Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos

Hole in My Life

Becoming a writer the hard wayIn 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 sente...

Details Hole in My Life

TitleHole in My Life
Release DateSep 8th, 2004
PublisherFarrar Straus Giroux
GenreYoung Adult

Reviews Hole in My Life

  • Joe
    Dear James Frey,This, my good man, is how you write a harrowing memoir about an endless string of bad decisions involving drugs that results in time spent in the pokey.Kisses and cuddles,Joe
  • Sara
    This book isn't as well-known as it should be. For one thing, most children's book authors don't admit to a criminal past. But Jack Gantos had the guts to do so, and it's a great story. Honest without being brutal, and always with that Gantos edge of detail and humor, I can close my eyes and still remember when I first encountered this book. I was impressed then, and I still am.
  • James
    You always hear tragic tales that involve drugs and you never think it could apply to you. Why would it? You're a decent person that knows right from wrong, it can't happen to you. When we are young, we all believe we are invincible, some of us still do.Jack Gantos recounts his struggle starting as a young high school student aspiring to become a writer. He has plans for college so he can become a better writer but feels he has nothing to write a...
  • Patricia
    This young adult autobiography is a candid account of a young man whose aspirations to become a writer would not be fulfilled before he made some bad decisions and suffered the consequences. While I think the book was well written and not an apology for his mistakes, I would not recommend hole in my life for the middle school students I teach. Gantos’ experiences with drugs, smuggling, and self-doubt are more appropriate for young adults. The q...
  • Jonathan Kranz
    I met Jack Gantos back in the early to mid '90's when he was an instructor in Emerson College's MFA program. He stood out from the pack. For starters, he was (and judging by his videos today, still is) a snappy dresser, a notable departure from the running-shoe and tired jeans look favored by many writers. His advice was uncommonly practical, with an emphasis on story structure that has proven very useful. And above all, there was his manner: una...
  • Amy
    Jack Gantos, a children's author, writes a memoir about his last year of high school and how he ends up in prison. I picked it up because I thought it looked interesting and I wondered why it was in a middle school library. After reading it I would say it belongs in a high school library because of the drug references, prison violence, and prison rape. The moral of the story is a good one and it is nice to see him succeed after being in prison. I...
  • Jeffrey
    A good friend gave me this book and told me it would be a fast and humorous read. She was right about fast, and she was right about funny. She didn't tell me how profound the book would be, how insightful and applicable. Before Gantos became an award winning author of young adult novels, he was a kid struggling to find himself. This book takes us on his journey, from his young life in Florida to his higher teen years in the Virgin Islands where h...
  • Katie
    I read this quickly and with moderate interest as to what would happen to young Jack in his journeys, both literal (as he ferried drugs) and figurative. I was especially struck by his story because he was a high school senior and then graduate, by the skin of his teeth, struggling to find his way in life. It wasn't that he was utterly lost--he knew he wanted to be a writer, and the maddeningly idealistic way in which he hopes, pines, and bounces ...
  • Kelsey Dangelo-Worth
    “I have learned this: it is not what one does that is wrong, but what one becomes as a consequence of it.” ~Oscar Wilde“Someone once said anyone can be great under rosy circumstances, but the true test of character is measured by how well a person makes decisions during difficult time.”“I was armed with books the way the navy goes to sea armed to the teeth.”Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos (200 pages)Jack Gantos, author of children’s ...
  • Kate Schwarz
    When a book starts with a whopper of an open line such as "The prisoner in the photograph is me" and the pages following that line tell a harrowing, incredible, true story of a foolish but likeable young man (with years of self-reflection between his mistakes and publication) and how one huge, bad decision goes down... Well, that requires a reader like me to read the book in one long inhale. But Gantos' impressive writing slowed me down-- many pa...
  • Cynthia Egbert
    I really enjoyed this story of a man who is willing to just unflinchingly own his mistakes and foibles. I wish that this biography was utilized more fully in high schools these days. I do understand that it is somewhat dated, but the message is perfect. The idea that one bad decision can alter your course and the lives of others around you but that your life need not continue to follow a negative path but you can choose to make the best of things...
  • Elizabeth
