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Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood

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For the first time, the full, fascinating, and inspirational true story of Danny Trejo’s journey from crime, prison, addiction, and loss to unexpected fame as Hollywood’s favorite bad guy with a heart of gold. On screen, Danny Trejo the actor is a baddie who has been killed at least a hundred times. He’s been shot, stabbed, hanged, chopped up, squished by an elevator, and o For the first time, the full, fascinating, and inspirational true story of Danny Trejo’s journey from crime, prison, addiction, and loss to unexpected fame as Hollywood’s favorite bad guy with a heart of gold. On screen, Danny Trejo the actor is a baddie who has been killed at least a hundred times. He’s been shot, stabbed, hanged, chopped up, squished by an elevator, and once, was even melted into a bloody goo. Off screen, he’s a hero beloved by recovery communities and obsessed fans alike. But the real Danny Trejo is much more complicated than the legend. Raised in an abusive home, Danny struggled with heroin addiction and stints in some of the country’s most notorious state prisons, including San Quentin and Folsom, from an early age, before starring in such modern classics as Heat, From Dusk till Dawn, and Machete. Now, in this funny, painful, and suspenseful memoir, Danny takes us through the incredible ups and downs of his life, including meeting one of the world’s most notorious serial killers in prison and working with legends like Charles Bronson and Robert De Niro. In honest, unflinching detail, Danny recounts how he managed the horrors of prison, rebuilt himself after finding sobriety and spirituality in solitary confinement, and draws inspiration from the adrenaline-fueled robbing heists of his past for the film roles that made him a household name. He also shares the painful contradictions in his personal life. Although he speaks everywhere from prison yards to NPR about his past to inspire countless others on their own road to recovery and redemption, he struggles to help his children with their personal battles with addiction, and to build relationships that last. Redemptive and painful, poignant and real, Trejo is a portrait of a magnificent life and an unforgettable and exceptional journey through tragedy, pain, and, finally, success that will transfix and inspire.


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For the first time, the full, fascinating, and inspirational true story of Danny Trejo’s journey from crime, prison, addiction, and loss to unexpected fame as Hollywood’s favorite bad guy with a heart of gold. On screen, Danny Trejo the actor is a baddie who has been killed at least a hundred times. He’s been shot, stabbed, hanged, chopped up, squished by an elevator, and o For the first time, the full, fascinating, and inspirational true story of Danny Trejo’s journey from crime, prison, addiction, and loss to unexpected fame as Hollywood’s favorite bad guy with a heart of gold. On screen, Danny Trejo the actor is a baddie who has been killed at least a hundred times. He’s been shot, stabbed, hanged, chopped up, squished by an elevator, and once, was even melted into a bloody goo. Off screen, he’s a hero beloved by recovery communities and obsessed fans alike. But the real Danny Trejo is much more complicated than the legend. Raised in an abusive home, Danny struggled with heroin addiction and stints in some of the country’s most notorious state prisons, including San Quentin and Folsom, from an early age, before starring in such modern classics as Heat, From Dusk till Dawn, and Machete. Now, in this funny, painful, and suspenseful memoir, Danny takes us through the incredible ups and downs of his life, including meeting one of the world’s most notorious serial killers in prison and working with legends like Charles Bronson and Robert De Niro. In honest, unflinching detail, Danny recounts how he managed the horrors of prison, rebuilt himself after finding sobriety and spirituality in solitary confinement, and draws inspiration from the adrenaline-fueled robbing heists of his past for the film roles that made him a household name. He also shares the painful contradictions in his personal life. Although he speaks everywhere from prison yards to NPR about his past to inspire countless others on their own road to recovery and redemption, he struggles to help his children with their personal battles with addiction, and to build relationships that last. Redemptive and painful, poignant and real, Trejo is a portrait of a magnificent life and an unforgettable and exceptional journey through tragedy, pain, and, finally, success that will transfix and inspire.

