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Once a King, Always a King: The Unmaking of a Latin King

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,417 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews
This riveting sequel to My Bloody Life traces Reymundo Sanchez’s struggle to create a “normal” life outside the Latin Kings, one of the nation's most notorious street gangs, and to move beyond his past. Sanchez illustrates how the Latin King motto “once a king, always a king” rings true and details the difficulty and danger of leaving that life behind. Filled with heart-po ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Chicago Review Press (first published 2003)
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When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda SantiagoLady Q by Reymundo SánchezAlmost a Woman by Esmeralda SantiagoMy Bloody Life by Reymundo SánchezOnce a King, Always a King by Reymundo Sánchez
5th out of 55 books — 62 voters
Heavy Duty People by Iain ParkeHeavy Duty Attitude by Iain ParkeHeavy Duty Trouble by Iain ParkeExile on Bridge Street by Eamon LoingsighMy Bloody Life by Reymundo Sánchez
Books on Gang Life
5th out of 24 books — 31 voters

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Community Reviews

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May 18, 2010 Michele rated it it was ok
I know the author was a latin king and didn't have all that much education, but didn't his editors? There were many grammatical and spelling errors that prevented me from just reading the book because I had to stop and figure out why what I read was wrong or didn't make sense.

Other than that, I felt like the author was just bragging about his sexual conquests, how many drugs he did, how he was so popular in jail and was an advisor to the head king. When he wasn't bragging, the other tone of the
Once a King, Always a King takes up where My Bloody Life leaves off...Reymundo Sanchez trying to get away from the street life, gangs, and violence of Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood. Sanchez gets a computer job at University of Illinois-Chicago and starts to feel good about his decisions and the path his life is taking. Occasionally, the old gang ways try to pull him back into drugs and crime, but he manages to steer clear of them for the most part. He meets Marilyn Garcia, an attractive, ...more
Haleigh Robbins
Mar 08, 2010 Haleigh Robbins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english-1-honors
so far Rey Rey is just telling the story of how he escaped the gang life but returned and now lives with Spanky a Latin King and helps him run his drug business. Rey Rey as he is now called because he lost the title of Lil Loco the day he decided not to wear the crown he lost all respect from the Latin Kings,is now continuing to remain a deeper and deeper part of the Latin Kings. Where I'm at now Rey Rey betrayed the Kings and now lives with his ex-lover Loca and his new lover Lily who are also ...more
David Patino
Nov 13, 2011 David Patino rated it it was amazing
Once a king, Always a King by Reymundo Sanchez is a true life story about an ex gangbanger. What attracted me to this book was that it connected to me in a sort of way. It really pinpoints the life of a gang life style. Everything that happened was crazy. It was shocking and unexpected. The drugs, sex, violence, family matters is what really depicts his life style. Plus the power of money. Which really caught my eye.
Reymundo name in the gang is Lil Loco. That's because he was a really crazy gan
May 24, 2011 Jose rated it liked it
why did i chose this book: I chose this book beacuse one i all ready read the first book. Allso you told me that i would like this book. The genre: the genre of this book is memoir because he tells you what happend in parts of his life. The setting of the book: the book took place in three big cities of the United States. Like Chicago IL, Dallas TX, Miami FL. the Discription of the main charector: rey is trying to find himself in a way becuse now he a gown man and needs to get his act together.s ...more
Jan 15, 2013 Daisy rated it it was amazing
1. I liked that the main person talked about how he started his life as a gang member and how his life changed. Also, his choses effected the people around him. The book moved slowly because it was giving details and good information about him. There is nothing that i did not like about the book. I think the book was really good and interesting to read that I recommend young adults to read it.

