Customer Reviews for

Hole in My Life

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Hole in my life

In the book "A Hole in My Life" Jack Gantos shows his ability to cut right to the point. He has no fear of telling his tragic life story. He is honest with what he did and you have to respect him for that. His experiences made him a better writer and person. Obviously h...
In the book "A Hole in My Life" Jack Gantos shows his ability to cut right to the point. He has no fear of telling his tragic life story. He is honest with what he did and you have to respect him for that. His experiences made him a better writer and person. Obviously he regrets what he did, but in the end it helped his career. He shows his ability to make the most out of any situation in life. He persevered, worked hard, and learned from his mistakes. He shows great courage in coming out and telling his story. He turned it into a great book and gave a great example of what can happen to you when you get mixed up with the wrong people. He was just a kid, but he committed a major crime and had to pay the price.
The story of how a young man struggles with high school, moving around the country, avoiding drugs, and trying to become a writer will capture your attention and then leave you shocked. As Jack moved to Saint Croix with his family, he got mixed up with a couple wrong guys. He ends up taking a job sailing 2,000 pounds of hashish to New York. As he makes the journey with the insane naked British man, he is unaware of what is going on around him. The plan would have worked if not for one aspect. As they get to New York and he gets his money, Jack is soon arrested and sent to federal prison. It is there where he truly starts to become a writer. The book shows a period of time in his life where Jack went from good, to bad, to back on the right track. Readers of this book will not be able to put it down.
The honest memoir of Jack Gantos left me shocked but satisfied. His ability to add humor into the very real story makes it interesting and fun to read. Gantos is a great writer and I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a suspense filled true story. He puts his experiences on the line and turned his life around and made the most of it.

posted by cburn12 on April 8, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Hi

Is this a kids book or not?

posted by crwella on August 16, 2012

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    Hole in my life

    In the book "A Hole in My Life" Jack Gantos shows his ability to cut right to the point. He has no fear of telling his tragic life story. He is honest with what he did and you have to respect him for that. His experiences made him a better writer and person. Obviously he regrets what he did, but in the end it helped his career. He shows his ability to make the most out of any situation in life. He persevered, worked hard, and learned from his mistakes. He shows great courage in coming out and telling his story. He turned it into a great book and gave a great example of what can happen to you when you get mixed up with the wrong people. He was just a kid, but he committed a major crime and had to pay the price.
    The story of how a young man struggles with high school, moving around the country, avoiding drugs, and trying to become a writer will capture your attention and then leave you shocked. As Jack moved to Saint Croix with his family, he got mixed up with a couple wrong guys. He ends up taking a job sailing 2,000 pounds of hashish to New York. As he makes the journey with the insane naked British man, he is unaware of what is going on around him. The plan would have worked if not for one aspect. As they get to New York and he gets his money, Jack is soon arrested and sent to federal prison. It is there where he truly starts to become a writer. The book shows a period of time in his life where Jack went from good, to bad, to back on the right track. Readers of this book will not be able to put it down.
    The honest memoir of Jack Gantos left me shocked but satisfied. His ability to add humor into the very real story makes it interesting and fun to read. Gantos is a great writer and I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a suspense filled true story. He puts his experiences on the line and turned his life around and made the most of it.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2011

    Hole in My Life

    Jack Gantos expresses his memoir, a true, harrowing tale riddled with comedic and despairing moments of how he came to be a successful writer in his latest book, Hole in My Life. An autobiography of sorts, this book retells the woes and humorous events of a student turned federal criminal, then into a successful writer. These stories are plentiful and Jack Gantos expresses them in full candor, without leaving out any details, leaving the reader satisfied but hungry for more. The story of this man's life so far is almost too abstract to be able to imagine but yet, while reading this book you feel sucked in; as though you are out there, on the sailing vessel, on the way to New York with two thousand pounds of hashish in the hull and a naked British man named Hamilton on deck.

    Gantos displays an oxymoron of themes in his book. Knowing the end of his memoir at the beginning foreshadows his humorous, adolescent, and even occasionally disgusting ventures by the unfortunate ending. A stylistic genius, Gantos writes so that one can imagine themselves right next to him throughout his tales.