30 review for Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 What a life! Or should I say many lives, because if it is said that a cat has nine lives, Trejo is mighty close to that cat. I knew who he was, having five sons, the movies he was in appealed to them more than I. Violent movies of which I'm not a fan. But, what made me want to read his story, was a recent episode of Bear Grylls in which Trejo participated. The determination of this 77 year old man to complete the mission with Bear, which was not easy, was impressive. They talked during perio 3.5 What a life! Or should I say many lives, because if it is said that a cat has nine lives, Trejo is mighty close to that cat. I knew who he was, having five sons, the movies he was in appealed to them more than I. Violent movies of which I'm not a fan. But, what made me want to read his story, was a recent episode of Bear Grylls in which Trejo participated. The determination of this 77 year old man to complete the mission with Bear, which was not easy, was impressive. They talked during periodic rests about Trejos life and my interest was piqued. Raw, gritty, honest this man has struggled, overcame, struggled again. Heroin at the age of twelve, various juvenile detentions, adult prisons, some of the worst and yet he became successful in movies, opened restaurants, other endevour. One of which he is most proud is going to juvenile detentions facilities and telling his story, helping those who are misusing drugs. His interactions with various stars in the movie business, was a lighter, more amusing part of this book. His home life, then and now, full of conflict. His personal life not as successful as his commercial life. Still, by all accounts, he has made lemonade from some bitter lemons. Forgive the pun, but it fits. Lol!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood by Danny Trejo I really didn't know much about this actor except he played a lot of bad guy parts. Little did I know his life was a real drama. From childhood on, there was untold hardships, crime, poor choices, violence, prison sentences, drugs, and gangs. His whole family was prison bound or to die of violence. He was unfaithful to his numerous wives and girlfriends. (Even after becoming a clean and sober, a Christian.) His belief in God didn't Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood by Danny Trejo I really didn't know much about this actor except he played a lot of bad guy parts. Little did I know his life was a real drama. From childhood on, there was untold hardships, crime, poor choices, violence, prison sentences, drugs, and gangs. His whole family was prison bound or to die of violence. He was unfaithful to his numerous wives and girlfriends. (Even after becoming a clean and sober, a Christian.) His belief in God didn't stop him from continuing to bed many women on the side. His three kids all ended up being addicts but two were finally able to get help and stay clean. In the beginning, he may have had a good career due to his looks as a criminal, which he had been. (One of the most feared in prison.) But near the end of his career he obtained his jobs because he was loved and not because of this criminal element. Too bad he couldn't get his personal life together too! But it really didn't sound like he wanted to be family man in much of the book. He didn't like to be tied to only one woman, held back from going out, etc. It's an interesting story but I don't think I would want to know him in real life. I am thankful I can continue to enjoy watching him on screen!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Erickson

