Last night I started reading a new (to me) book. It’s called “Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber” and it’s written by a man named Dane Batty. I actually won this book in a giveaway months and months ago. I wanted to read it right away, especially because it’s so short, but other obligations kept coming up and it kept getting shelved for “later.” I finally had to just stop my schedule and grab it. It’s only about 200 pages so it really shouldn’t take more than a day or two, probably two since I don’t usually get to start reading until late in the evening after both work and school obligations are over.
I read the introduction last night and the first 40 pages. I normally skip over the introduction and the prologue although I’ve been told countless times by numerous people that I really should read them prior to starting the book. For some reason I felt compelled to read the introduction to “Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber” and I’m so glad I did! Apparently the gentleman bank robber who is wanted (his name is Les) is actually the uncle of the author! Fascinating. Dane Batty explained that while in jail his uncle mailed letters to his sister (Dane’s mom) describing his heists and other adventures. She kept the letters and eventually Dane combined the information in those letters with the independent research he done on his uncle’s career of crime and turned it all into this book. Les, the gentleman bank robber, was wanted by the FBI, appeared on America’s Most Wanted, once actually escaped from jail, and ultimately turned himself in to the authorities. I’m only about 1/8 of the way into reading this book but it’s very interesting especially because it’s written from the perspective of someone close to the criminal. I am slightly concerned that there may be a little bit of bias depicting Les as a better person than he actually was but that’s to be expected from the perspective of a family member. Les has been described as charming, kind, generous, a good brother/uncle/father/friend who was always willing to lend a hand or help someone out and would never hurt a fly; but yet, he was a car thief, bank robber and appeared on America’s Most Wanted as wanted by the FBI.
I actually can’t wait to finish this one. I regret having it set on my shelf for so long.