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Inside the Crips: Life Inside L.A.'s Most Notorious Gang

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3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  333 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
A memoir of the author's life as a Crip -- beginning at the tender age of ten in the mid 70s -- and his prison turnaround twenty-five years later.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 14th 2006 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published August 1st 2005)
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Karl Wiggins
You can't blame other people for crimes you're guilty of yourself!

‘Inside the Crips’ is such a difficult book to review because even as I start typing I still don’t know if it deserves a 5 Star or a 3 Star. “Give it a 4 Star then,” I hear you shout. No, I can’t sit on the fence like that. It deserves a 5 Star because Colton Simpson has without a doubt written an engaging tale with complete candour and integrity.

After growing up on the streets of South-Central Los Angeles, being ‘initiated’ into
...more
Jonas Williams
Mar 04, 2010 Jonas Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the most interesting book I had ever read. There's like non-stop action in this book. This book retain alot of action from when he was young until he was older. Check this book out it is really good. Jonas Williams 14 years old
Karl Wiggins
‘Inside the Crips’ is such a difficult book to review because even as I start typing I still don’t know if it deserves a 5 Star or a 3 Star. “Give it a 4 Star then,” I hear you shout. No, I can’t sit on the fence like that. It deserves a 5 Star because Colton Simpson has without a doubt written an engaging tale with complete candour and integrity.

After growing up on the streets of South-Central Los Angeles, being ‘initiated’ into the Crips at 10 years of age, shooting people, robbing jewellery s
...more
John Bailo
Dec 19, 2008 John Bailo rated it really liked it
This book should be titled "Outside the Crips" or perhaps "The Cripper in The Rye". Why? Because though he takes us through a realistic and harrowing journey through gangsterism, bloodshed, crime and a life in prison, Colton Simpson, a.k.a. C-Loc, a.k.a. Lil' Cee, never seems to "get it".

He's a middle class kid in a gangster's world. He presents his childhood as an odd mixture of near stardom (pro baseball player dad, model mom) and downward mobility (abandoned to ghetto grandma). He grows up '
...more
Patrick O'Neil
We all seem to write these redemption books. And I mean "we" as those of us who really fucked up and now want to remove ourselves from our past – you know, want people to love us, and shit. Want people to look past that person they see, or the one on paper, defined by criminal records, police reports, and court documents. We write about all the horrendous shit we did, and then put that clause in: but I have seen the evil of my ways. And that somehow makes it all okay. Washes away the sins of the ...more
Lydia
Mar 12, 2014 Lydia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Absolutely an amazing book. From the forward by Ice T to the conclusion of afterword by Simpson himself, this book contains truly masterful language, parallelism, and symbolism. The main symbol is the comparison of life to a game of chess: those with debilitating and blinding anger and those who do not foresee the consequences of their actions will have major struggles in life. Simpson meets many wise men, formerly of the Black Panthers, during his time in prison, where he grows a surprising amo ...more
Ricardo Richardson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sepeti Mo'unga
Feb 21, 2013 Sepeti Mo'unga rated it it was amazing
The setting of this story is very real because it talks about what happens in their lives and life.The setting of this story is very exciting and makes the reader want to read more about other peoples life and how they do it.
This makes me really think about how hard their lives are and why they do the things they do. It makes me think twice about the bad and violent choices i make in my day to day life.
i really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anybody that is into gang related gun re
...more
Emily
Apr 19, 2014 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: social-change
A great book. I subtracted a star because much of the action seemed redundant and I skimmed a bit of it.
Overall I really enjoy the message that the author is putting out there. The first few chapters were a very comprehensive overview of how and why young people join gangs, which is very valuable. The last few chapters also give great insight on how he got out and what needs to be done to stop gangs, violence, and drug abuse.
Juan Carlos
Sep 11, 2012 Juan Carlos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book, Inside The Crips, is a good book. I rated it a 5 out of 5 stars because i like books that involve shootings and gang related stuff. i enjoyed this memoir because it talks about Colton's life and what he did to join a gang. It relates to me because my brother is in a gang and its hard. I would recommend this book to any gang affiliated people and or people that are struggling with their life.
Bookwormsince81
Mar 05, 2012 Bookwormsince81 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is hands down one of the best biographies and the BEST book on gangs I have ever read.
This is an incredible story that has fundamentally changed how I understand gang culture.
Thankyou for writing this Colton, and I wish you so much success with the legal fallout that has followed your courageous tale.
Sarah
Tbone
Jul 06, 2008 Tbone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a true story account of a real OG crip that joined the crips. Killed his first bloods at 10 years old. Is a personal friend of "ICE T" He wrote this book to show what being in a gang is really like and to discourage gangs. To show you only end up dead or in prison. It's not glamorous. And to "warn the children". I really enjoyed it.
Nuvia Guerra
Feb 11, 2014 Nuvia Guerra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book interesting. I liked how he described what his life was life when he was a child all the way to when he grew up into an adult. He had a hard life as a kid and I believe that's why he got ino then gang-life.
Pamela
Hard to understand living this type of life, but the writer attempts to let us know how one lives it. One reason why I read is to attempt to understand how other people live that are vastly different than my own. The book provides a hard look which is fascinating and horrifying.
Francis Sagote
Feb 21, 2013 Francis Sagote rated it it was amazing
The setting of this story is very real because it talks about what happens in their lives and life.The setting of this story is very exciting and makes the reader want to read more about other peoples life and how they do it.peace out.
Safiya
Oct 31, 2008 Safiya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a great read. i was hooked from page one, and that's my favorite kind of experience with a book. as a kid i was a quasi-skilled yet reluctant reader. Inside the Crips reminded me that it is possible to love a book from the first page.
Trish
Feb 16, 2008 Trish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing! It talks of finding a family in Gang life-growing up in prison, and illustrates the problems with our justice system.
Jenn
Mar 22, 2008 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So interesting! Really provides an insider view to maybe a world that many know nothing about.
Stacy
Dec 19, 2007 Stacy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really good. I enjoy books about sociology and people and why they do what they do, and this book was really insightful into the life of someone in the Crips in South Central LA.
Lisa Taylor-Austin
Honest. Written from within the gang. Engaging.
Jarrad Bock
Feb 03, 2012 Jarrad Bock rated it really liked it
Shelves: autobiography, crime
A very interesting insight into the mind of a banger. His stories show the world he grew up in and the attitude of the people in this world.
Michelle
Aug 29, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing
this is probably the best book on gangs I have read - the forward by Ice T is incredible.
Justin Hall
Mar 18, 2017 Justin Hall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent read

