3 out of 5 stars
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Chris Constantino's autobiography, Fine Wine, Guns and Angels, revolves around three major events in his life: his involvement in the fine wine business, his being caught up in gun shootings, and his encounters with three supernatural beings, which he believes to be angels. Between these events, we see how certain incidents in his life, especially his being kidnapped at an early age, his bipolar disorder, the loss of his parents, and the injuries he sustained from the car accident, influenced his actions and responses.
Surely, Constantino experienced a lot of dark moments, made a lot of mistakes, and got addicted to alcohol, smoking, and sex, but his openness in this autobiography and sense of responsibility for the consequences of his actions are commendable. I didn't find myself judging him, nor did I condone his actions. I was trapped halfway through something called empathy. Almost all his misdoings can be explained as the ripple effects of the traumatic incidents in his life and his bipolar disease. So Constantino's life can be likened to a beautiful story marred by convoluted plot progression. It is pathetic and reminds us of the many individual struggles we have to put up with as long as we walk this earth.
The author has given a detailed account of his life growing up, including his family background, football club choice, mixing up with different kinds of people, workplaces, wine business with Alexander Dembinski and the trouble it got him into, serving prison terms in Belmarsh Prison and Wayland Prison, and his encounters with angels and the tasks they gave him, among others. These accounts highlight different shades of Constantino's life and enable us to see the deeper significance of its present state. Constantino believes he has divine tasks to accomplish. I appreciate and encourage him in his plans and projects.
The language is simple and engaging. The word choices are varied and reflect the condition of things at various phases of the author's life. The language at the beginning and end of the book is generally clean, but the middle of the book is heavy with profane words. The first few profane words made sense to me because they captured the author's experiences and conditions, but I found the subsequent excessive profanity worrisome. In addition, this book needs another round of editing, as I found several grammatical errors in it. Also, there are some unclear sentences in this book, like this one: "I was just people watching and enjoying the Sun" (page 156). Furthermore, readers should be aware that this book contains violent scenes, death, murder, and sexual escapades.
I rate Fine Wine, Guns and Angels three out of five stars for the opportunity it offered me to witness life from another person's perspective. I removed two stars due to the aforementioned concerns. Nevertheless, this book is rich with lots of life's realities. I recommend it to lovers of memoirs or autobiographies. It is also suitable for anyone looking for an honest memoir from which they could learn some practical life lessons.
Fine Wine, Guns and Angels
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