    This is an incredibly enthralling book about Jack Gantos' time in prison for drug smuggling. If you read that sentence you may be turned off but I assure you that this award winning young adult author's "life of crime" was isolated to one time. In this book, you will learn of the circumstances involved that lead to his crime which were unbelievably incredible. For instance, I had no idea about the "white exodus" in certain areas of Florida due to...
  • BookPusher D
    Seriously can't believe how innocent Jack Gantos was and it led to this story. So far I have really enjoyed his story and hope this was not the end of the twists and turns of his early life. I find myself wrapped up in his story telling and wanting more. Second Gantos book this yr.
  • Jordan
    The book i just finished reading is hole in my life by jack gantos i liked the book because it was interesting. I feel like mainly everything about the book was good and interesting. I liked the fact that the book was first person. Plus the fact that it was real made it more serious and entertaining. It introduces you to a good variety of characters and the situations were believable. This book would be really good for high school students and a...
  • Ryan F
    I think the book was good it had everything you would need to make a good book. Jack did an amazing job telling the story of his life and didn't leave out a detail. There was the perfect amount of comedy, suspense, action, and horror. When he was in jail I could feel his worry and want to get out. All things considered the book was an awesome work of literature.
  • Arminzerella
    Jack Gantos is just twenty years old when he gets into trouble with the law. He decides to make some quick money ($10,000) for college by sailing a shipment of hash from the Virgin Islands to New York City. He and his partner make it all the way to NYC and up the river where they stash the hash and then start breaking it up for sale. Gantos has his 10K in hand when a bunch of feds bust into his hotel and take his partner into custody. He flees th...
  • Adar
    The autobiography, A Hole In My Life by Jack Gantos was a very good book, but also very confusing and hard to piece out because of the many, many characters that Jack encounters. Also, because if you knew nothing about court, you knew nothing about what jack was competing with. The use of great words and the plot were beautiful and helped you learn a lot. Jack Gantos was a main character who was oh so confused with what to do with his life, he wa...
  • Alex
    Jack Gantos's memoir, despite being promoted as the story of one big mistake is really an exploration of how a string of small mistakes can land you somewhere you never wanted to go. Gantos's downfall started with a seemingly innocent decision to accompany a friend to a party and smoke some weed. From there, Gantos makes a string of increasingly foolish decisions, spurred on by "friends" who aren't really friends at all, and unchecked by his pare...
  • Kelly
    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 de...
  • Melissa Voss
    I really enjoyed this. I went the audiobook route since I was traveling this week and Gantos reads it; fun to hear the personal account straight from the writer. What an incredible journey to find his way to writing children's books. I would definitely use this for a HS recommendation.
  • Melissa
    I like this book because it it was about someone that had a good education but didn't get to go to college because of his actions.It was a good book because it tell you what the character went throw in jail.
  • Borax
    Jack Gantos writes children's books. Legit children's books. With illustrations and funny words and touching themes. Award winning children's books.This is not that book. This is the autobiographical account on Gantos's bat-crap crazy life from 1970 - 1973 when he bounces aimlessly around the world, eventually ending up agreeing to pilot a ship full of drugs across the ocean. Oh, and how he ends up going to jail for that.I love this book because ...
  • Mari
    I had this book signed by Jack Gantos when I met him a couple of years ago and had intended to read it since then. I finally picked up the book and it really surprised me that the cool author that I had met and had written all the quirky Joey Pigza books that I loved as a kid had been a criminal. The account was incredible. But what was inspiring was that he had always wanted to be an author and even through all the crazy experiences and circumst...
  • Wendy Wakeman
    This one had some relevance for the novel I'm writing. Read it for research. It's a very enjoyable read. Gantos writes solid. His story about growing up poor, having to make his own way, and getting caught in a mess of trouble when he runs some hash from St. Croix to New York is really interesting and unusual. I can imagine this would be a great book for a fourteen or fifteen year old boy who finds lots of things dull. Jack Gantos' story isn't du...
  • ChrisA.
    This Novel was interesting but didn't catch my eye as I believed it would. I expected a little more excitement on every page. The book was was boring on some scenes and exciting on others. But the is overall very good. It just wasn't really for me but i recommend it still.