    If this book could be described in one or two words, one would most likely use "real". This is so because it is the real occurrence of a student who became a drug runner in a series of events. It is the "real" account of a writer. Some may see or believe Gantos as an ex-con failure but Gantos became a successful writer in the end; the title he had been attempting to reach since his most adolescent times.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    An Exciting Memior

    Jack Gantos wanted to be a writer ever since he read his sister's diary and realized how uncreative, tedious and dull it was. He thought that he could write better than what he had read so, he started journaling himself. It became a record that he kept daily, and he soon recognized the talent that he had in his writing. He later went on to be very successful in this hobby of his, but that's not to say he didn't come across some speed bumps on his journey.
    In his early years, Jack didn't have the smoothest upbringing. His family was constantly going from place to place, moving from house to house. As a boy, he moved to nearly 10 different homes by his senior year in high school. This was when he decided that he was done with his schooling. Unfortunately, skipping college and striving to be a successful writer was harder than he had once thought. Forgoing college was his only choice because he had no money and no way to make any.or so he thought.
    He then found a way to make a lot of money and fast. The only disadvantage was that smuggling drugs was very much illegal and he could go to federal prison if he were caught.which is exactly what happened.
    Hole in My Life is an exciting memoir that keeps the reader interested from his childhood all the way to the time he spent in prison. Gantos includes entries from his very own diary, and goes into great detail making the readers feel as if they are experiencing the adventure themselves.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    Hole in My Life starts off with a fairly normal family that is moving out of the states. When the main character, Jack, who is also the author, was in the middle of his 11th grade year he dropped out. When he decides that it would be better for him to go to school, rather than do construction work, his family sends him back to have his senior year with different family in the states. Living with his new family, the Bacons, doesn't go over very well, however, as he would rather party and drink than obey the rules of the family. He is then kicked out and sent to live on his own once again. After a few more incidents he decides to go live with his family on the island St. Croix. This is what led to his getting arrested. When he was offered $10,000 to smuggle drugs into America, he jumped at the chance because he was going to use the money to go to college, but he ends up getting arrested by the Feds, which obviously he never thought would happen. This book is a well-written memoir, a part in this man's life he wishes never happened, the "hole" in his life.
    There honestly isn't much to criticize, it is very well written and keeps your interest throughout the entire book. It keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wonder whether or not the right decision will be made. You may think his writing can be bland at some points, but this is overcome by a blend of great writing, storytelling, and that constant thought you have in the back of your mind telling you that this was real, that he actually lived this. It would be easy to say the choices he made were wrong, but the way he describes it and writes about it you soon realize that all he really wanted was college and to become a good successful writer. Unfortunately, he made, as we all do, bad choices that resulted in possibly, one of the worst possible outcome.
    It is a very well written book with a style of rough dry humor about tough situations; he is able to laugh at his downfalls in life, which is one of the reasons that makes this book so good. He gives you the examples of what he has done and casually laughs them off, while making it seem horrible enough that the reader never attempts to do any of these things. As a young adult novel, I think it is more of a "what not to do" memoir than an entertaining one, it literally is the "hole" in his life, the part of his life he wants to forget. If you go to his website and read his bio, it says nothing of his jail sentence or even his time on St. Croix, only of his achievements. It is a very good story by an extremely skilled writer that makes for an entertaining book and one definitely worth the $8 and few hours you will spend reading it. It is the first memoir that I have read, but if the others out there are anything like this, it might be a genre I pick up more often.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    Hi

    Is this a kids book or not?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    Book Review over "Hole in My Life" by Jack Gantos

    I am generally not one who enjoys any books that are a required read for school; however, I found that 'Hole in my life' was quite the exception. From living in a welfare motel to being "promptly arrested" as he puts in his public speeches, the book has a certain sense of reality and entertainment that I have not found in many books. His mistakes made for one exciting, well written novel. Money - College - Writer.these were the three words ringing in his head constantly. He became so obsessed and fanatical about getting the money for college that, when the opportunity presented itself, he did not think about the end result, which would eventually be federal prison. Growing up in as unstable an environment as he did, I cannot say I fully blame him for all his mistakes, especially when they involved drugs and alcohol. Also I do not blame him completely for his major mistake, leading him into prison. He involuntarily developed this "tunnel vision" that only allowed him to see the ten thousand dollars and do whatever it took to have that money in his pocket. Overall, this memoir based on the true life scenarios lived by Jack Gantos presents many life lessons that all of us can learn from when we are presented with rather difficult situations. Gantos does a great job portraying how he felt during his experiences. With this comes a deeper understanding about what he was going through while reading the novel. This book creates a unique combination of both comedy and thrilling entertainment.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2010