2. My favorite character was the main character because it kind of remind me of my uncle that he went t
Christian Acosta
Once A King Always A King
Reymundo Sanchez is a former Latin Deciple, he is from the south side of Chicago. Reymundo's life is a told in this book. Reymundo had a tough time growing up so he decided to make new friends and a new family so he decided to join the largest gang in chicago which were the Latin Kings. After years past Rey became concerned about if he was making the right decision while in the gang, his best friend who died from a rival gang confrontation, after that devastated mo
Nov 14, 2011 Joaquin rated it it was amazing
I think that the book Once King Always A King is really good so far because it's teaching me not to jion a gang even though i never would its giving me more information not to for example t charand hes been character rey was in a gang called the Latin Kings and hes been in it for a while but theres this thing called a three minute beat down only if your gonna leave the gang and since rey got tired of being a drug dealer, killing people, and abusing them he left to become a regular human in humbe ...more
Danny Kim
Oct 25, 2009 Danny Kim rated it it was amazing
I found the story in thid book very interesting and compelling. This book had me reading chapter to chapter due to it's sorrow filled and inspirational story to tell. I thought this book was very inspirational on how a chicago gangbanger did his best to turn his life around. From this book I had learned that anything is possible through hard work and dedication no matter how hard your life is. I thought the book also had a good point on the ignorance that minorities go through on a daily basis b ...more
Nov 05, 2009 JUAN IBARRAaa rated it it was amazing
This book is actually a second part to my bloody life it still is based on reymundo sanches but it talks about his decision he made .Which was getting back to the gang life and start doing trouble.Reymundo starts living with a latin king member .but as time passes reymundo needed to do something for his nation which was kill .when reymundo got in the car with his friends to the mission they set up for him he realized he wasnt ment to be in a gang so he ran out the car and went back to his apartm ...more
Dec 12, 2008 Jonathan rated it really liked it
In this book Reymundo Sanchez an ex Latin King tries to stay out of the gang violence he once was in. This book is a sequel to "My Bloody Life" and is a great book to read and has alot of details about his life and the dialogue is good. It tells us his life and all his problems he still going through,knowing that he came from an abusive family in his childhood. The change in not becoming lil loco from his past, was moving from Chicago to Dallas Texas with his girlfriend Marilyn Garcia. I learned ...more
Feb 18, 2015 C rated it it was ok
Not nearly as good or as engaging as My Bloody Life, Once a King, Always a King, tells the story of Reymundo Sanchez after he is "violated out" of the Latin Kings. The first part of the book comes across as nothing more than Sanchez's braggadocio vis a vis how many women he can screw, often in more-erotic-than necessary-detail. It's hard to feel like he regrets it when he describes it with such relish. The book picks up when Rey lands in prison on drug charges, giving sparse but interesting info ...more
Shaterion Alexander
Apr 24, 2014 Shaterion Alexander is currently reading it
"Once a king, always a king" by Raymundo Sanchez, is a thrills seeker expressing the ideas of profanity, ignorance, and conformity. While Raymundo struggled with the idea of change,he remains stable somewhat. He went through rough patches but was eventually able to push through.
“I'm pissed off because of all the fuckin' people who shut their eyes while others are victimized because it doesn't benefit them to get involved. It pissed me off that every-fuckin'-body is such a tough guy until a tou
Erik Limon
Feb 11, 2014 Erik Limon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: I would recommend this to all teenagers
Once a King, Always a King is about a guy name Reymundo Sanchez that has been a memeber of the Latin Kings Ever since he was teenager. They way he describes how things go for him are really horrible. I learn So much from this book, never thought it would be so hard to get out of a gang. The way he got beat up is something I would never want to experince. He try turning his life around but it didn't work out. He would end up been back in the gang and back to what he use to do. He had a job at the ...more
Beverly Johnson
Oct 10, 2014 Beverly Johnson rated it it was amazing
As I finished this book, I can honestly say this book is very in depth from beginning to end. As from the beginning it was very detailed. As a child growing up the author had made a lot of wrong choices that affected his life mentally and especially with other people. Being in the gang made him feel some type of comfort because while he was being abused by his mother and stepfather and also being raped by his other male cousin he was traumatized by these events that led him being the man that he ...more
Jan 19, 2016 Luisa rated it liked it
1/19/16 Once a King Always a King by Reymundo Sanchez (pseudonym) is a memoir that paints a painful picture of redemption. Reymundo, known as Lil Loco lives in Humbolt Park, Latin King territory in Chicago. He's no longer a King, but living with a King and helps to deal drugs. Rey describes his addiction and various sex partners too graphically for many, but this is, as mentioned, a redemption story. Rey ends up in prison where he decides to take classes, write poetry and paint, all under the pr ...more
Mar 25, 2009 Tanasia rated it it was amazing
This book reminds me when I was watching the history channel about gangs. It kind of makes me sad when they have to get beat up if they try to leave.But I think people should not even joining gangs in the 1st place. A lot of people die and get hurt even children.
Apr 24, 2012 OfficialNerd rated it it was amazing
i love this book i know i say that too most of the books but this one just hit like a rock and made me think really hard about ppl who are struggling on the streets and how they can make a difference in ppl if u use the right tools like education of course.
Feb 02, 2016 Dougcashing rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome!!! I never liked reading before but I feel everyday I'm recommending this book to somebody else even when I only read the first 26 pages. So much happens in the book and it doesn't take long for it to pick up at all. Most people where shocked to hear that I was on pages and so many different things happens. It's like once one problem is solved another one is created. It's like crabs in the barrow once your close to be free somebody always gotta pull you back down to there le ...more
Jan 08, 2016 Steph rated it it was amazing
Once A King, Always A King: The Unmaking Of A Latin King. Reymundo Sanchez. Chicago Humboldt Park: 10/01/2004. 286 pages.

Once A King, Always A King. The book contains a look on the inside guide to the Chicago gangland world. The world of Drugs, sex, and gunplay. Survival skills on the streets when you had no other option. Stay in the gang or leave and move out of Chicago.

