This is a catharsis. To forgive himself for the crimes of his past the author must face and acknowledge them. Hence this memoir.
It is mesmerising. But it is also a difficult read.
Not because it is poorly written, because it is not.
Not because the story bores, because it does not.
It is difficult because it is a litany of drug selling, easy betrayal, casual terrorism, casual sex and brutality on a monumental scale.
The author's voice is raw and flatly uncompromising. It portrays without seeming embellishment a world that most of us fervently thank the fates for sparing us from. How the author escaped death or jail is testament to perhaps his survival skills, his incredible luck or his wish to put such a life behind him.
This is a story that stirs emotions, often anger, while reading.
So why have I given it a 5 star rating?
Because the story is a powerful one, powerfully told.
Has the author forgiven himself? Could you come to terms with such a past? Has he earned his second chance?
Perhaps we find out in the sequel, King of the Woods.