REAPER: The Inside Story of a Gang Leader by Gary Hoenig

REAPER: The Inside Story of a Gang Leader

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Hoenig is supposed to have spent a year ""researching"" this cliche-ridden story of life in the South Bronx where even the brightest youngbloods grow up to be gutter junkies, graduating from minimum-security farms for adolescents to big-time prisons like Attica--or running in gangs with names like the Savage Skulls or the Reapers. His subject is Georgie, whose family leaves him more or less alone on the streets when they go back to Puerto Rico. By the time Georgie knocks up his nice girlfriend Sondra, he's so solidly hooked on ""Big Daddy Dust"" that he can't get it together to support her and the kid. He's picked up and kicks in jail, lives off Sondra's welfare money, joins a gang, hangs out, rumbles, drifts. . . . Hoenig adds a few insets on bureaucratic bungling and organized crime. All this is designed to engage your liberal sympathies, but Georgie doesn't amount to anything more than a flat and hazily melodramatic stereotype and this pastiche of well-meaning journalistic snippets isn't much to get ""inside"" of.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1975
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill