Sutton Audiobook | J. R. Moehringer | Audible.com
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Sutton | [J. R. Moehringer]

Sutton

Born in the slums of Brooklyn, in the first year of the 20th century, Willie Sutton came of age at a time when banks were out of control. If they weren’t taking brazen risks, they were shamelessly seeking bailouts. Trapped in a cycle of bank panics, depressions and soaring unemployment, Sutton saw only one way out. So began the career of America’s most successful bank robber. Sutton became so good at breaking into banks, and such a master at breaking out of prisons, police called him one of the most dangerous men.
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Publisher's Summary

Born in the slums of Brooklyn, in the first year of the 20th century, Willie Sutton came of age at a time when banks were out of control. If they weren’t taking brazen risks, they were shamelessly seeking bailouts. Trapped in a cycle of bank panics, depressions and soaring unemployment, Sutton saw only one way out. So began the career of America’s most successful bank robber. Sutton became so good at breaking into banks, and such a master at breaking out of prisons, police called him one of the most dangerous men in New York, and the FBI put him on its first-ever Most Wanted List. But the public rooted for Sutton. When he was finally caught for good in 1952, crowds surrounded the jail and chanted his name.

Blending vast research with vivid imagination, Pulitzer Prize winner J.R. Moehringer brings Willie Sutton blazing back to life. In Moehringer’s retelling, it was more than need or rage at society that drove Sutton. It was one unforgettable woman. And when Sutton finally walked free, he immediately set out to find her. Poignant, comic, fast-paced and fact-studded, Sutton tells a story of economic pain that feels eerily modern, while unfolding a story of doomed love that is forever timeless.

©2012 J.R. Moehringer (P)2012 Hyperion

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (167 )
5 star
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3.9 (147 )
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Story
4.1 (146 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    3dogs3 Eagan, MN 02-25-13
    3dogs3 Eagan, MN 02-25-13 Member Since 2012

    bunnymama

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Start, Poor Finish"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Sutton to be better than the print version?

    I got hooked on audiobooks after a hospitalization and I've never gone back to print books.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I loved the writer's concept, but he seemed to run out of steam in the last quarter of the book. I was really caught up in the story but the ending was so sudden. It left me with some questions about previous sections of the story.


    What does Dylan Baker bring to the story that you wouldn't experience if you just read the book?

    A good reader makes the story seem like a movie in your mind. Dylan Baker is an amazing reader. I love it when a reader is so good that you forget who he is and see only the characters.


    If you could rename Sutton, what would you call it?

    I think "Sutton" was an apt name.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claudia J. Holzemer Tucson 02-14-13
    Claudia J. Holzemer Tucson 02-14-13 Member Since 2010

    Desert Rat

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Never judged a person without hearing their story"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    not a thing.


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

    also listened to The Tender Bar. Both are stories of everyday people and told in such a wonderful expose into the inner person.


    Do you think Sutton needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    not necessarily.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    christine Blue Springs, MO, United States 01-14-13
    christine Blue Springs, MO, United States 01-14-13 Member Since 2004
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    "Fascinating!"
    Any additional comments?

    I chose this book because of all the glowing reviews from other people who had listened to it. I have to admit, their assessment of the story and performance were accurate. Thoroughly enjoyed this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barton Toledo, OH, United States 01-14-13
    Barton Toledo, OH, United States 01-14-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sutton Clearly a home run by"
    Would you listen to Sutton again? Why?

    Sutton is a very well written book and well preformed story. I read both the book and listened to the performance of the audio edition. It is a very charming and almost infectious story that portrays one of America’s most wanted criminals as almost a folk hero leaving the reader/listener, at least in my case, cheering for the ”bad” guy. It is the type of book that I would enjoy reading again or listening to again for the sheer enjoyment and entertainment value.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The book centers on the life of Willie Sutton as the title of the book indicates. I enjoyed this character primarily in the way the author presents Sutton. Sutton speaks directly to the reader/listener outlining his activities, his thinking and his feelings behind his decisions in life. Sutton then directs an abbreviated version of what he has told the reader to a character in the book, a reporter from the New York Times. Sutton, as the story goes, is working with the reporter on a story about his, Willy Sutton’s life. The reporter takes Sutton on a journey to the locations that have been significant in Sutton’s life. As Sutton visits these locations he recalls the circumstances, emotions and events which, in fact, lead him to some of his decisions and behavior. By portraying Sutton in this manner and light the author makes Sutton come alive as he takes the reader along with him on this journey. The audio version with the voices and emotions the narrator, Dylan Baker offers, adds a dimension to the book that you miss by just reading the book.


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

    No


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

    I did not laugh and I did not cry; however, I did smile a lot.


    Any additional comments?

    It was an excellent book and excellent production well worth the read and listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff McLean, VA USA 12-14-12
    Jeff McLean, VA USA 12-14-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Well done...until the end"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes...but an odd shift near the end left me adrift as the listener wondering why the story was constructed as it is and what the point of the switcheroo was.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would have plotted out a more consistent narrative or signaled something being doubt much earlier. The "twist" comes across as Agatha Christie introducing an 11th hour character/clue to make things work out.


