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Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion | [Gregory Boyle]

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

As a pastor working in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of murderous gang activity in Los Angeles, Gregory Boyle created an organization to provide jobs, job training, and encouragement so that young people could work together and learn the mutual respect that comes from collaboration.
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Publisher's Summary

As a pastor working in a neighborhood with the highest concentration of murderous gang activity in Los Angeles, Gregory Boyle created an organization to provide jobs, job training, and encouragement so that young people could work together and learn the mutual respect that comes from collaboration.

Tattoos on the Heart is a breathtaking series of parables distilled from his 20 years in the barrio. Arranged by theme and filled with sparkling humor and glowing generosity, these essays offer a stirring look at how full our lives could be if we practiced compassion.

Erudite, down-to-earth, and utterly heartening, these essays about universal kinship and redemption are moving examples of the power of unconditional love in difficult times and the importance of fighting despair. With Gregory Boyle's guidance, we can recognize our own wounds in the broken lives and daunting struggles of the men and women in these parables and learn to find joy in all of the people around us. Tattoos on the Heart reminds us that no life is less valuable than another.

©2010 Gregory Boyle. Recorded by arrangement with Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. (P)2011 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

“One of my favorite books in years. It is lovely and tough and tender beyond my ability to describe.” (Anne Lamott)

“Destined to become a classic of both urban reportage and contemporary spirituality.” (The Los Angeles Times)

“Read, and let your life be changed!” (Father Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (465 )
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4.5 (408 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Daniel PORTER RANCH, CA, United States 07-10-12
    Daniel PORTER RANCH, CA, United States 07-10-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Get To Know Gregory Boyle's Story"
    If you could sum up Tattoos on the Heart in three words, what would they be?

    Riveting, Courageous, Christlike.


    What other book might you compare Tattoos on the Heart to and why?

    Not sure. It is a one of kind story.


    Have you listened to any of Gregory Boyle’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Influencing the lost through Christ.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a must listen. Greg's life is worth studying. The impact he has had on the homies is astounding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Knight Dover, DE 06-24-12
    L. Knight Dover, DE 06-24-12 Member Since 2002
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    "Compassion"
    What did you love best about Tattoos on the Heart?

    I loved all of his stories about the kids he mentored.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tattoos on the Heart?

    The whole book was memorable, but the lasting impression on me is to be more compassionate.


    Which character – as performed by Gregory Boyle – was your favorite?

    Himself


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I drive an hour each way to work and I found myself slowing down as I got closer to work so I could hear more of the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DRSACM Corona, California 04-10-13
    DRSACM Corona, California 04-10-13
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    "Absolutely awesome"

    Loved it!!!! Kept my interest during the whole thing....I wanted more after it ended. He is such a great storyteller....and a man who can turn tomatoes to ketchup with his words.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison Parker, CO, United States 03-23-13
    Allison Parker, CO, United States 03-23-13
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    1
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    "Breaking Down the Walls"
    What does Gregory Boyle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Listening to Father Greg Boyle, G, read his own words captures his personal warmth and the spanglish dialect that bring the characters and his loving relationship with them to life. This is the kind of book we need to help encourage us to, as G says, "widen our circle of compassion" to include the people that we generally would exclude.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Whitefish Bay, WI, United States 03-20-13
    Mark Whitefish Bay, WI, United States 03-20-13 Member Since 2009
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    "LOL, Cry and Be Deeply Moved"
    What made the experience of listening to Tattoos on the Heart the most enjoyable?

    Essentially, this is a book of stories in which the listener is drawn in, feels sadness, laughs out loud and senses the "kinship" Boyle has for these least-favored humans among us. Time and again, Boyle describes gang members, so full of their role as tough guys, soften when Boyle finds a way to relate to them on a respectful, human level. Boyle shares moments "belly-shaking" humor as the gang members aspire to adjust to a more orderly world. With just enough self-revelation, Boyle provides glimpses of how his spirituality helps him cope with these challenging circumstances.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tattoos on the Heart?

    There are many, but taking three gang members to a dinner at the White House is very memorable.


