Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell: Confessions of a Bank Robber” as Want to Read:
The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell: Confessions of a Bank Robber
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  56 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Joe Loya's idyllic childhood came to an abrupt end when his mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. In the two years before her death, Joe's extremely religious father became increasingly violent toward his two young sons-a contradiction that haunted Joe for years. Then, at age sixteen, Joe retaliated during a particularly severe beating and stabbed his father in the ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 18th 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published September 1st 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 196)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Margaret Wappler
May 16, 2008 Margaret Wappler rated it liked it
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 ...more
Jul 13, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it
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), ...more
James Warner
Dec 14, 2013 James Warner rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Sep 18, 2009 Dale rated it really liked it
Shelves: prison, memoir, california
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
Oct 18, 2014 Patricia rated it it was amazing
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.
Jeremy Preacher
Oct 23, 2010 Jeremy Preacher rated it liked it
Shelves: autobiography
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.
Oct 28, 2008 Marisa rated it it was amazing
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.

Jul 04, 2007 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Criminal finds redemption through writing. A wild it all true? A Million Little Pieces has ruined memoirs for me.
Sep 26, 2008 michelle rated it it was ok
I just saw the author in a documentary called The Protagonist and was very impressed by his frankness, intelligence and insight.
Erin marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2016
Frances marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2016
Annie marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2016
Jatin marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2016
Courtney marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2016
Addy marked it as to-read
Jul 06, 2016
Ashley Chinderle
Ashley Chinderle rated it really liked it
Jul 15, 2016
Rob Bartoli
Rob Bartoli marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2016
Connie Erwin
Connie Erwin marked it as to-read
Jun 17, 2016
Lesie Pumphrey
Lesie Pumphrey marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2016
LiveFreeReadHard marked it as to-read
Jun 05, 2016
Jeni rated it really liked it
May 16, 2016
Melissa rated it liked it
Apr 29, 2016
Wmd9800 marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2016
Christina marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2016
Cecilia marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2016
Katie McCandless
Katie McCandless marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2016
Star Berry
Star Berry marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2016
Mer marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Share This Book

“This memoir is one of the most brutally honest books I’ve ever read. You will grow to believe, and cheer on, this flawed hero as he gains a liberating knowledge of himself.” 3 likes
“It ain't no fun when the rabbit's got the gun” 1 likes
More quotes…