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
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.
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!
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.
Report Inappropriate Content