Book Review by Kam Williams
The Street God
I Won without Telling
by Christian Hayward
The Street God Entertainment
“This is a story about a small boy who started out as an innocent child raised by his grandmother in one of Cleveland's worst neighborhoods (East 93rd). As you read the uncut, unedited comeback story, it will help you understand how easily environmental and life experiences can shape and mold a harmless, impoverished child into a violent outlaw without any regard for authority or mercy for a human being.”
-- Excerpted from the Bookjacket
Don't let Christian Hayward's given name deceive you. He's no altar boy. In fact, he freely admits that he's "robbed and done everything violent under the sun."
The Cleveland ex-con's saving grace is a brutal honesty about his life combined with a wonderful way with words. The upshot is a warts-and-all autobiography oozing so much street cred that you never question its veracity.
Quite the contrary. Instead, you tend to wince while reading and think "Too much information." For instance, he recounts the evening in his teens he picked up Ms. B. at a school dance and started to seduce her in his aunt's car only to change his mind because she stank up the car when she slipped off her panties. I'll spare you the graphic details.
Later, he describes Poo, his first cellmate in Lorain Correctional, as "an older cat" with "light skin with big lips." Christian was 18 then, as was a fellow inmate Rick, "a stick-up kid from my side of town."
The colorful memoir is written in a stream-of-consciousness style that sounds spoken and almost jumps off the page. The only problem is that there are virtually no role models or lessons of redeeming value in this rough world, whether the author's talking about life behind bars or back on the street.
Consider this riveting account of a confrontation in jail. "That night... one of Crusher's boys spit on the cell floor and I beat him like a woman and he was at least 6' tall. He went out like a coward. He even stopped fighting back. I didn't sleep the rest of the night nor the next morning."
After finishing this fascinating bio, I can certainly concur with Christian's conclusion that "My life was amazing, and I didn't know if it was because I did time."
To order a copy of The Street God, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/099649670X/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20