 160
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A searing story about the painful climb one man must make from a life of crime to one filled with honorGrowing up in a devoutly religious family with a father who believed in firm discipline and who was also studying for a Protestant ministry, Joe Loya Jr seemed a blessed child When he was seven, however, his life was drastically altered when his mother was diagnosed witA searing story about the painful climb one man must make from a life of crime to one filled with honorGrowing up in a devoutly religious family with a father who believed in firm discipline and who was also studying for a Protestant ministry, Joe Loya Jr seemed a blessed child When he was seven, however, his life was drastically altered when his mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness.During the two years that led to her death, Joe s pious and studious father became and violent, brutally beating his two young sons This contradiction haunted Joe for years until one day, at age sixteen, during a particularly severe beating, he finally retaliated and stabbed his father in the neck.For Joe, this was the starting point of a life of crime petty theft, forgery, fraud, and ultimately, bank robbery When Joe was finally arrested after holding up his twenty fourth bank, he was sent to prison, where he would serve seven years.In prison, his criminal behavior only got worse, as he began to deal drugs, smuggle weapons, and even assault fellow prisoners, until he was placed in solitary confinement, the lowest of lows even for convicts There, alone in his cell for two years, he was finally able to forgive his father, finding clarity, cultural insight, and redemption through writing.During a soulful correspondence with acclaimed author Richard Rodriguez, Loya ultimately found that he wasn t alone in his struggle to discover his identity, and that anger is sometimes the doorway toward realizing one s self and one s purpose.Although the images that propel an angry young man toward a life of crime may leave readers shuddering, the power of Joe Loya s incredible story will surely remind us that we must not lose hope that wayward sons and daughters may one day return home.

    One thought on “The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell: Confessions of a Bank Robber”

    1. I met Joe Loya on a recent trip to Oakland / Napa. He is neighbors with one of my oldest friends, Rebecca, who now has an adorable baby named Elijah. Joe came over with his daughter, Maddie, a toddler in pink converse who can't sleep without her stuffed bunny. I followed Joe to his garage and he gave me his memoir -- it's about his crazy youth as a Christian turned bank robber. Seriously. The guy held up dozens and dozens of banks in Southern California. He also served 8 years in prison, a coupl [...]

    2. I heard this author on NPR over a year ago, maybe two, and had a note pinned to my bulletin board to remind me to read this book. First, I really like that as an autobiography, it is written as a story. It is a little chopped at the end, but I guess that's what happens when someone brings you to the present. I most appreciated his self-awareness, his keen observation of the culture and socio-economic identities that surrounded him (I am about the same age and grew up in an area not to far away), [...]

    3. The memoir of a victimized youth who goes on a crime spree, pays his debt to society, and emerges rehabilitated -- a man who understands his demons in order to tame them. Loya is very good at perceiving people's vulnerabilities, a power he formerly used for evil, but eventually learns can also be put to other uses, such as being a writer! Another impression you get from this book is that banks were easier to rob in the 1980s than they probably are now it's amazing to read about Loya deciding to [...]

    4. Really great writing. It's quite a long journey that the writer takes you on, through his family's history, his childhood, then into crime and prison, then slowly, gradually figuring out whether and how to change the course of his life. It's got a few similarities with the last book I read about prison (Alexander Berkman's memoir) - mostly in the depth of degradation that prisoner's experience, just how violent prison is and how damaging it can be to the prisoners' health and spirit. Plus intere [...]

    5. I met Joe about five years ago, well into his renewed life as an author, father and truly transformed man. His story blew me away. It all made sense to me why he did what he did and has become the person he is now. He is amazingly intelligent, clever, witty, with an underlying sensitivity and vulnerability.This book is a grab-you-by-the-heart engrossing, exciting, touching and terrifying. He's a good writer/story teller. Highly recommend you read it.

    6. I don't think I'd want to be alone in a room with this guy, but he tells a good yarn. It's evidence towards the proposition that simultaneously beating the living shit out of your kids and believing they're chosen by God to do something special is not going to end how you expect.

    7. Criminal finds redemption through writing. A wild ride it all true? A Million Little Pieces has ruined memoirs for me.

    8. I just saw the author in a documentary called The Protagonist and was very impressed by his frankness, intelligence and insight.

    9. Joe Loya is writing the foreword to the 826 Valencia/Mission High Young Authors' Book Project. He is a sincere inspirational man and his presence during this project an honor.

    10. An amazing journey of the heart and mind. An inspirational true story that will motivate the reader to do as much introspective work as possible so as you move through the world, you heal yourself and those You touch.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *