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Monster
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``Monster'' Kody, today known as Sanyika Sakur, spent 16 years as a ``gangbanger'' in South Central Los Angeles. His account begins at age 11, when he was inducted into the ranks of the Crips, and ends (hundreds of bodies later) with Scott serving a seven-year prison term for beating a crack dealer. Throughout, he successfully conveys a sense of the siege mentality that prevails every minute of every day, due to the daily barrage of gang-on-gang violence. Names of derivative Crip gangs (e.g., Rollin' Sixties, Hoovers, Grape Street Watts Crips) and gang members (e.g., Li'l Hunchy, Tray Ball, Huckabuck) flit across the pages in a confusing manner, but Scott pushes the narrative forward with scarcely a glance backward, and, ultimately, names and incidents are not important. Unfortunately, Scott was in prison during the violence that followed last year's Rodney King incident and thus sheds little light on the peace treaty forged between the Bloods and Crips. Although unrepentant, Scott today is dedicated to ending gang violence. Recommended for most collections.-- Mark Annichiarico, ``Library Journal''

"A shockingly raw, frightening portrait of gang life in South Central Los Angeles today." -Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"I propose to open my mind as wide as possible to allow my readers the first ever glimpse at South Central from my side of the gun, street, fence, and wall." -Monster Kody Scott "Monster is unquestionably one of the most disturbingly authentic triumphs of the human spirit ever executed in print." -Los Angeles Times

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