    Most of you know who Danny Trejo is. Even if you say you don’t, the instant you see his face, the feeling of recognition dawns on you. The man is prolific. He currently has 406 acting credits on IMDB. He’s known for playing tough guys, although the twilight years of his career have seen him branching out to play a more rounded set of characters, although almost always with a tough exterior. That tough exterior is there for a reason- Danny Trejo is a convicted felon. He was once seconds away from Most of you know who Danny Trejo is. Even if you say you don’t, the instant you see his face, the feeling of recognition dawns on you. The man is prolific. He currently has 406 acting credits on IMDB. He’s known for playing tough guys, although the twilight years of his career have seen him branching out to play a more rounded set of characters, although almost always with a tough exterior. That tough exterior is there for a reason- Danny Trejo is a convicted felon. He was once seconds away from murdering an inmate before someone else got to him first. He once got a call from the head of the Mexican mafia warning him that a certain film was going to be trouble, ending in the deaths of eight people. He once did a favor for Kiefer Sutherland by threatening Sutherland’s stalker into leaving him alone. You get the idea. But Trejo is also a man who turned his life around entirely, and now lives to enact as much good as he can while he’s still on Earth. The juxtaposition of his past and present selves is fully evident in anything Trejo does, including here, in his long anticipated memoir. Full disclosure: I have wanted Danny Trejo to write a memoir since I was a teenager and first heard his story. I am an absolute sucker for people who become successful from nothing (Educated, Born a Crime, The Glass Castle, etc) and I am even more of a sucker for people who turn their life around to help others. Danny Trejo has also been in some of my favorite projects ever (Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Rick and Morty, B-99, Predators, etc) and has been involved in many movies from my childhood nostalgia brain (Spy Kids, Anaconda, Con-Air, etc). Not to mention, I have co-writer and fellow author Donal Logue on FB, where he sometimes shares short stories he's written about his life including, I realized as I finished this, his collaborator's note for this book, and I think he is a wonderful writer (I'm hoping the success of this book allows him to write his own). So there was virtually no way I wasn't going to enjoy this. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy in exchange for an honest review! I will say that I enjoyed the book so much, I immediately pre-ordered a signed copy after finishing. "On that day, a warm day on Santa Monica Boulevard, all those years came back- good memories, bad memories. I didn't have many people left who I could kick it about that time in our lives. The homeless man with a broken arm had been a big-time dude in Soledad. He was political, got respect, and now he was living on the streets. I wondered how he'd broken his arm, what had happened all those years since the mid-60's when I'd last seen him; I wondered if he needed help. I wish he hadn't walked away. I wished we could have had a cup of coffee and cut it up. I wish I could have given him a hug." "I was a bad man on the hardest prison yards, but the most terrifying thing I ever had to face was my own emotions. I'd been taught to harden my soul against all those feelings, and I'd been afraid if I opened that door, it might never close. But now the door was open, and it was painful and scary and uplifting and right." Danny Trejo had an intense childhood and adolescence. Starting a life of drug dealing and drug-taking before hitting the double digits, the poverty and way of life he had been brought up in dragged him into a life of gangbanging and crime at a very early age. He was in prison multiple times before the age of 25 and developed a reputation for being quite a fighter. He became a boxing champion in prison, got hypnotized by Charles Manson (!!!), and was generally quite a "bad guy". He also treated women extremely poorly and robbed people because he didn't consider them to really be people. He was not swell. But then he found religion, got clean, got out of prison, and devoted himself to getting others clean. The amount of help Trejo has given to others in need throughout his life greatly outweighs the negative he did in his formative years, but what really sets him apart is how he uses those experiences to inform his ability to do good in the now. He uses his acting career as a platform to affect change. One thing he did that I was not aware of until this book is to help change the prison laws to release people on parole who committed felonies in jail before the age of 23, resulting in several hundred inmates who otherwise would still be in jail for crimes they committed in their youth being released. He also negotiated between Mexican mafia heads and film crews to stop violence from erupting on set, which is both crazy and unique position for a person to be in. "My film career is simply a vessel that helps me amplify a message to help a wider audience. Don't get me wrong, I love movies. Reenacting movies kept me sane in Folsom and Soledad. Movies teach us valuable life lessons. They teach us if we reach deep enough inside ourselves, we can overcome whatever problems we're dealing with, regardless of the odds. But the most important thing to me about my life in the film world is that it helps me carry the message of God to as many people as possible. If people are interested in me because of the films, my hope is that they will dig a little deeper into who I am and what I'm about in a way that helps spread the message of recovery. If you think I walk as I talk, you might be more curious as to what I did to turn my life around. " Danny ends up becoming an actor by essentially a freak coincidence of right time, right place while trying to help a kid get clean. He shows up on a set to find him and runs into his old jail buddie Eddie Bunker, who gets him working on the movie as Eric Robert's boxing trainer. The director sees Danny's face, decides he wants him to box Roberts in the film, and boom, he's an actor. Now he's been killed in more movies than any other actor (to help show that crime doesn't pay), and has one of the highest IMDB counts ever. "An interviewer once asked me if I liked working on bad movies. He wasn't trying to be rude, but I didn't love the question. I don't believe there's such a thing as a bad movie. I see every movie and TV role as an opportunity for me to support Maeve, my kids, and the people who depend on me. If my involvement helps a movie get made, it creates jobs for crews that have families of their own to support. How can that be bad? And a bad day on a movie will always be a million times better than your best day in prison." "The scene was so real, it was uncomfortable. Tears poured out of me like a dam had broken. I thought of all those times I'd looked at death, at a lifetime of imprisonment while waiting in Soledad to see if they were going to charge us with a capital crime. I thought of the deaths of my birth mother, my father, my uncle, my mother. I thought of the women I'd treated badly, the relationships I'd destroyed through ambivalence and selfishness, the fear for my children. All the times I never cried when I should have finally caught up with me. A certain set of rules helped me survive the first chunk of my life, the rules my uncle taught me. Another set of rules kept me going all those years after I got out of the hole. I stayed clean and sober by helping others get clean and sober. But there was a part of me I had never dealt with or accepted that I had to confront." Honestly, this book was one of my favorite memoirs of all time. The combination of Danny's life story and Donal Logue's lyrical and introspective prose helped really make this book powerful. The last few chapters had me surprisingly emotional and close to tears as Danny helps his son and daughter with crippling drug addiction. He can help hundreds of random people get sober, but can't do anything for his children. It's a horrifying prospect. As the book closes, COVID has just set in, and Danny is headed through his old neighborhood, feeding families that need relief, the day before his 76th birthday. He sees the places he grew up and the stores he's robbed and the houses he lived in, and how his life is so different now. It's a truly wonderful ending. Please read this book. It's great. I'm going to end it with the quote that actually brought a tear to my eye, an extreme rarity for non-fiction. "My kids are healthy, I'm healthy, my dogs are healthy. We're all happy. I think, tomorrow I'll be 76 and I still have so much living to do, but in that moment, I'm content to let the world spin and enjoy being at home with my doggies. I ask God one last question: I say, "God, how am I doing?". God replies, Great, Danny. You're almost out of hell. Keep it up. I smile to myself and thank Him for my life."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Monica **can't read fast enough**

    This is one of the few times that I am not going to give a star rating to a book that I actually finished reading. I didn't love the way that this was written but I am glad that I read it. This memoir is unflinching and Trejo lays his life out in a raw and unfiltered way. Trejo has experienced, participated in, and witnessed things that I've thankfully only seen in movies and television shows. His life was full of violence, drugs, aggression, and so much anger it’s mind boggling that he survived This is one of the few times that I am not going to give a star rating to a book that I actually finished reading. I didn't love the way that this was written but I am glad that I read it. This memoir is unflinching and Trejo lays his life out in a raw and unfiltered way. Trejo has experienced, participated in, and witnessed things that I've thankfully only seen in movies and television shows. His life was full of violence, drugs, aggression, and so much anger it’s mind boggling that he survived so much. On top of all that Trejo dealt with in his life, he also embraced misogynistic machismo as a way to navigate his relationships with women, it was no wonder that he wasn't able to have stable relationships with them; romantic or otherwise for so long. By the end of the memoir Trejo is more self aware of his destructive approach to his relationships with women, but he still hasn't quite been able to do a lot about it. Which when it's all said and done is his choice. While reading his story I just keep thinking that this man was meant to fail in every aspect of his life and it's amazing to see what he managed to accomplish. I appreciated his interesting and direct descriptions of how he relates to God in a way that doesn't involve organized religion at all; just his understanding of a higher power that he relates to personally without any intermediaries telling him the 'right' way to do it. Where you can find me: •(♥).•*Monica Is Reading*•.(♥)• Twitter: @monicaisreading Instagram: @readermonica Goodreads Group: The Black Bookcase

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    TREJO: My Life of Crime, Redemption and Hollywood is the memoir of actor Danny Trejo. Danny Trejo has been killed on screen over one hundred times and according to his IMDB, he has over three hundred acting credits to his name. This guy just does not stop working. But what about his time before films and movies? I mean, the man didn’t become an actor until he hit forty! Well, it turns out it’s pretty dark. Raised in a broken home, Danny took to the streets from an early age. Surrounded by friends TREJO: My Life of Crime, Redemption and Hollywood is the memoir of actor Danny Trejo. Danny Trejo has been killed on screen over one hundred times and according to his IMDB, he has over three hundred acting credits to his name. This guy just does not stop working. But what about his time before films and movies? I mean, the man didn’t become an actor until he hit forty! Well, it turns out it’s pretty dark. Raised in a broken home, Danny took to the streets from an early age. Surrounded by friends and family hopelessly addicted to drugs, the die had been cast for how Danny had been expected to turn out. Shooting heroin at twelve years old and robbing shops shortly thereafter, Danny quickly found himself in and out of juvie. This was a path that would lead directly to San Quentin. Danny’s formative years are the true star of this book. It’s absolutely mind-blowing that he made it out alive given all he did as a criminal and all he experienced behind bars. There were more than a few quotes I highlighted in the book from his time in prison that will stick with me for years to come: San Quentin is the most Right Now place on earth that isn’t a war zone. If you want to survive, you have no choice but to be in one place, this very moment, and only this moment. Will you live or will you die – today? The first thing you have to do when you get locked up is make peace with the Right Now. It will never be your friend, but you can’t let it be your enemy or you’ll go insane. When Danny finally got out and put his past behind him, he committed himself to a life of clean and sober living. His work within the community to help those in need should be commended, along with anyone else who selflessly lives a life devoted to helping others. It was through this work that he found himself on a movie set and being offered a role in Runaway Train, a role that would kick-start his career in Hollywood. From there we get lots of stories about the various films he’s worked on, his reluctance to take a role in a film that would have likely upset the Mexican mafia and story after story of being type cast as a tough dude who looks like he would kill you for flinching. Some of these were interesting while others weren’t, but hearing it through Danny’s voice helped keep me engaged from cover to cover. I loved the story of how Machete films came to be and the character first being introduced through the Spy Kids movies (something I often forget). When the first stand-alone Machete film was made, it resurrected his career at a time when he was nearly broke and homeless in his sixties. Danny Trejo lives by his belief that every good thing that has happened to him has happened as a direct result of helping someone else. It’s far from a bad way to live. The man pulled himself out of what could have been a destiny of an early death and lived a rich, full life.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    This was definitely my kind of memoir: raw, unfiltered, told in what feels like an extremely authentic voice (Trejo has personality for days), and packed to the gills with interesting—hell, often downright insane—stories. Danny Trejo’s life has really been an extraordinary one, and I find his unique blend of former drug-addicted convict/current badass (yes, even in his 70s he’s still not someone I’d recommend trying to fuck with), combined with one of the kindest, most generous spirits I’ve ever This was definitely my kind of memoir: raw, unfiltered, told in what feels like an extremely authentic voice (Trejo has personality for days), and packed to the gills with interesting—hell, often downright insane—stories. Danny Trejo’s life has really been an extraordinary one, and I find his unique blend of former drug-addicted convict/current badass (yes, even in his 70s he’s still not someone I’d recommend trying to fuck with), combined with one of the kindest, most generous spirits I’ve ever encountered, well, I find that combination really compelling; he’s someone I look up to in many ways. His core philosophy of doing things for others without expecting anything in return is something we should all aspire to, and something that seems pretty simple in theory, but is often very hard to remember to observe in practice. I don’t usually go in for stuff that can be classified as “inspirational,” because that kind of thing is far too likely to be off-puttingly syrupy and gung-ho, but this was one inspirational life story that felt as though it truly merited such a label. So, if you’ve ever enjoyed Trejo’s performances in film and/or television and want to know more about him and how he overcame the staggering odds into which he was born, I’d definitely recommend picking up this book. See this review for a more comprehensive description of what the book covers: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    A Hell Of A Life. Danny Trejo didn't start acting - professionally - until he was almost 40 years old. Mostly because a large part of the rest of that time, he was high and/ or in prison, including some of California's most notorious. Today, Trejo is known as one of the more prolific and high profile actors out there, with over 400 acting credits to his name + his line of Trejo's Tacos restaurants. Here, we see at least pieces of pretty much all of his 70+ years, from his early childhood as the o A Hell Of A Life. Danny Trejo didn't start acting - professionally - until he was almost 40 years old. Mostly because a large part of the rest of that time, he was high and/ or in prison, including some of California's most notorious. Today, Trejo is known as one of the more prolific and high profile actors out there, with over 400 acting credits to his name + his line of Trejo's Tacos restaurants. Here, we see at least pieces of pretty much all of his 70+ years, from his early childhood as the only male in a house full of women and girls to his first time using various substances to his first robbery and the time he was worried he was about to face capital charges after a prison riot. Much of the front half of the story in particular focuses on his times in and around prisons during the first 2-3 decades of his life, and we see how he gained his "tough guy" persona. He lived it. It was either be tough or be dead. Which actually makes the discussions of his confrontations with none other than (then *recent*) Oscar nominee Edward James Olmos over the movie American Me even more epic. And yes, the back quarter ish is primarily about Trejo's life in Hollywood and how that impacted him and his family. It is here that we see some of the things that will cause many of us to go "I remember that movie!" and "Oh Trejo was [insert opinion here] in that one!". In between, we get to see what Trejo was doing in between - which aside from a lot of personal mistakes, was saving a lot of lives and helping a lot of people recover from drug addiction - a passion he pursues to this day. Serious yet hilarious throughout, this book doesn't pull any punches. Trejo, an ex-con, openly admits to many things in this book that many would probably try to hide, including things that weren't known world wide before now (at least to casual observers). And yet we also get to see behind the scenes of just how much good Trejo has been able to accomplish throughout his life. Truly a remarkable man, and a memoir well written and told. Very much recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maritza Garcia-Hernandez

    Let me just say this… For those saying “He can’t read” shame on you for not seeing how amazing it is that this man is even still alive to do this! I absolutely loved this book for its honesty and most of all for Danny reading it himself and giggling all throughout the book. It was truly the best thing ever. It was like he was in my car next to me everyday on my ride home from work. I truly appreciate this mans Brutal Honesty about Everything in his life even his trials as a father. I’m so proud Let me just say this… For those saying “He can’t read” shame on you for not seeing how amazing it is that this man is even still alive to do this! I absolutely loved this book for its honesty and most of all for Danny reading it himself and giggling all throughout the book. It was truly the best thing ever. It was like he was in my car next to me everyday on my ride home from work. I truly appreciate this mans Brutal Honesty about Everything in his life even his trials as a father. I’m so proud of this amazing man that I have never met but has been apart of life the whole of it in movies. I will revisit this book again and again just to hear him giggle.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Keljo

    To paraphrase the tagline for the film Say Anything, to know Danny Trejo is to love him, and those of you who pick up this book are about to know Danny Trejo. I was telling my wife some of the stories in this book, and I’m starting to tear up while wondering is this guy even real? He’s realer than real, forthcoming with his mistakes, always working to be better, and is truly living a life centered around serving God by serving others. That last is the core running through this entire book: God h To paraphrase the tagline for the film Say Anything, to know Danny Trejo is to love him, and those of you who pick up this book are about to know Danny Trejo. I was telling my wife some of the stories in this book, and I’m starting to tear up while wondering is this guy even real? He’s realer than real, forthcoming with his mistakes, always working to be better, and is truly living a life centered around serving God by serving others. That last is the core running through this entire book: God has put us here to serve others. It is a message I strive to live as well, though very imperfectly, and this book was a much needed kick in the butt to work harder at this and rest in God’s Grace. Even if you aren’t into the spiritual message, his life is an incredible journey, and, as a film nerd, I really enjoyed his stories of the films he was involved in. I also love his outlook on making films: a good film is one that gets made because it is employing a lot of people and helping to support their families. Three-Headed Shark Attack is a good movie and nothing will convince me otherwise. I hope to tell you in person one day, but thank you, Mr. Trejo. I will be recommending this book to everyone, especially the audiobook, which was a joy to listen to!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    I listened to the audiobook which is read by the author. It's rough. Danny Trejo led a rough life growing up and as an adult. Some of the stories can be hard to hear. Never go to prison. Ever. The narration is also rough. The rhythm is off. There's some stumbling over words. But I loved the book. It's great listening to Danny start laughing as he tells a story. I laughed a lot - and was often embarrassed at the events that caused me to laugh. I'd equate it to laughing at a guy getting a ball thr I listened to the audiobook which is read by the author. It's rough. Danny Trejo led a rough life growing up and as an adult. Some of the stories can be hard to hear. Never go to prison. Ever. The narration is also rough. The rhythm is off. There's some stumbling over words. But I loved the book. It's great listening to Danny start laughing as he tells a story. I laughed a lot - and was often embarrassed at the events that caused me to laugh. I'd equate it to laughing at a guy getting a ball thrown into his private parts. Truly not funny - but sort of is :( He's a great storyteller with lots of action in his tales. I could picture the action movie as he narrated. Danny Trejo turned his life around and has dedicated it to helping addicts get off drugs. He is an admirable man who has accomplished much.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Bell

    I loved this book. The story is real, full of wisdom and life lessons. The things that Danny Trejo went through and survived are incredible. I recommend this book to all who look for a raw story of redemption and turning your life around.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Barry Hammond

    Danny Trejo, famous for playing convicts, drug-dealers, armed robbers and other villains has a real-life past that's as dramatic and astonishing as anything he's played on screen and he's been rated as "The Most Killed Man On Screen," dying something like 67 times. Acting in films and TV shows like Runaway Train, Heat, Machete, Machete Kills, most of Robert Rodriguez's films like Dusk To Dawn and Grindhouse, as well as Breaking Bad and numerous others he's also been through all of California's m Danny Trejo, famous for playing convicts, drug-dealers, armed robbers and other villains has a real-life past that's as dramatic and astonishing as anything he's played on screen and he's been rated as "The Most Killed Man On Screen," dying something like 67 times. Acting in films and TV shows like Runaway Train, Heat, Machete, Machete Kills, most of Robert Rodriguez's films like Dusk To Dawn and Grindhouse, as well as Breaking Bad and numerous others he's also been through all of California's most notorious prisons: Soledad, San Quinton and Folsom and various other correctional homes, starting in his early teens. He was a heroin addict, armed robber, and prison boxing champion. He turned his life around in 1968 and has since been a drug counsellor, run clinics, and also opened a chain of restaurants. His amazing and harrowing story is told with great honesty and humility in this one-of-a-kind autobiography. Like nothing else you'll ever read. - BH.

  13. 5 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Beth Mowbray If you aren’t familiar with Danny Trejo, I’d be surprised. Perhaps you know him from hit films like Desperado, Heat, or Machete. Maybe you spotted him in Spy Kids or Muppets Most Wanted while watching with your children. And who could forget his stand-out roles in television shows like Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy?! The point is, with a career boasting over 380 acting credits, Danny Trejo is an actor you are bound to recognise. B Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Beth Mowbray If you aren’t familiar with Danny Trejo, I’d be surprised. Perhaps you know him from hit films like Desperado, Heat, or Machete. Maybe you spotted him in Spy Kids or Muppets Most Wanted while watching with your children. And who could forget his stand-out roles in television shows like Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy?! The point is, with a career boasting over 380 acting credits, Danny Trejo is an actor you are bound to recognise. But how much do you really know about the man behind these roles? Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood—written by Danny Trejo himself, alongside his close friend Donal Logue—tells the truly inspiring, no-holds-barred story of his life. Trejo shares his experiences with complete honesty, no filtering and no bullshit. From his crime-filled youth to his battle with addiction, his most personal relationships to building a career as one of the busiest actors in Hollywood, this memoir leaves nothing out. Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Yingling

    This is both a cautionary tale and an inspirational story. Danny Trejo is brutally honest about his younger life, resulting in prison time and hard lessons learned. At the same time, he found a deep faith that prompted him to do good for so many others who had fallen as he did, and to help lift them to respectability and an increased sense of self worth. I came away admiring very much who he is and the positive impact he has made on so many others.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    Danny Trejo has been through some real shit, especially when he was just a kid. It’s incredible that he has been recovering so successfully for so many years and always always always helping other people to reach that same place themselves. He even has to help his own kids get through recovery and I can’t imagine how hard that must have been. Luckily he tells his story with an excellent voice and even the most terrifying moments have an upbeat and glass half full vibe. A dose of reality not to b Danny Trejo has been through some real shit, especially when he was just a kid. It’s incredible that he has been recovering so successfully for so many years and always always always helping other people to reach that same place themselves. He even has to help his own kids get through recovery and I can’t imagine how hard that must have been. Luckily he tells his story with an excellent voice and even the most terrifying moments have an upbeat and glass half full vibe. A dose of reality not to be missed.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Zenda

    Danny Trejo has literally been as low as a person can be. He is a success story that can't really be replicated. He is not a perfect person, and he acknowledges this, but still tries to help those around him. He knows how fortunate he is and tries to lift up those around him. He is 100% himself and never tries to pretend to be anything that he is not. It was interesting to learn more of his history and some of the things that have made him the man he is today. Danny Trejo has literally been as low as a person can be. He is a success story that can't really be replicated. He is not a perfect person, and he acknowledges this, but still tries to help those around him. He knows how fortunate he is and tries to lift up those around him. He is 100% himself and never tries to pretend to be anything that he is not. It was interesting to learn more of his history and some of the things that have made him the man he is today.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Currently Reading

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sophfronia Scott

    With his life in the balance and seemingly holding no weight, a young and incarcerated Danny Trejo came to this realization: “Faith shoves fear out of the room. There’s no room for fear if you fill your soul with faith. Immediately, a calm came over me. All this terrible weight I didn’t even know I had been carrying left me. I felt exhausted, but in a good way. I relaxed and decided to let God carry the weight.” Trejo must re-learn and re-gain trust in this realization throughout his life and tha With his life in the balance and seemingly holding no weight, a young and incarcerated Danny Trejo came to this realization: “Faith shoves fear out of the room. There’s no room for fear if you fill your soul with faith. Immediately, a calm came over me. All this terrible weight I didn’t even know I had been carrying left me. I felt exhausted, but in a good way. I relaxed and decided to let God carry the weight.” Trejo must re-learn and re-gain trust in this realization throughout his life and that is the tension wrapped around this compelling memoir. It would be easy to think the actor whose stony visage is recognizable to millions from his film and television work, got clean, got lucky, and cruised to a Hollywood happy ending. But having faith doesn’t mean having it easy. The guy is no saint, and his good deeds often equaled his poor decisions. His honesty in presenting his story, with a powerful assist from his talented co-writer, the actor Donal Logue, makes the reader stick with Trejo through failed marriages, health challenges, and the nightmares of a father with drug-addicted children. Somehow hope keeps Trejo grounded in the present moment, helps him keep putting one foot in front of the other, helps him believe all shall be well when it least seems like it. A riveting read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    amanda eve

    Pretty much what you’d expect: moving, funny, and full of incredible stories (he was hypnotized by Charles Manson!).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Zirn Hudson

    An epic memoir by an epic actor and humanitarian! Now I want tacos.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nay Keppler

    I love this man so much and I really hope this audiobook is nominated for a Grammy. Listening to it was like being 15 and staying over at your best friend’s house and their tough as nails grandpa is over too and you’re just hypnotized as he recounts old prison tales around a bonfire. Trejo’s story is really incredible and his life is such a testimony to the power of faith, love, forgiveness, recovery, and kickin ass.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Desiree

    I can't even put words together to form a review that this book deserves. All I know is, you need to read it. I can't even put words together to form a review that this book deserves. All I know is, you need to read it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nikolai Garcia

    What a beautiful book! Trejo's journey is a religious one, but an atheist like me really appreciated everything he went through, everything he overcame. There's violence and sadness in this book, but there's also a lot of jokes and joy. I came away from this feeling happy and hopeful. What a beautiful book! Trejo's journey is a religious one, but an atheist like me really appreciated everything he went through, everything he overcame. There's violence and sadness in this book, but there's also a lot of jokes and joy. I came away from this feeling happy and hopeful.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Trea

    What an amazing, yet horrible roller coaster ride of redemption. I’m grateful I got to tag along. I always cheer for the underdog. Trejo proves that everything is a choice. We can overcome our shitty childhoods and other unfair disadvantages. Nothing here is sugar coated. I could feel the depths of hell and his release from it. Gratitude is everything.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Jones Hullinger

