5 out of 5 stars
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Starring John Dillinger by Bill Walker & Brian Anthony is a fictional retelling of the story of the famous American gangster John Dillinger, but with a different narrative and ending. The story commences with the concluding events of Dillinger's original story at the Biograph Theater in Chicago and then explores an alternative narrative depicting what might have transpired had Dillinger not been shot at the Biograph Theater on that day. The book takes us through Dillinger's arrest, trial, pardon, rise to stardom, and his transformation from a con man to a movie star.
I was captivated by the brilliance and charisma of the main character, John Dillinger. Despite choosing bank robbery as his career, he surprisingly had a deep affection for publicity and the press. From his ingenious idea to direct a movie while incarcerated and in solitary confinement to his smooth adaptation to the movie industry, along with the people he encountered along the way, it's a tale of second chances, love, betrayal, desperation, crime, and redemption. If you're interested in understanding how Dillinger transformed from being the number one public enemy in America to becoming a beloved movie star, adored by the very people who once condemned him, then you should definitely get a copy of this book for yourself.
This book proved to be a truly absorbing read; the narrative was beautifully crafted by the author, with each chapter meticulously designed to captivate the readers. It vividly portrays how an individual's life can undergo a dramatic transformation when the right person becomes involved. The story also highlights the relentless pursuit of FBI Director Hoover to make Dillinger pay for his crimes and his unwavering belief in Dillinger's irredeemability. The book effectively captures Dillinger's mounting frustration as Hoover relentlessly pursued him, culminating in the attempt on his life by Hurt. Additionally, it offers readers an insightful glimpse into the American movie industry, outlining the roles played by studios, producers, directors, writers, actors, and others involved in the success of a motion picture.
My favorite character was undoubtedly John Dillinger. I appreciate a compelling story, and we all yearn for redemption and a second chance to set our lives right. The author did an excellent job of portraying John Dillinger as someone who, despite being branded a criminal, exhibited honesty, commitment, dedication, and a sincere desire to make amends. Everyone who crossed paths with Dillinger, from the prison captain to Rob Butler and Melvin, all attested that he had genuinely turned his back on a life of crime and was, in fact, a kind-hearted man.
There is absolutely nothing to dislike about this book; it's undeniably a beautiful masterpiece, and all the characters executed their roles perfectly. The work was devoid of any typographical errors, attesting to the excellent work the editor put into this book. I give this book a 5 out of 5 rating due to its enthralling narrative, and I recommend it to all those who appreciate a well-crafted American historical crime novel. For anyone who believes in the possibility of change, this book is a must-read.
Starring... John Dillinger
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