After hitting rock bottom through addiction, bowling legend Bob Perry learned that religion is for people who don't want to go to hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there. Perry tells his heart-wrenching, inspiring story of bowling for the mob and drug and alcohol addiction in his new book, Redemption Alley.
Perry, considered by many to be one of the most naturally-talented bowlers in the history of the sport, had potential to become one of the best even at the young age of 12. Unfortunately, he grew up in 1970s Paterson, New Jersey, where everyone knew someone who was "connected" - with the mob, that is. Instead of training for championships, Perry began doing odd jobs for wiseguys and hustling hundreds of thousands of dollars in after-house "action bowling" for John Gotti, who later became the boss of the Gambino crime family.
Perry's connections with organized crime eventually landed him in federal prison, but not before he became addicted to crack cocaine, alcohol, and painkillers and was homeless on the streets of New York. Ultimately, Perry washed up on the shores of St. Christopher's Inn, a shelter run by Franciscan monks. It was there that he had six fateful encounters with an angelic messenger who no one else could see - a monk whose message was so powerful that Bob Perry has now been sober for 22 years.
In Redemption Alley, Perry not only shares his remarkable story of bowling success, his dangerous association with hoodlums and gangsters, and his recovery from addiction, but also his inspiring, decades-long spiritual quest, and his sober journey back into the bowling world.
Loved this story. I felt like I was there living it along with Bob. Highly recommend.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I'd highly recommend this audiobook -- it's a gritty true story of a phenom bowler in New Jersey who got involved in the mob, served time in federal prison, wound up a homeless crack addict on the streets of Manhattan for seven years, then met an angel who changed his life. In the end, he goes back to Vegas to bowl in the biggest-money bowling tournament in the country. What happens there is profoundly inspiring.
What other book might you compare Redemption Alley to and why?
I think of this book as a movie -- a "Rocky" of bowling, or "The Sopranos" meets "Hoosiers."
Which scene was your favorite?
The match between "Ruby Red" and Bob Perry, when he gets beat up by John Gotti (who thinks he's throwing the game).
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Any additional comments?
I loved this book. Although it's emotionally wrenching, it winds up being a huge inspirational lift.