This Pulitzer prizewinning author of The Tender Bar turns his formidable talent to a novel based on the life of this famously unknowable hero/villain. Willie Sutton, bank robber and escape artist, when asked why he robbed banks responded "Because that's where the money is", fictionalized his own life story several times. This version of the story weaves back and forth between his final release from prison and the events that shaped this extraordinary character. Full of intelligence and heart.
— Karen Frank
October 2012 Indie Next List
“Willie Sutton's life was stranger than fiction so it seems only appropriate that Moehringer uses the novel form to describe the fascinating existence of the bank robber who became a folk hero. As Sutton travels about New York with two reporters after his release from prison, the reader is treated to a story almost beyond belief while being transported into another era. Moehringer's eye for detail and his ability to convey a gritty life and time make for a mesmerizing story.”
— Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
"What Hilary Mantel did for Thomas Cromwell and Paula McLain for Hadley Hemingway . . . Moehringer does for bank robber Willie Sutton" in this fascinating biographical novel of America's most successful bank robber (Newsday).
Willie Sutton was born in the Irish slums of Brooklyn in 1901, and he came of age at a time when banks were out of control. Sutton saw only one way out and only one way to win the girl of his dreams. So began the career of America's most successful bank robber. During three decades Sutton became so good at breaking into banks, the FBI put him on its first-ever Most Wanted List. But the public rooted for the criminal who never fired a shot, and when Sutton was finally caught for good, crowds at the jail chanted his name.
In J.R. Moehringer's retelling, it was more than need or rage that drove Sutton. It was his first love. And when he finally walked free -- a surprise pardon on Christmas Eve, 1969 -- he immediately set out to find her.
"Electrifying." --Booklist (starred)
"Thoroughly absorbing . . . Filled with vibrant and colorful re-creations of not one but several times in the American past." --Kevin Baker, author of Strivers Row
"[J.R. Moehringer] has found an historical subject equal to his vivid imagination, gimlet journalistic eye, and pitch-perfect ear for dialogue. By turns suspenseful, funny, romantic, and sad--in short, a book you won't be able to put down." --John Burnham Schwartz, author of Reservation Road and The Commoner
About the Author
J.R. Moehringer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2000, is a former national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Moehringer is the author of the New York Times bestselling The Tender Bar and coauthor of Open by Andre Agassi.