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Hole in My Life

Hole in My Life

4.3 118
by Jack Gantos

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In the summer of 1971, Jack Gantos was an aspiring writer looking for adventure, cash for college tuition, and a way out of a dead-end job. For ten thousand dollars, he recklessly agreed to help sail a sixty-foot yacht loaded with a ton of hashish from the Virgin Islands to New York City, where he and his partners sold the drug until federal agents caught up with them


In the summer of 1971, Jack Gantos was an aspiring writer looking for adventure, cash for college tuition, and a way out of a dead-end job. For ten thousand dollars, he recklessly agreed to help sail a sixty-foot yacht loaded with a ton of hashish from the Virgin Islands to New York City, where he and his partners sold the drug until federal agents caught up with them. For his part in the conspiracy, Gantos was sentenced to serve up to six years in prison.

In Hole in My Life, this prizewinning author of over thirty books for young people confronts the period of struggle and confinement that marked the end of his own youth. On the surface, the narrative tumbles from one crazed moment to the next as Gantos pieces together the story of his restless final year of high school, his short-lived career as a criminal, and his time in prison. But running just beneath the action is the story of how Gantos - once he was locked up in a small, yellow-walled cell - moved from wanting to be a writer to writing, and how dedicating himself more fully to the thing he most wanted to do helped him endure and ultimately overcome the worst experience of his life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Gantos uses the same bold honesty found in his fiction to offer a riveting autobiographical account of his teen years [when he agreed to help smuggle hashish from Florida to New York and wound up in jail]," PW said. "It will leave readers emotionally exhausted and a little wiser." Ages 12-up. (Sept.) n Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Gantos, successful author of books for children and young adults, ventures outside his accustomed venue with this autobiographical work. At the age of nineteen, Gantos helped to smuggle one ton of hashish from St. Croix to New York City, and as a result of being caught, served two years of imprisonment in a federal penitentiary in Ashland, Kentucky. Throughout the first few chapters, the saga seems an extension of the Jack Henry stories. The tone soon changes, however, from the comical eccentricity of Gantos's later teenage years to the tension and paranoia of drug smuggling, and finally the fear and despair of prison life. The reader suffers through each agonizing and vulnerable moment until Jack is released and starts a new life, fulfilling his dream of becoming a writer. Children of the sixties, whose youthful indiscretions turned, or nearly turned, into more disasters, will read this book cover-to-cover without stopping. Even young readers without relevant experience will find their hearts racing and their blood pressure rising as the frightening events of his story unfold. Gantos's honesty and directness in describing the whole experience make reading this book a gut-wrenching experience. Gritty details make it a better fit for older high school students and adults, and teachers who have used Gantos's previous books will find it especially intriguing. (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal). James Blasingame
When Jack Gantos was 20 years old, he wanted to go to college, but his grades in high school had not been good enough. He had desperately longed to be a writer since a very young age, but he couldn't seem to find anything important to write about. He was living in the Virgin Islands when an acquaintance proposed a business venture. Rik had 2,000 pounds of hash that needed to be transported to the US, and he wanted Gantos to help drive the boat. For participating in this enterprise, he would be paid $10,000. The danger and personal risk involved never even occurred to Gantos. All he could see was the means to attend a good college. When they were caught, Gantos was sentenced to prison. Ironically, prison is what enabled him to finally pursue his dream of becoming an author. He finally had the patience to write, but the prison would not allow him to keep a journal. He circumvented this restriction by recording his thoughts in the space between the lines of The Brothers Karamozov. Every aspiring writer should read Gantos' book. It is a testament to the creative potential that exists in everyone's life. Although Gantos' experience in prison shaped him as an author as well as a man, it did not define his character. Every one of his actions following his arrest was an attempt to create a distance between himself and the criminal life. While in prison, he quit doing drugs, began to write, and ultimately applied to and was accepted into college. Hole in My Life is a fascinating and surprising look at the life of the man who has given us Rotten Ralph and the Joey Pigza books, among others. KLIATT Codes: SA*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students,advanced students, and adults. 2002, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 200p. illus., Ages 15 to adult.
—Heather Lisowski
School Library Journal
The compelling story of the author's final year in high school, his brushes with crime, and his subsequent incarceration. Gantos has written much about his early years with his eccentric family, and this more serious book picks up the tale as they moved to Puerto Rico during his junior year. He returned to Florida alone, living in a seedy motel while he finished high school and realized that his options for college weren't great. A failed drug deal cost him most of his savings and he joined his family, now in St. Croix, where he accepted an offer of $10,000 to help sail a boat full of hash to New York. He and his colleagues were caught, and as it turns out, he was in more trouble than he anticipated. Sent to federal prison for up to six years, Gantos landed a job in the hospital section, a post that protected him from his fellow inmates, yet allowed him to witness prison culture firsthand. Much of the action in this memoir-some of it quite raw and harsh-will be riveting to teen readers. However, the book's real strength lies in the window it gives into the mind of an adolescent without strong family support and living in the easy drug culture of the 1970s. Gantos looks for role models and guidance in the pages of the books he is reading, and his drive to be a writer and desire to go to college ultimately save him.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"We didn't so much arrive at our destinations as aim and crash into them like kamikaze yachtsmen." So Gantos describes himself as a 20-year-old about to be arrested and imprisoned for smuggling two thousand pounds of hashish from St. Croix to New York City. Young Jack seems to share with his fictional characters-Joey Pigza and Jack Henry-a blithe disregard for the consequences of wild behavior. Readers follow him from a seedy motel run by the great-great-granddaughter of Davy Crockett to a Keystone Kops adventure on the sea, from a madcap escape from FBI and Treasury agents to his arrest and trial, represented by his lawyer, Al E. Newman. This true tale of the worst year in the author's life will be a big surprise for his many fans. Gantos has the storyteller's gift of a spare prose style and a flair for the vivid simile: Davy has "brown wrinkled skin like a well-used pirate map"; a prisoner he met was "nervous as a dragonfly"; another strutted "like a bowlegged bulldog." This is a story of mistakes, dues, redemption, and finally success at what he always wanted to do: write books. The explicit descriptions of drug use and prison violence make this a work for older readers. Not the usual "How I Became A Writer" treatise, it is an honest, utterly compelling, and life-affirming chronicle of a personal journey for older teens and adults.
From the Publisher

