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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1994, when Molly Brodak was 13 years old, her father robbed 11 banks, until the police finally caught up with him while he was sitting at a bar drinking beer, a bag of stolen money plainly visible in the backseat of his parked car. Dubbed the "Mario Brothers Bandit" by the FBI, he served seven years in prison and was released, only to rob another bank several years later and end up back behind bars.

In her powerful, provocative debut memoir, Bandit, Molly Brodak recounts her childhood and attempts to make sense of her complicated relationship with her father, a man she only half knew. At some angles he was a normal father: there was a job at the GM factory, a house with a yard, birthday treats for Molly and her sister. But there were darker glimmers, too - another wife he never mentioned to her mother, late-night rages directed at the TV, the red Corvette that suddenly appeared in the driveway, a gift for her sister. In Bandit, Brodak unearths and reckons with her childhood memories and the fracturing impact her father had on their family - and in the process attempts to make peace with the parts of herself that she inherited from this bewildering, beguiling man.

©2016 Molly Brodak (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Undeniably compelling…An intelligent, disturbing, and profoundly honest memoir." ( Kirkus)

What listeners say about Bandit

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Buy it -- you won't be disappointed

Any additional comments?

This is beautifully written and very hard to put down. You get hooked. I only wish the audio narrator were a little better. She seems to think that if a sentence contains the word "joy" then her voice must be in a rapture when she reads the word, or that she should growl when the subject of anger comes up. That may be a slight exaggeration, but she certainly should use less inflection and trust more in the writing and its ability to evoke the right emotion.In any case, the book is gripping and deep.

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Recording is criminal

I cannot overstate how bad the voice actress is. I’ve read this book before and love Brodak’s whole body of work, so I thought I’d give this audiobook a try as a way to revisit this story. Oh my GOD. It is truly offensive— completely overacted, robbing the writing of its wry-but-lovable flatness. I’ve never left a review for basically anything my whole life, but this is making me feel insane. If you love Brodak or even just this book, safe yourself.

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one of the angriest books I have read

brodak's ambivalence — toward her father, toward family, toward happiness, toward writing itself, and toward this world in general — steams off of every page. The reader perceives her sense of betrayal in her confession that she's unable to enjoy any fictional depiction of family, whether positive or negative; and the restless thrust of her prose seems fueled by the wounded desire to break the cycle of love and birth in which we all are caught. Excellent chapters on gambling (and other types of addiction) as a replacement for the larger, more chaotic experience of cyclical time share the stage w/ a despairing, neurotically detailed pursuit of closure between her brain and the brain of her father. What's missing between her excavation of the past and her speculation on her father's imagination's frontier is a notion of a third path, one that moves forward w/ purpose, into th future. But then that is not her problem, alone

(The audiobook narrator doesn't do Brodak a favour by putting mustard on every sentence. calm down, Emily)

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narrator wasn’t my favorite

Beautiful writing stands on its own, is powerful all on its own. This narrator didn’t seem to understand that, and tried to match her tone to the emotion of the scene, which was annoying and distracting at times.

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life keenly observed

a fascinating look at youth, memory, family, and storytelling itself. one of those memoirs that critiques memoir while living up to the genre’s potential. the writer is a poet and therefore uses the subject of her life to muse insightfully on memory, money, addiction, forgiveness, love, loneliness, and emotional survival. once i started listening i couldn’t stop