    MUST READ! "fist pump" =D

    Ok, well, let me start out by saying that this book is one of the few that I actually enjoyed reading. It is the story of how the author, Jack Gantos, got into some major trouble while looking for adventure, cash for college and a better job. For 10,000 dollars, Gantos agreed to help smuggle a ton of hashish into New York but he gets caught by federal agents and was sentenced to 6 years in jail. This book teaches that there are laws and rules for a reason, and following those laws is usually the best choice.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2014

    .

    .

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  • Posted July 25, 2014

    Recommend it

    my gradson had to read it for summer ready for school.
    he liked it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2014

    No!

    Let me be the first to say this books unbelievable. Drug smuggling, for real? Our school has to read this for summer reading for high school next year. I will be the first to say this book is not appropriate for kids under 15. There are cuss words and a lot of bad scenes. Dead end in Norvelt was better than this. My dad is a former police officer and dealt with people like this. This is not a good book. On the other hand, it teaches us what not to do in life! Not a good book, again, for children under 15.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

          There are multiple characteristics the book Hole in My Lif

          There are multiple characteristics the book Hole in My Life has that make it more enjoyable to read. One is that the book uses very vivid sensory language and shows the reader what a criminal life is like instead of telling them. Jack makes you picture how menacing and intimidating all aspects of prison were. Also, Jack does a really good job creating the theme throughout the book. The theme is that you that you should try to get a job and finish school so you can make something of yourself.

          I would encourage anyone who enjoys reading a nonfiction book to read this. It truly shows what life is like for a criminal and makes you realize that it is a horrible life to live. This book could really give you a new outlook on what life would be like if you were to be put in jail. That is why I encourage the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Basic Information ¿ Genre: Young Adult ¿ Title: Hole In My Lif

    Basic Information
    • Genre: Young Adult
    • Title: Hole In My Life
    • Author: Jack Gantos
    • Setting: St. Croix, To Hamilton’s Ship, Then to New York City
    • Theme: Paranoia
    • Part of a series: No, it’s just a regular old’ Book


    Short, General Synopsis
    • Main Character: Jack Gantos
    • Something Unique: Jack faces real life battles such as drug use, unlawful use of firearms, and even JAILTIME.

    Likes/Dislikes
    • I like the way jack actually tells a real life story and how he endured the situation he was in.
    • I don’t dislike anything about this book it’s a truly amazing book to read if you are into young adult books and almost got away with it type stories.

    Writer’s style
    • The writers style is kind of unique instead of him using clues to give away the theme away he simply states how scared he is to be caught and how paranoid he gets while smuggling the hashish.
    Conclusion
    • Overall this is a very good book to read its basically a biography of the things that happened to a 20 year old man seeking money for college and he was offered $10,000 to help smuggle hashish from St. Croix into New York City.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    I have a questiin

    Is this book appropriate for a 12 year old?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2012

    Should read it!!!!!!!!!

    I read "dead end in norvelt" for a book report and ibam eager to read MORE books by Jack Gantos.

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  • Posted December 9, 2011

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    This is a good book, not boring at all. It helps you know life has a second chance. Funny about his experience in jail but also serious because he felt lonly. Quick and easy read, you wont wanna stop reading.

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    awesomely entertaining - check it out

    "Hole in my life" by Jack Gantos is an incredible book that talks about the epic struggles of a young adult trying to find his way in life, of redemption, and getting his life straight. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrillers or introspective books. When Jack Gantos came to my school, he talked about how this was the hardest book he has ever had to write, but it is also a tough one to put down.

    This book balances both sharing his emotions and describing his surroundings. His writing style fits this story perfectly as he goes through this story of thrills and comedy. As you are captivated in the first few pages you will embark on an epic journey along side Gantos and go through the emotional roller coaster ride that is "Hole in My Life". As I finished this book I didn't even have the dreaded feeling that is post book letdown. I just turned the last page to realize that it was over

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    Awweessssoommmee!