“A memoir, by turns harrowing and hilarious, about a huge mistake.” —Miami Herald

“His account is remarkably free of both self-pity and self-censorship. . . . This is a tale of courage and redemption, proving that a bad start in life does not have to lead to a bad life story.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Gantos really is Everyman, but an Everyman who has landed himself into a deeper pit than most. What separates Gantos is the determination that took him out of his dreams and into a successful life as a writer. Those writerly skills are in full evidence here, in this thoughtful and provocative memoir as valuable to those who have never heard of Gantos as to those who have read all of his books.” —Hyde Park Review of Books

“The ultimate cautionary tale.” —Smithsonian

“This true tale of the worst year in the author's life will be a big surprise for his many fans. . . .This is a story of mistakes, dues, redemption, and finally success at what he always wanted to do: write books.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 7.64(h) x 0.56(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

From Hole in My Life:

From my cell window I could see a line of houses in the distance. All week the people had been putting up Halloween decorations. We didn't celebrate Halloween in prison - or, I should say, every day in prison was scarier than any Halloween, so there was no reason to do anything special on October 31st. But thinking of Halloween reminded me of a funny story from when I was in fifth grade. We were living in Kendall, Florida, right on the train tracks. One Halloween afternoon police cars flooded our neighborhood and announced that Halloween was canceled because there had been a prison break upstate at Raford. A couple of guys had hopped a freight and the cops thought they may have jumped off in our area. We locked our doors and turned on all the lights. We pulled the curtains. All night I scampered from window to window peeking out and looking for unshaven suspicious types in striped outfits. Every time a bush rustled in the wind my heart leapt. I saw rugged prison mugs in every shadow. It was the most exciting Halloween ever. The escapees were caught not far from our house and I was disappointed that I hadn't spotted them slinking around.

I wrote this story down in my journal. From time to time I wrote down other funny stories and memories about my family and my childhood. It was a relief to write stories that didn't have bars around them.

Meet the Author

Jack Gantos has written books for people of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert Honors, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book, and Dead End in Norvelt, winner of the Newbery Medal and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction.

Jack was raised in Norvelt, Pennsylvania, and when he was seven, his family moved to Barbados. He attended British schools, where there was much emphasis on reading and writing, and teachers made learning a lot of fun. When the family moved to south Florida, he found his new classmates uninterested in their studies, and his teachers spent most of their time disciplining students. Jack retreated to an abandoned bookmobile (three flat tires and empty of books) parked out behind the sandy ball field, and read for most of the day. The seeds for Jack's writing career were planted in sixth grade, when he read his sister's diary and decided he could write better than she could. He begged his mother for a diary and began to collect anecdotes he overheard at school, mostly from standing outside the teachers' lounge and listening to their lunchtime conversations. Later, he incorporated many of these anecdotes into stories.

