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
“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)
Riveting, Courageous, Christlike.
Not sure. It is a one of kind story.
Influencing the lost through Christ.
This is a must listen. Greg's life is worth studying. The impact he has had on the homies is astounding.
I loved all of his stories about the kids he mentored.
The whole book was memorable, but the lasting impression on me is to be more compassionate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are many, but taking three gang members to a dinner at the White House is very memorable.
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.
Each of the dozens of stories are moving. Some made me tear up, turn off the audio, sit quietly and sometimes pray.
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.
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...
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.
There were several that moved me deeply, in particular how he humanizes the victims of gang-related violence. He gives examples.
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.
Haven't read the print.
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.
All the various gang members speaking.
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.
Thank you for doing that work and telling us, Gregory Boyle.
Compelling, Heartbreaking, Inspiring
no, this is my first
The treatment of the" homies" by the waitress at Coco's in Bakersfield, Jesus in an apron.....
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.
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!
this book shows what one man with a passion for life and people can do.
Father Boyle- Because he is inspirational. I hope some day I can get to homeboy for a tour.
That he was reading his own story.
I did cry. I loved that the Home Boys had immense compassion for others in our country living in extreme poverty.
A great book for a Book Group.
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