Sutton: Book summary and reviews of Sutton by J.R. Moehringer

Sutton
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Sep 2012
    352 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

Born in the squalid Irish slums of Brooklyn, in the first year of the twentieth century, Willie Sutton came of age at a time when banks were out of control. If they weren't taking brazen risks, causing millions to lose their jobs and homes, they were shamelessly seeking bailouts. Trapped in a cycle of bank panics, depressions and soaring unemployment, Sutton saw only one way out, only one way to win the girl of his dreams.

So began the career of America's most successful bank robber. Over three decades Sutton became so good at breaking into banks, and such a master at breaking out of prisons, police called him one of the most dangerous men in New York, and the FBI put him on its first-ever Most Wanted List.

But the public rooted for Sutton. He never fired a shot, after all, and his victims were merely those bloodsucking banks. When he was finally caught for good in 1952, crowds surrounded the jail and chanted his name.

Blending vast research with vivid imagination, Pulitzer Prize-winner J.R. Moehringer brings Willie Sutton blazing back to life. In Moehringer's retelling, it was more than need or rage at society that drove Sutton. It was one unforgettable woman. In all Sutton's crimes and confinements, his first love (and first accomplice) was never far from his thoughts. And when Sutton finally walked free - a surprise pardon on Christmas Eve, 1969 - he immediately set out to find her.

Poignant, comic, fast-paced and fact-studded, Sutton tells a story of economic pain that feels eerily modern, while unfolding a story of doomed love, which is forever timeless.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"History lovers will enjoy this fictional biography of a modern icon of crime." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. A captivating and absorbing read." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. Readers will be riveted by this colorful portrayal of a life in crime spurred by a hatred for banks, but Moehringer, in his first novel, isn’t content to stop there. He takes it several layers deeper, probing the psyche of an enigmatic man who had a genius for thievery and an even greater capacity for self-delusion." - Booklist

"The author’s eye for detail and sense of place make every stop on Sutton’s internal and external journeys resonate - from smoking a Chesterfield to Sutton’s first sight of the moon as a free man, every scene is saturated with life." - Publishers Weekly

The information about Sutton shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

MaryAnn Santagata

Sutton: Bank Robber & Intellectual
I just finished reading Sutton by J. R. Moehringer and enjoyed every chapter.
In Chapter One, I chuckled when the prison stated that "Prisoners aren't allowed to have psychology books. The warden thinks they'll hypnotize each other."
The author did a fabulous job of revealing both the reporter's and the photographer's personalities.
Willie Sutton's story flips back and forth between the current Sutton (released from prison in 1969) and the earlier Sutton. The author clearly depicts life in Irish Town and the poverty within, as well as growing up in Brooklyn during the Great Depression.
I truly recommend this book to readers who want an in-depth story of the greatest bank robber in the world.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

J.R. Moehringer Author Biography

J.R. Moehringer is a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2000, and a Pulitzer finalist for feature writing in 1998 for his magazine piece "Resurrecting The Champ," an article which was recently adapted for a film starring Samuel L. Jackson and Josh Hartnett.

Moehringer’s first book, the memoir The Tender Bar, was a New York Times bestseller. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

From the author's website

Link to J.R. Moehringer's Website

Name Pronunciation
J.R. Moehringer: more-ringer

Other books by J.R. Moehringer at BookBrowse
  • The Tender Bar jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more historical fiction...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.