    In the middle of his senior year, Jack Gantos decides to move away from his parents in San Juan to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and starts to focus on his dream of writing. However, after getting kicked out of a family friend's house, Jack has to find a way to support himself financially and still have enough to pay for a college education, finding out later it was harder than it looks. When he moves back in with his parents in St. Croix, his friend Rik tells him of a job that can get him the tuition money quickly, so he jumps right at it, soon finding out that this one ton hash smuggle could possibly put him in jail for years to come. Jack's superb way of describing his personal experience as an innocent young adult in real life situations makes you feel as if you are in his footsteps. Every description of each setting laid out a landscape in your mind, and the adrenaline-rushing action made your heart pound in fear and kept you on the edge of your seat. Although "Hole in My Life" is an action-packed memoir of his journey to federal prison, Jack Gantos made sure that this book provided a message to the readers. From an ex-con who showed no potential in the professional field of writing to becoming a prestigious author in both children and adult novels, Jack shows that no matter what situation you're put through, always follow your dreams. I had the chance to meet Jack Gantos in person, and he is truly following his dream. If you enjoy reading true life stories with inspiring messages that will stay with you forever, then I would recommend you read this book. "You - as a reader - may be finished with a book.but the book may not be finished with you." -Jack Gantos

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    Life-Changing Experience Creates a Life-Changing Book!

    As a bit of a perpetual yet reluctant reader because of school work, I rarely get excited about required reading in a class. I had the same feeling when my English teacher told us we were going to begin reading "Hole in My Life." I wasn't looking forward to it. Even when I began reading the memoir, I was simply glancing over the words; not taking in any real content. However, after the first few pages, my interest in Gantos' story grew immensely.
    In an adventure of laughter, excitement, and thrills, Jack Gantos describes his fourteen-month sentence in federal prison after smuggling hash into New York. While reading, you really feel as though Gantos himself is talking right to your face about the events. You also acknowledge the fact that Gantos really matured from a kid who doesn't think things through to, by the end of the book, a true man who had been through a lifetime of experiences in a little time.
    Overall, I would recommend "Hole in My Life" for anyone wanting to read a book that can physically impact your life. There are many life lessons that can be learned and applied to your own life through reading this book.
    Thank you

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    quite elite

    "Hole in My Life", a memoir by Jack Gantos, adds photographic detail through his words to a dark and serious genre that would otherwise be frank and depressing. With well placed humor and true to life descriptions, you can't help but picture everything even when you don't want to. Throughout his criminal escapade, Gantos continues down his increasingly narrow future. Although his memoir details his smuggling operation, Gantos makes it clear that his book is truly about his becoming a writer. This book, unlike countless others, has really left me with something to take away. He reminded me of how even when something looks like it could be the best option, it might end up being the exact opposite. Gantos explained how unfair the association is between a bad kid and a desperate kid. Throughout his teenage and young adult life, Gantos had been put in the wrong places. His memoir not only showed the consequences of disobeying the law, but also how unfortunate a talented person can be. In the end, I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an enthralling yet serious read.

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    Great read.....Top ten

    Jack Gantos made a mistake as a young adult that completely changed his life. He had always aspired to be an author, but was unable to put his thoughts and writings together until he went on a trip that ultimately altered the way he writes. This true story of adventure, mistakes, and misfortune keeps you wanting to read more and more.

    Jack Gantos does a phenomenal job incorporating short bursts of humor all throughout the book. This book is filled with moments that put you on the edge of your seat such as getting their boat loaded with 2 tons of hashish stuck in military waters. Since the author is the one telling his own story, it is incredibly detailed, and it is all completely true. His dream of getting a college education would eventually come true and give him his lucky break after landing in jail when he gets busted for smuggling drugs.

    Personally, this one is definitely in my top ten books to read. The sheer magnitude of the situation that Gantos eventually ended up in really forces you to pay attention to details and just take everything in. It is almost like he is relaying you his account of the story while sitting right next to you. This book made me realize that if you are put in the worst situations you can change yourself for the better in ways that you may have never thought possible. Reading this book has changed the way I think and proceed with my
    life. I would recommend this book to anyone.

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