    What about Gregory Boyle’s performance did you like?

    Boyle performs from his own "voice" and the "voices" of the gang members by respectfully portraying their language and style of speech. There is never a moment of wondering who is saying what to whom. Reading 'Tattoos on the Heart" would be a small fraction of experience of listening to it.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Each of the dozens of stories are moving. Some made me tear up, turn off the audio, sit quietly and sometimes pray.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom S. Ann Arbor, MI 03-16-13
    Tom S. Ann Arbor, MI 03-16-13 Listener Since 2008
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    11
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    "Moving and Inspiring"
    Where does Tattoos on the Heart rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It ranks very highly, as it changed my perception of a number of social issues facing mankind. It moved me deeply and hopefully I am a better person for having listened to it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tattoos on the Heart?

    There is one particularly moving scene where Fr. Boyle is in the mountains of South America (Peru?) giving mass to villagers who rarely see outsiders. One day, he encounters this old man...


    What about Gregory Boyle’s performance did you like?

    He is a dynamic speaker (watch some of his Youtube videos, he gives some of his stories) and knows how to convey a story in a way that makes you think, laugh at times, and cry at others.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were several that moved me deeply, in particular how he humanizes the victims of gang-related violence. He gives examples.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was an emotional roller coaster for me, with some very sad moments and some quite happy ones too. I would advise caution for anyone who is sensitive to violence or vulgarity (there are a couple dark moments, and for a Catholic priest, he does swear quite a lot) but if you can put them in context and wade the waters, you will come out the other side grateful for this work.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-18-13
    02-18-13 Member Since 2009
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    "view-altering book!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Tattoos on the Heart to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read the print.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This book brought me to tears and laughter many times. It has changed my view of my fellow people. Boyle, in his perfect delivery of every story and certainly every hilarious punchline, sheds light on a slice of life, very foreign to my own, with such compassion and depth of insight that it is in fact tattooed on my heart.


    Which character – as performed by Gregory Boyle – was your favorite?

    All the various gang members speaking.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    One small 12 year old boy gets a girlfriend who's 16. "G" gulps, but the kid says "It's okay G, she's short." This moment, once I stopped laughing my head off, communicated the honest, innocent absence of middle class moral concerns. Stories like this, as well as the numerous heartbreaking, senseless deaths show how the gang members live in a thought-system of their own that takes great love to shift in a new direction.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you for doing that work and telling us, Gregory Boyle.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan PLAYA DEL REY, CA, United States 02-11-13
    Susan PLAYA DEL REY, CA, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2011
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    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Story
    "New Lens on the Human Condition"
    If you could sum up Tattoos on the Heart in three words, what would they be?

    Compelling, Heartbreaking, Inspiring


    Have you listened to any of Gregory Boyle’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no, this is my first


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The treatment of the" homies" by the waitress at Coco's in Bakersfield, Jesus in an apron.....


    Any additional comments?

    After listening to this amazing book, I bought another and sent it to my daughter, a social worker who works with at risk teams. I then went out and bought a hard copy to reread and save. Haven't been so touched by a book in years.Father Boyle has an unending capacity for grace and is a brilliant story teller.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada 01-02-13
    Terri Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada 01-02-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Inspiring and funny"

    Gregory boyle's stories are moving and include a spiritual message that is more palpable then any other I've ever heard in mainstream Christianity ... He presents both his wisdom and the homeboys wisdom in such a humble but proficient way one cannot help but to be changed by the experience!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nylasv1 TACOMA, WA, United States 01-02-13
    nylasv1 TACOMA, WA, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2012
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    "this book will not put you to sleep!"
    What did you love best about Tattoos on the Heart?

    this book shows what one man with a passion for life and people can do.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Father Boyle- Because he is inspirational. I hope some day I can get to homeboy for a tour.


    What about Gregory Boyle’s performance did you like?

    That he was reading his own story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I did cry. I loved that the Home Boys had immense compassion for others in our country living in extreme poverty.


    Any additional comments?

    A great book for a Book Group.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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