    A fantastic memoir. I have such high respect and admiration for Danny Trejo. You have no idea what he has been thru, what he has overcome or what he has done and continues to do for recovering addicts. His story has left me astounded.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    If you don’t know who Danny Trejo is, you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 or so years. Danny is a prolific and well-heeled actor - and one of my absolute favorites. I’ve been dying to read this memoir since I first heard about it, and I devoured it in nearly one sitting. Be forewarned - this book, much like Trejo himself, is TOUGH and unflinching. Trejo suffered abuse as a young man in a terribly broken home, was in a gang, went to prison, engaged in a ton of drug use and more violen If you don’t know who Danny Trejo is, you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 or so years. Danny is a prolific and well-heeled actor - and one of my absolute favorites. I’ve been dying to read this memoir since I first heard about it, and I devoured it in nearly one sitting. Be forewarned - this book, much like Trejo himself, is TOUGH and unflinching. Trejo suffered abuse as a young man in a terribly broken home, was in a gang, went to prison, engaged in a ton of drug use and more violent and criminal behavior than you can shake a stick at. It’s not an easy read. He has lead a really hard life. But- and there’s a but!- he also turned it around in the most glorious way possible. In Hollywood now, you’d be hard-pressed to find an actor so generous. For all the wrongs in his life, he has certainly rededicated his life to making them right. He’s not a perfect human and this isn’t a perfect book- but that’s what made me like it so much. I’ve always been a huge fan of Trejo’s, and after this book, I am even more so. He’s one badass dude, and this memoir is unforgettable.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    This was an entertaining book but I’m not sure the audio format is the best way to read it. Trejo’s narration is extremely stilted and it kept me from really getting into the book. Other than the narration it was great—he’s definitely had an interesting life.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brian James

    Just finished the audio book version. It was utterly painful to get through. Great stories but it was a TERRIBLE choice to have him narrate his own book. HE CANNOT READ!!!! I repeat. HE CANNOT READ!!!!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Trejo is the memoir of actor Danny Trejo as written by Trejo and fellow actor Donal Logue. The memoir details Trejo’s life, warts and all, with him not shying away from warts one bit. For those most familiar with Trejo through his acting, the contents of the book will likely also change one’s view of Trejo and inform the reader of aspects of Trejo’s life not as well known as his portrayal of acting heavies. Through the years, Danny Trejo has been quite open with his history and has not hidden his Trejo is the memoir of actor Danny Trejo as written by Trejo and fellow actor Donal Logue. The memoir details Trejo’s life, warts and all, with him not shying away from warts one bit. For those most familiar with Trejo through his acting, the contents of the book will likely also change one’s view of Trejo and inform the reader of aspects of Trejo’s life not as well known as his portrayal of acting heavies. Through the years, Danny Trejo has been quite open with his history and has not hidden his early life of criminality and time spent in numerous prisons. What many may not know of are his many good works after his own personal epiphanies led him to a more purposeful life, especially when providing help to those down on their luck and battling all sorts of life’s hardships, especially substance abuse issues. And it appears at seventy-seven years of age, Trejo is not slowing down. Throughout his life, Trejo illustrates lessons he has learned from the people in his life, regardless if they were murderers, gang members, prison inmates, fellow actors, clergy, or regular people. Trejo makes it clear, lessons are to be learned from almost any person so long as a person is open to discovering those teachings. In the memoir, Trejo comes across as humble, down to earth and thankful for his life and the opportunities that the entertainment industry has provided him, especially in allowing him to help others. From meeting American presidents to being revered not only in Mexico but throughout the world, Trejo has used his opportunities to help countless others struggling just as he once did with substance abuse. Being the prolific performer he has been for many years, in a career that started out largely by accident and through his boxing skills, when queried why he appears in so many “bad” movies, Trejo graciously points out each time he is paid for acting it puts food on his family’s table and shelters them, while providing many others with jobs, and further allowing him to do his outreach to those in need. Trejo also recounts his Hollywood career with plenty of tales of his past, but not in a gossip-shovel-the-dirt method meant to elevate his own standing while humiliating those he has encountered through the years. Trejo is a highly recommended memoir filled with surprising revelations, revealing a much more complex human than the actor known for portraying villains on the screen. This review was originally published at MysteryandSuspense.com.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    This book and Danny Trejo and his life were a big surprise for me. Several months ago, I got wind of a virtual book event for this book hosted by Steve Buscemi. Even my husband was interested. We watched it and fell in love. This book was a continuation of that event with more stories and lessons on life. Danny Trejo led an interesting life and I’m so happy he shared it with the rest of us. the book was well written and had a nice flow. Yes, there were small fragments of repeated information, bu This book and Danny Trejo and his life were a big surprise for me. Several months ago, I got wind of a virtual book event for this book hosted by Steve Buscemi. Even my husband was interested. We watched it and fell in love. This book was a continuation of that event with more stories and lessons on life. Danny Trejo led an interesting life and I’m so happy he shared it with the rest of us. the book was well written and had a nice flow. Yes, there were small fragments of repeated information, but it wasn’t bad. I just loved how in each big section of the book, he learned a new way of dealing with his issues and emotions. I do think him being cast as the fixer for anything he did may have gotten to him that I wished he explored. But his Hollywood treatment turns around. If you want to know how to survive prison, he teaches you. And it’s certainly not what we have been led to believed. If you want to get clean and sober, he guides the reader. If you want to know how to work hard and get your paid dues, he teaches you. I highly recommend this book anyways even if you didn’t want to do any of those things like me.

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