Interesting story. A little hard to follow at times. The sentence structure and spelling many times became an annoyance to me. I think it had the potential to be a great book if things would have been more clearly explained and elaborated on. I would still recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject.
Angela
Sep 03, 2008 Angela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who work with prisoners and youth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Keepa Wiki
The setting of this story is very real because it talks about what happens in their lives and life.The setting of this story is very exciting and makes the reader want to read more about other peoples life and how they do it.
This makes me really think about how hard their lives are and why they do the things they do. It makes me think twice about the bad and violent choices i make in my day to day life.
i really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anybody that is into gang related gun rel
...more
Ebony
Aug 28, 2008 Ebony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, this is a picture of a handsome Simpson on the cover. As far as banger autobiographies go, this one is pretty conscious. He knows his political prisoner history and I respect that but the heart wrenching part of the story is that he gets his life together enough to publish this book and ends up back in the box on a third strike. Maybe he knew too much political prisoner history for the powers that be. Oh, and for the record, his co-author has totally convinced me that i too can hav ...more
Frances
After reading Stanley Tookie Williams "Blue Rage, Black Redemption" (a 5 star book!) I wanted to learn more about the Crips History. This story was from the point of view of a Crips member who joined the gang at the age of 10. It was interesting to see a different point of view, Colton spoke of the street violence he inflicted as well as was inflicted upon him and the horrific experiences he had while imprisoned.
Vojtech
Interesting insight, didn't know just how seriously these guys take their nonsense wars even in their early teens. Even more it reinforces the feeling I got from other books on similar topics – that chances of criminals coming out of prisons changed for the better (at least that seems to go for underprivileged minorities in the US) are near zero. If only to survive you are often forced to do things, which ultimately prolong your sentence and make you fall deeper and deeper.
Angela
Aug 25, 2008 Angela rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone working with teens or jail inmates
I appreciated learning about the background of someone who was drawn to gangs, and the reasons for interest in that lifestyle. It was also helpful to know the emotions and opinions that help a person identify there is a different way to live, and the steps involved (as well as the danger to themselves)in helping a person out of a gang.
Crytle Creki
Jan 14, 2008 Crytle Creki rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: gang bangers past and present
Recommended to Crytle by: my lovely co-worker :)
I didn't get all the way through this book, and for that I cannot give it the review it may deserve. However, from what I have read...parts of it appeared to hypersensationalize gang life primarily the Bloods and the Crips. I could imagine several other "gang" books following suit to this one....meh.
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Ann Pearlman was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for INFIDELITY which was also made into a Lifetime movie. Her first novel, THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CLUB has been translated into 6 languages and was a national and international bestseller. A GIFT FOR MY SISTER, following characters first introduced in The Christmas Cookie Club won a prize for best fiction in 2014. THE LOTTERY, ...more
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