3 out of 4 stars
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Do you ever think about what happens to people who have their names on the FBI's wanted list? Well, wonder no more as Dan "Tito" Davis brings light to your curiosity with Gringo: My Life on the Edge as an International Fugitive, his very own memoir. This is not your standard autobiography: nothing in this book is typical and expected.
The book starts with Dan boarding a train to Mexico; not for the tacos and fajitas, but to escape his life imprisonment sentence. Jumping from one country to another, Dan's life as a fugitive isn't easy as he meets different kinds of people and ends up in the most dangerous places. Involving himself in various cultures and third-world countries, his life on the run isn't exactly pleasant. Will he be able to survive? Will he be able to live a life of always looking behind his back?
The author's writing style was engaging that I didn't hesitate to pick up the book when I sampled it. By blending the narration with fascinating facts and humor, he certainly got hold of my attention and never let it go. He also knew how to end his chapters intriguing, having the reader wanting more. True stories tend to be boring, yet this book was anything but that.
Furthermore, the urgency of the dangers he faced was felt throughout the book. From being held captive in a foreign country to almost being robbed and killed, Dan's life being on the run was one heck of a rollercoaster ride—which, I think, made this memoir stood out from the rest. The author's choice of words and how he described each situation vividly exuded heavy emotion. The straightforward writing style also reminds the reader that everything that happened is not just an exaggeration but authentic and factual.
What I liked most about the book was the humorous aspect. From the story of Dan being peed on by a pig to having to sit beside a lady full of lice, it certainly made up for the dark and heavy topic. The footnotes translating the unfamiliar languages used and explaining some general information in the story were also helpful. What I didn't like was the expounded backstories that were better left unsaid; because of it, the book was at a dull pace at some point.
I don't usually read memoirs, but Gringo: My Life on the Edge as an International Fugitive was worth the exception. After finishing the book, I was hoping Dan could have the life he had wanted than rotting in prison. Life is unfair, and his story is proof of it. I give this book a 3 out of 4 stars rating. There were grammatical errors, mostly words that should be in the past tense and missing commas. Hence, the deduction of one star.
If you're looking for an intriguing and fast-paced adventure, then this is for you. I would not recommend this book to a younger audience since it involves violence, drugs, erotica, and profanity. If you also don't like the aforementioned things, might as well skip this one out too.
As per tradition, I leave you one of my favorite lines:
"I assumed this was because he had made up so many lies to reinvent himself along his journey that he no longer seemed like a real person"
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