Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood

Atria. Jul. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9781982150822. $27. MEMOIR
In this inspiring, engaging memoir, actor Trejo chronicles his experiences with addiction, prison, violence, and loss, and his journey from construction worker at L.A.’s famous Cinerama Dome, to eventual star of the movies that played there. With help from fellow actor Logue, Trejo tells his story with honesty. He says he used and sold heroin, and landed in prison in the ’60s. During the 1968 Cinco de Mayo riots at California’s Soledad State Prison, Trejo threw a rock that hit a prison guard, and found himself staring down a possible execution. The charges were dropped on a technicality, but the incident set him on a new path. Trejo found his faith, became sober, and started helping others, eventually becoming the movie star he is today, with more than 400 movies under his belt. By turns cautionary, curious, and celebratory, Trejo’s stories flow smoothly, and he takes a no-nonsense approach as he looks back on his life, including his regrets.
VERDICT A fantastic memoir that readers won’t be able to put down.
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