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Always Running

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  5,515 Ratings  ·  683 Reviews
The award-winning and bestselling classic memoir about a young Chicano gang member surviving the dangerous streets of East Los Angeles, now featuring a new introduction by the author.

Winner of the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, hailed as a New York Times notable book, and read by hundreds of thousands, Always Running is the searing true story of one man’s life in a Chicano
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by Touchstone (first published 1993)
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Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
Apparently this is the most stolen book in libraries and classrooms. A very smart choice indeed. I can't believe I paid for this.

Not my jam. Sorry. I'm not gangsta enough.

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Matt Eckel
Sep 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I found out about this book during my time working at Garfield. There were a lot of books in the classroom libraries about gang life, books of poetry by Tupac Shakur, stuff the students prefered as it had to do with, "you know, real life." Which was, in a way, bullshit. I mean, a few of them, maybe could relate to that, and the ones that could were sorry of the fact and didn't flaunt it. One kid I remember, his older brother had been killed in a gang-related shooting. He wasn't a particularly go ...more
Luis Rodriguez speaks out of a virtually unheard experience: a young Chicano man who survived "la vida loca" gang culture in South San Gabriel. Rodriguez' writing is raw and brutally honest, but with a lyricism that will stop readers in their tracks. He gives voice to an unheard cry, and illuminates the heartbreaking cycle of poverty and violence that perpetuates gang wars. He neither simplifies the problem, nor admits defeat. His passion for reconciliation and true empowerment of minority commu ...more
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I found this to be a powerful and painful read. It's not easy reading about the gang experience. It's harder still when you know it could have been your story if circumstances had been different. I knew it was bad in LA, but I had no idea how hard it was just to survive.

I'm Mexican-American and 4 years older than the author. There was a time in my life that I wouldn't admit to being Mexican-American because of the attitudes towards us. Some of those attitudes are reported in this book and that m
Feb 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
The glaring contradictions in this memoir make it hard to side with the author. You can only take so many "I was given no opportunities" paragraphs next to ones about voluntary drug use, sex, and violence until it's impossible to believe anything the author says.
Dec 16, 2010 added it
This book is about a young boy named Luis Rodrigues known as the author. It talks about Gang days back in the old days of Los Angeles. This book is based on his real life, some people dont realize how life is because they havent gone through or havent seen anything. Life in Colorado isnt the same as in the south or in other places. its very difficult to live in a time the way Luis did and other people as well. People dont understand that some people stay homeless
This book made me want to rage. It was terribly written and downright offensive. I’ve read lots of memoirs, and the key to making them interesting is for the author to reflect on the actions he/she took and choices he/she made. Be introspective, navel gaze, give me something to make me understand why you did what you did. This book? It was just a listing of drugs, murders, fights, and rapes. The reason? Society hated Latinos. I’m sorrynotsorry, but you can’t rob at gun point, murder because of s ...more
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
Being in education, I'm always curious about banned books and books with lots of buzz. Here in California, Always Running is kept behind the checkout desk at my local library because it is one of the most stolen books, so I wanted to check it out. Interesting enough but not "steal-worthy". I can see how his story would appeal to teens, although I don't think they should read it (thus the ban and theft issue I guess). Everyone needs a place to fit in and belong.
Nik Melo
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think it was a really good book. It never got out of the story it was very concentrated on Luis( The main Character).
Jonathan LaPoma
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Always Running is an engaging and intelligent look into the socio-political factors that have led to the proliferation of street gangs in the last century in areas where large percentages of citizens have few opportunities but plentiful obstacles, told through the firsthand experiences of former gang member and now activist, Luis Rodriguez, as he grows up as an oppressed minority in the over-policed, but under-protected, gang-haven of East LA. Though his story is fairly common—his parents moved ...more
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HMSA Summer Reading: Book Review: Always Running 1 2 Aug 16, 2017 10:27PM  
Biography 1 8 May 06, 2015 04:55PM  
  • A Place to Stand
  • East Side Stories: Gang Life in East L.A.
  • Occupied America: A History of Chicanos
  • Drink Cultura: Chicanismo
  • Do or Die
  • Nobody's Son: Notes from an American Life
  • Lady Q: The Rise and Fall of a Latin Queen
  • Zoot Suit and Other Plays
  • Down These Mean Streets
  • Burro Genius
  • The Drowning of Stephan Jones
  • ... y no se lo tragó la tierra ... and the Earth Did Not Devour Him
  • Woodcuts of Women
  • Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States
  • Loverboys
  • Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member
  • Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America
  • Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail
Luis J. Rodríguez (b. 1954) is a poet, journalist, memoirist, and author of children’s books, short stories, and novels. His documentation of urban and Mexican immigrant life has made him one of the most prominent Chicano literary voices in the United States. Born in El Paso, Texas, to Mexican immigrant parents, Rodríguez grew up in Los Angeles, where in his teen years he joined a gang, lived on t ...more
More about Luis J. Rodríguez...
“cry, child, for those without tears have a grief which never ends.” 27 likes
“You 'will never belive it.” 9 likes
More quotes…