While in college, he and an illustrator friend, Nicole Rubel, began working on picture books. After a series of well-deserved rejections, they published their first book, Rotten Ralph, in 1976. It was a success and the beginning of Jack's career as a professional writer. Jack continued to write children's books and began to teach courses in children's book writing and children's literature. He developed the master's degree program in children's book writing at Emerson College and the Vermont College M.F.A. program for children's book writers. He now devotes his time to writing books and educational speaking. He lives with his family in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Hole in My Life 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 118 reviews.
Timi8 More than 1 year ago
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.
cburn12 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this a kids book or not?
qmQM More than 1 year ago
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.
walt_johnston More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ROSEBUDD More than 1 year ago
my gradson had to read it for summer ready for school. he liked it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
      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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this book appropriate for a 12 year old?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read "dead end in norvelt" for a book report and ibam eager to read MORE books by Jack Gantos.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
plumpkindeep More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mohmohmoh More than 1 year ago
"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
JOHN14 More than 1 year ago
"Hole in my life" By: Jack Gantos Are you looking for a book that has heart, or maybe one that has intensity, or one that has hysterical laughs and epic heartbreaks? One that you will not want to put down; well listen up. The story "Hole in my life" by Jack Gantos is an amazing book for anyone whether you're12 or 120 this book will steal your soul with awesomeness. The idea of a good kid that gets involved in bad things is something we can all relate to. Jacks predicament only adds to the feeling when he is caught between a rock and a hard place. He decides to hop on a ship carrying 2,000lbs of hash from St. Croix to New York, but the unthinkable happens. Jack is now faced with a problem of a lifetime. A problem we can all learn from. Some things I learned from this book are, redemption is possible, shame hurts but is healed, please don't smoke pot, and the last most important lesson you can get from this is to learn from your mistakes. As this is a life lesson that we should all take away from this book. I don't care who you are, because you could be Hitler or Napoleon and still love this book. The way he throws his whole existence in to the book captivates the mind and holds on relentlessly. Trust me; you will not want to put it down. Once you've finished the book you will have two feelings, either holy crap I want to read it again, or holy crap, this was as rad as a movie starring John Travolta in his dramatic role as Jack. But maybe you don't like John Travolta, but you get my point. As I read this I thought wow! This happened to an actual teenager just like me, and this could've happened to anyone. It could've happened to you, and that's what makes this book unique and incredible
TibbLe14 More than 1 year ago
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
Jones__Candler More than 1 year ago
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
mccallieswim More than 1 year ago
The book "Hole in My Life" is about a young adult (Jack Gantos) traveling through the emotional hardships of life as a teenager and becoming a writer. It starts out as he is in school and he gets drunk at the bar and smokes his brains out. Then his family is moving. But he needs to finish up school so he moves in with another family in Florida. He is eventually kicked out of the house for vomiting all over the living room after another night of partying and drinking and has to support himself while living in a Davy Crockett apartment/motel. After living in the apartment for a while he moves back to his family in St. Croix where a black revolution is going on. When he is offered (what seems like) the opportunity of a lifetime he tells his dad he is going to sail a boat carting 2,000lbs of hash. Jack navigates the boat all the way to New York mildly unscathed. Where he and the two people that hired him begin dealing the hash they had smuggled. After he gets paid he is basically "just chillin'" until the cops bust his partners and the punks snitch on him. Then he is wanted by the FBI and agrees to turn himself in. He gets out of the clank after serving only 15 months of prison time, when they let him on parole to complete college. I am not a big reader or anything but this book really grabbed my attention from the moment I read the first word. It wasn't the normal book where I dreaded reading it, I actually wanted to read it. Jack's creative and descriptive writing style makes it seem as though you are right there with him as he navigates the boat or is in prison. It never leaves you asking where or why, because you can see the walls of his cell or the boat as it hits shore multiple times. This is a great book for teenagers and young adults as it shows you how one choice can change your life. It is a great story about how he went from making mistakes to being the sophisticated writer that he is now.
R0B3RT More than 1 year ago
"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.
Austin97 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From living in an apartment alone his senior year of high-school, to making his way out of federal prison, Gantos gives an account of his life that is both easy and fun to read. He does an exceptional job of incorporating the actual events with his thoughts and feelings. Through this, the reader receives a deeper understanding of the actions that are actually taking place. His humor, wit, and overall self-expressive writing creates a book with hardly a dull moment. Many wrong decisions formed the situation that Gantos eventually found himself in. At the time he was presented the opportunity to sail 2,000 pounds of hash to N.Y for $10,000, he was overwhelmingly unhappy with his situation in St. Croix. This unhappiness caused him to take the chance that was in front of him. By taking this opportunity, only to create a future for himself, Gantos instead found himself prolonging his college opportunity serving time in jail. "Hole in My Life" is an amazingly well written book about a man stuck in the darkness of his mistakes, turning his life around and coming into the light of what he always wanted to be, a writer. After meeting with Gantos at my school I realized the writer he became is one who never lets any thoughts escape his head. He never leaves you wondering why he did what he did in the book, and at the same time gives an astonishingly descriptive narration of the events that took place. I would recommend this book for anyone looking to hear Gantos' story of his miraculous turn around in a way that is both thoughtful and excitingly written.