Willie Sutton

willie-sutton “There are two ways to read Sutton, by J. R. Moehringer: as a third-rate novel with a deep and crippling cornball streak, or as a loose and journalistic speculative biography of a famous bank robber. Either way, you lose. But you lose less if you decide to read it as semi-true biography. You can at least enjoy the ragtime shuffle of the author’s better sentences.
“The bank robber is Willie Sutton, the man famous for supposedly saying, when asked why he held up banks, “That’s where the money is.” Sutton robbed dozens of them during his four-decade-long career. He also escaped from three maximum-security prisons, prompting frantic manhunts, and became a folk hero in the process. His dapper Irish good looks didn’t hurt. When young, he somewhat resembled Jack Kerouac.” […]
“Sutton’s famous quotation has always made him seem like a lovable dunce, Yogi Berra with a gun moll and a getaway car. In Sutton Mr. Moehringer reminds us that he was a shrewd fellow and a committed reader, with copies of Dante and Tennyson tucked into his prison cell. Sutton wrote two memoirs (they contradicted each other) and an unpublished novel.” […]    –Dwight Garner, New York Times, October 9, 2012