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Tattoos on the Heart Audiobook

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

4.6 (838 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jeremy 09-14-11
    Jeremy 09-14-11 Member Since 2015
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    "Perhaps the best book I've read in years."

    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.

    Amazing read.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    VH California 01-10-13
    VH California 01-10-13 Member Since 2014
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    "One of the Best Books I Ever Read"
    What did you love best about Tattoos on the Heart?

    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.


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

    Fr. Boyle is of that wonderful Irish storyteller's tradition. I loved his stories, some very sad, and some very, very funny.


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

    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.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone working with troubled kids or adults should read or hear this book. Anyone studying the art of storytelling should also.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barefoot rabbit 04-20-13
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    "Truly inspiring stories, awesome narration"

    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!

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jennifer 12-11-12
    jennifer 12-11-12
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    "UNEXPECTEDLY FANTASTIC FUNNY SMART AND EMOTIONAL"
    Any additional comments?

    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

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 02-03-14
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 02-03-14 Member Since 2015

    Titles that should be made or remade into film by Amazon or Netflix... Department Q. Harry Hole. Noble House. Tai-pan. Gai-jin and Shogun.

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    "This was remarkably inspiring..."

    Father Greg is a living inspiration. His parish is in the most violent part of L.A. His story is unique, which makes these homilies, tales and antidotes spiritually renewing.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue 06-22-13
    Sue 06-22-13
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    "Favorite audio book ever!"

    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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan WEST DES MOINES, IA, United States 10-27-11
    Bryan WEST DES MOINES, IA, United States 10-27-11 Member Since 2013
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    "Surgery on my soul"

    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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Longmont, CO, United States 12-15-12
    Angela Longmont, CO, United States 12-15-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Compassionate Stories Changed Me"
    If you could sum up Tattoos on the Heart in three words, what would they be?

    beautiful, heart-breaking, hopeful


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 11-18-14
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 11-18-14 Member Since 2013

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

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    "Real Life Parables for Today WWJD"

    Every Christian, alright every PERSON, needs to listen to Father Boyle's Tattoos on the Heart. Because he has absolutely NAILED IT DOWN. One day at a time, one person at a time, he is loving people, accepting people, walking through the valley with people. Only by the grace of God, were you or I NOT born to a mother in the ghetto, into a gang ridden neighborhood. And are we BETTER than those who are born there??? NO, NO, NO . . . In so many ways we are poorer and more pitiful. We cannot see the forest for the trees. The story of the young father who would go home and watch his young children eat supper, DELIGHTING in them, after having worked all day long, not touching any food for himself, until his wife and children had been satisfied, touched me so deeply. If then, there was any food left, he would eat, if not, he didn't, having FILLED HIMSELF up with delight. A former gang member, this young man, had found himself and found that he was worthy of being loved. We try to complicate the gospel of Jesus Christ, sometimes just to try to get out of having to DO SOMETHING, I think. When we do that, we are robbing others and robbing ourselves.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Schurr Boston, MA 04-12-14
    Eric Schurr Boston, MA 04-12-14 Member Since 2012
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    "This will leave tattoos on YOUR heart"

    I'm not even done with this book and I feel compelled to write about it. It's really great. My wife is listening to it, too, and she feels the same way..

    First, this guy's voice is FANTASTIC. Because he wrote the book he tells it with his own personal inflections and emphasis, and he's a GREAT story teller. You feel like you're in the room with him.

    And his stories are really moving and touching. I am so impressed that someone would dedicate years of their life to helping gang kids like this. I can only imagine how rewarding and uplifting it must be.

    Want to be reminded of the goodness of the world? Want to have clear evidence there are incredible people who put others ahead of themselves? Want to see how one person can change so many others' lives? Want to just FEEL GOOD after listening to a book?

    Listen to this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • ian
    leicester, United Kingdom
    9/3/11
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. L. Gerrard-Longworth
    Sunny England!
    3/2/15
    Overall
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    "Awesome, thoughtfully crafted, humbling."

    Read it, listen to it... Let this book in.
    I listened to it on my commute - what a great companion! Sad to finish it. 😊

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • mark
    1/24/15
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    "best audio book I have listened too"
    What did you like most about Tattoos on the Heart?

    Enjoyed the stories faith and love in action


    What did you like best about this story?

    Moved me and challenged me


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

    Heartfelt and enjoyable to listen too


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The compassion of God


    Any additional comments?

    Best audio book I have listened too

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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