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)
Flawless. Except for the tears. Father Boyle immediately draws you in with his accounts of the tragic lives of the gang members he lives and works with in LA.
Utterly redemptive. Positively emotional. Raw. Purposeful.
I don't live or work among gangs, but I do teach at risk children who are mostly of the same ethnic heritage of Fr. Boyle's parish. Many of his insights were particularly helpful for me in dealing with the parents of my students. Many of my students' parents had been once in gangs or prison. There is as much tragedy as there is humor as there is love in this book.
Fr. Boyle is of that wonderful Irish storyteller's tradition. I loved his stories, some very sad, and some very, very funny.
No, I am not aware of other works by Fr. Boyle. I live in Southern California where he is known throughout as quite a hero by anyone who regularly reads local news or hears it on the radio. I regret that I haven't gone to one of his talks. He travels all around So. CA giving talks.
Yes, I wanted to listen to this all in one sitting. However, Boyle has also some profound thoughts in spirituality and theology interwoven with his tales of working among gangsters. Many times while driving and listening to this, I had to hit the stop button and think for miles about ideas he expressed, fresh ways of thinking about God and our role in the world.
Anyone working with troubled kids or adults should read or hear this book. Anyone studying the art of storytelling should also.
I listened to this book in one sitting. the narrator did a fine job. It moved every single emotion, I cried, I laughed, and thouroghly enjoyed the journey from strat to finish. It will be a book that you will speak about and remember for time to come. I recomend this book to all. the characters came alive and felt I knew them all personally by the end. I did not want this book to end. Congratulations on agreat story
I first heard Gregory Boyle interviewed on On Being, and he was so compelling I had to check this book out. This is a great example of a book that's 10x better in audio--Boyle's narration has so much heart and really brings the people he writes about to life. It helps that Boyle is fluent in Spanish and nails most of the Angeleno accents. Such great stories of humanity and redemption that brought back years living in the Pico-Union area. HIGHLY recommended!
beautiful, heart-breaking, hopeful
Gregory Boyle's story-telling ability kept me enthralled as I listened to his experiences while working with gangs in Los Angeles. He describes the lives of these "homies" with heart-breaking compassion, and I felt a kinship with the characters in his book. This is truly one of the best books I have ever experienced, and I am recommending it to all my friends.
Father Boyle page after page pulled my heart out, then gave it back to me in pieces with the tools needed to put it back together. This book was life changing and has put me onto a path of compassion. I would suggest this book to any and everyone.
This book was a breath of fresh air. In today's world it is so difficult to see the beauty in everyday things, let alone those whom society has deemed unworthy. I applaud G for his efforts, and I hope he has many more years of successful work at this mission. We have these needs of charity and love right in our own country, even right out our own back doors sometimes, and we do not see them. I hope this story has made some small change in my own personality to be a better person and to not overlook the beauty, light, and raw potential in people I may not give enough credit to.
This is an extraordinary book. Inspiring, funny, sad. Really makes you think about how you view people. Especially people who are struggling or considered "less". Highly highly recommended.
I laughed and cried through the whole thing...often both at once. Part of me feels found...my own disenfranchised self who longs for kinship on the path to returning to the truth of who I am...who we all are. I also found the voice of the church that I longed for as a kid. The voice is heart-broken-open-compassion and I gotta say, it has a wicked sense of humor and swears like a homey.
One of the absolute best!
The humility, love and compassion of father Boyle.
The whole book.
An absolute must read.
"Should be compulsory reading in schools"
I'm blown away by the the incredible compassion of this man. His love and compassion offers more sense than all the over complicated, jargon ridden 'experts' - because they leave out compassion. Whether you believe in God or not, Gregory Boyle's way is the only way to evolve the human condition - so that all lives are valued equally, instead of being selective and judgemental about who's deserving and who's not.
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