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

    No - but his performance was terrific...really added to the experience. Some performers attempt various voices and either fall short of fall into parody. His range was remarkable. I've enjoyed him on screen as a character actor, and his talents are similarly on display here.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It depends on how much editorial control Mr. Moehringer will concede - preferably to a director who can create and maintain a central character who challenges our compassion in a reasonable if not reasoned way.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leo H. Laporte Jr. Belchertown, Ma United States 12-08-12
    Leo H. Laporte Jr. Belchertown, Ma United States 12-08-12
    ratings
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    "Willie the actors' best performance"
    What did you love best about Sutton?

    I was able to listen while at work in a noisy and busy environment, yet the readers voice kept me focused on really hearing the subtle nuances of the character's personna all through the audio book. It was resplendant with colorful description, ( sometimes too colorful) but all of the story from start to finish was masterfully read and completely satisfying. I am a new listener, but see many more hours of enjoyment to come including a re-listen to Sutton


    What does Dylan Baker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    tonality is prominent for good understanding of nuance


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelly Brush Prairie, WA, United States 12-06-12
    Shelly Brush Prairie, WA, United States 12-06-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Kept Me Interested"
    Would you listen to Sutton again? Why?

    Probably not. I usually do not listen to books twice. This book was good but not a page turner.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Sutton?

    The realization that what we remember is not always the truth.


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

    I don't know if I have or not. I do not play close attention to the performers names but after this book I will because he was so good.


    If you could rename Sutton, what would you call it?

    "A Lonely Man"


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed that this book was based on a true character in history. Made me curious enough to Google Willie Sutton.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dugan Arvada, CO, United States 12-03-12
    Dugan Arvada, CO, United States 12-03-12 Member Since 2010

    dugand5

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    10
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    "Neither this nor that"
    What would have made Sutton better?

    I was disappointed by this book. It is written as historical fiction, but has an overlayed story that is dull and includes three characters that are not very interesting. I wish the story had been told from some other perspective in forward time or that it had been written as non-fiction. As it is, it sucks as a piece of fiction, and does't work as non-fiction. I heard the author talking about the book, and I think he was trying to capture the different voices that Sutton himself spoke with about his own life at different times, but it really does not work. Suggest you read the WIkipedia entry on Willy Sutton and leave the book alone.


    Would you ever listen to anything by J. R. Moehringer again?

    Probably not.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Dylan Baker?

    Maybe - nothing really stood out about the performance.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Dissapointment


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick King Exeter, NH 11-30-12
    Patrick King Exeter, NH 11-30-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Even a Crook Deserves Better"

    The choice to tell this story from the day Willie Sutton was released from prison in 1969 felt like an awkward decision to me right from the start. I know quite a bit about the real Willie Sutton and was looking forward to this novelization. If you don't, have that background though, why would you care about a submissive ex-con? The story jumps back and forth through Willie's history to his journey on Xmas day '69 with a reporter and photographer to the places in New York that were important to him. Unfortunately the reporter is portrayed as a stereotypical straight arrow who can't get with Willie's unconventional manner of doing things, while the photographer is portrayed as the worst kind of hippie with all the hippie stereotype including a fringe jacket, Soul On Ice in his camera bag, and a girlfriend who's a masseuse. Could I make this up? I guess J.R. Moehringer thinks he did.

    The story paints Willie Sutton, arguably the most successful bank robber in US history, as a very romantic guy who did everything he is accused of to win the heart of the girl who first convinced him to commit a crime. Main problem being, according to history, the girl in question was with his friend and Willie was probably the brains of the operation. This problem is addressed, albeit bizarrely, at the end of the book.

    Moehringer cuts Sutton an awful lot of slack. He implies that the state of New York failed to help the Sutton family transition when the blacksmith trade became obsolete. He shows us that Willie, though clearly of gifted intelligence, was not adequately educated for useful work.He paints a graphic picture of a boy bullied and abused until violence seems like the only alternative to him. He shows us that intelligent people when faced with unemployment will more frequently turn to crime than accept underpaid work. All of these factors are as true today as they were in the 1920s and I'm sure that is Moehringer's point in bringing them to our attention. While they may be true, they seem more significant to the author's message than they do to the story. The late Donald Westlake, who under the pseudonym Richard Stark wrote the Parker 'heist' novels, made many of these same observations unobtrusively while his books were a lot more fun to read.

    When all is said, I was pretty disappointed in Mr. Moehringer's speculations. He does point out that Willie Sutton wrote two accounts of his life which do not correspond with each other. I've only read one of these, I, Willie Sutton, and recommend it to interested readers over this present work.

    Dylan Baker did an excellent job with pretentious, pseudo philosophical dialog and one stereotypical character after another.

    In my estimation, Willie Sutton deserves better.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pete Dunedin, FL, United States 11-28-12
    Pete Dunedin, FL, United States 11-28-12 Member Since 2002
    ratings
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    9
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    "Worthwhile but a little short of great"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Sutton to be better than the print version?

    I would expect so.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Characters were vivid


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Descriptions of the crimes, bank robberies and escapes.


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

    Not unless I was driving on a long trip.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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