Sequal to My Bloody Life. Trying to get out a Gang that was beyond one's control. “I freed myself from being a menace to th
Dec 20, 2013 Rigoberto rated it really liked it
1. Plot Overview (Don’t give the ending away!) What did you like about the plot? Did it move quickly or slowly? What didn’t you like? Was it interesting or not? Why? Give details!

The thing i liked about this plot was that he gave alot information about what was happening and it made me feel like i was their. It moved pretty quickly .

2. Character Overview: Who were you favorite characters? Describe them—what were they like? Did they remind you of someone? Who/how? How are you like them, even in s
Luis Perez
Jan 13, 2015 Luis Perez marked it as to-read
Reymundo Sánchez started from the bottom. His family brought him from Puerto Rico for a better life. that's pretty interesting to me. How he grow up by him self in the environment. All the gang, drugs and sex involved.Most of the time he would be out selling drugs or putting hits on other rival gang. Most interesting is how girls actually are down for the gang and to be the trap lady's. Like hold the guns drugs or even bring them to do hits so the police wont look at them since girls are in the ...more
Alexis Perez
Mar 05, 2015 Alexis Perez rated it it was amazing
This book is such an amazing book! It's really a sad true story about a Puerto Rican gang member really went through a lot of hard circumstances since he was a child and how each day he had suffered from pure pressure,drugs and sex. Reymundo, a gang member had went to a drug addiction to an amazing opportunity to see his mom again and actually go to college without even graduating from high school and actually being accepted to be in college and trying to do his best to stay strong be away from ...more
Nasir Venable
Feb 27, 2014 Nasir Venable rated it it was amazing
Once A King Always A King by Reymundo Sanchez is a sequel to My Bloody Life. It's about Sanchez and how he overcomes the life of a gang-banger. In the beginning he made endeavors to pursue a better life but always fell victim to drugs, women, and the streets. He found it difficult to make a life outside of the Latin Kings because everyone part of the gang or somewhat affiliated with them recognized him. He lived with a gang member named Spanky who was a drug dealer and allowed Sanchez to live wi ...more
Daniel Auquilla
Mar 28, 2012 Daniel Auquilla rated it it was ok
The author is Reymundo Sanchezand and the book is about 286. The name of the book is "Once a King Always a King". The title of the book tell me about what the book is going to be. And how he became a king and how he was going to come out of it. the title does fit with the book because is most about him being a king and trying to let his life of a gangsbenger began. the jacket of the book is showing a crown the represent n=being a king and it has five pointy sides that also represent being a lat ...more
Martin Valenzuela
This book is about a boy named Reymundo Sanchez (lil loco)and how he left the life as a gang banger being in the biggest gang the Latin Kings. He tell the story of how thy treated him and because he was a Latin King he couldn't just be a normal person anymore. Also how going to jail made him realize about his life and that he needed to change before it was to late. Whether it was one of his own member to kill him for wanting to leave or just a rival gang. He also talks about all the events that ...more
Mar 29, 2012 Edgar rated it it was amazing
The author is an ex Latin King that was Puerto Rican named Reymundo Sanchez. This book has 286 pages in it. The name of the book is called Once A King Always A King. The title gives a hint of what this book is about. Yes, it does spark an intrest to me about this book becauyse I wonder how the life of a king is after he gets out of his gang. This book does fit well with the text because it has to do with this one king who started to try and get out of that life-style because he met this beautifu ...more
Vanessa Alejos
Mar 12, 2012 Vanessa Alejos is currently reading it
The name of the book is Once A King Always A King by Reymundo Sanchez. They where 286 pages on the book. The name of the book makes me think that they are going to talk about somebody's life being on gangs. It does fit well with the text because it shows and explains on how Reymundo wanted to get out of gangs but it was to hard for him. The book cover says everything because on the cover it has a picture of a crown and a face meaning is going to be about someone that is inbolve in gangs. They a ...more
Apr 28, 2010 Jose rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andy Davalos
Jan 11, 2013 Andy Davalos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book is about a men who has came out of the gang life before but he returns to it all happened in new york.the story talks about his experiences as a gangbanger as well as how it changed his life and what will come of it.i gave this book % stars because it was very intersting and i love reading about a life that not many people would know or understand about. it is one of the reasons that i came to reading this the story rey says "ive been out of drugs for almost 3 months now. ...more
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“I'm pissed off because of all the fuckin' people who shut their eyes while others are victimized because it doesn't benefit them to get involved. It pissed me off that every-fuckin'-body is such a tough guy until a tough situation is actually present to them. Then they become crying little pussies blaming the world and everything in it.” 2 likes
“I'm pissed off because of all the fuckin' people who shut their eyes while others are victimized because it doesn't benefit them to get involved. It pissed me off that every-fuckin'-body is such a tough guy until a tough situation is actually present to them. Then they become crying little pussies blaming the world and everything it in.” 1 likes
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