Joe Loya is an ex-convict, ex-bank robber turned writer whose correspondence with essayist Richard Rodriguez provides him with an anchor while he is imprisoned.
His story is appalling, violent and absolutely riveting. At times, I had to put The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell down because some of the things that happened to him or that he did were just so disturbing. Mr. Loya writes so well, however, that I kept picking this book back up again to find out what happened.
It's an amazing look into the psyche of this precocious little boy who, through the abuse he suffers from his father slowly evolves into this manipulative criminal. The memoir shows us so clearly how violence and abuse affect society as a whole. The boy’s father is dealing with his own pain and demons, the loss of his wife.
Mr. Loya’s transition from bible verse-spouting boy to manipulative, lying young man to bank robber to prisoner and finally to writer, is a journey into a life we rarely, if ever, see or want to see. It is a beautifully written and detailed account of his life.
The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell is a surprisingly poetic and eloquent tale of a modern day bank robber.