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Publisher's Summary

A moving example of unconditional love in difficult times, the best-selling author of Tattoos on the Heart, Father Gregory Boyle, shares what three decades of working with gangs in Los Angeles has taught him about faith, compassion, and the enduring power of radical kinship.

In his first book, Tattoos on the Heart, Father Gregory Boyle introduced us to Homeboy Industries, the largest and most successful gang-intervention program in the world. Critics hailed that book as an "astounding literary and spiritual feat" (Publishers Weekly) that is "destined to become a classic of both urban reportage and contemporary spirituality" (Los Angeles Times). Now, after the successful expansion of Homeboy Industries, Boyle returns with Barking to the Choir to reveal how compassion is transforming the neighborhood that boasts the highest concentration of murderous gang activity in Los Angeles.

In a nation deeply divided and a neighborhood plagued by poverty and violence, Barking to the Choir offers a snapshot into the challenges and joys of life in "the barrio". Jose, arrested at nine, in a gang by 12, and serving time shortly thereafter, now works with the substance-abuse team at Homeboy to help young boys find sobriety. Andre, abandoned by his family when he tried to attend school at age seven, gradually finds forgiveness for his schizophrenic mother. New father Hector, who never knew his own father, thinks of a daily adventure story to tell his four-year-old son. These former gang members uplift the soul and reveal how bright life can be when filled with unconditional love and kindness.

This collection is guaranteed to shake up our ideas about God and about people with a glimpse at a world defined by more compassion and fewer barriers. Gently and humorously, Barking to the Choir invites us to find kinship with one another and reconvinces us all of our own goodness.

©2017 Gregory Boyle (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What listeners say about Barking to the Choir

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Kinship in your life

This is a must read for everyone. This is not a religious book but a deep human spirit book. I think everyone can relate to these kids on some level. Most of us will never truly know the depths of their struggles. But if the community that Father “G” has created in this world of hopelessness is possible then we can use his example in our sheltered safe communities and make kinship parr of our lives. I’m gonna try.

4 people found this helpful

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A Fulling Sequel

In his debut work, "Tattoos on The Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion," Fr. Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest and founder of Homeboy Industries, pries grace lose from the depths of despair and gives readers the lens by which to see the flicker of light in the darkness. Recalling the lessons, tragedy, and surprisingly abundant humor of his 30+ years working with "homies" at the helm of the nation's largest and most successful gang-intervention program, Boyle builds upon his impressive debut in "Barking to the Choir," compelling his readers to consider with new eyes the experiences of those at the margins and, in turn, their own marginalized experiences. With the ever abundant wisdom and witness of the homies whose stories fill the pages, readers will be challenged to reimagine what they think they know about forgiveness, kinship, justice, and the limits of compassion. Boyle draws on his own Jesuit, Catholic formation along with the wisdom of other traditions and spiritual leaders (the Dali Llama and Rumi are favorites) to illustrate the abundance of God's love and, by extension, the abundance of our opportunities to participate in a "community of kinship such that God might recognize it." While some stories will be familiar to readers of "Tattoos," the majority are new, as is Boyle's more direct critique in the later chapters of specific policies (the death penalty, particularly) that lead to the demonizing he (and Jesus) so vehemently oppose. This is a welcome and prophetic addition Boyle's work. Keep the tissues nearby, apologize in advance to those nearby not fond of laughter, and be ready to be ruined in the best possible way.

2 people found this helpful

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Lens-shifting

What did you love best about Barking to the Choir?

Both this book and Boyle's earlier work, Tattoos on the Heart, have had a deep impact on the way I view my own life and grow compassion for myself and others.

What about Gregory Boyle’s performance did you like?

I have heard Fr. Greg speak in person and I absolutely loved hearing him read these deeply moving accounts.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Actually - I wanted to spread it out as long as I could! I didn't want it to end!

2 people found this helpful

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Powerful book

Loved it. And to stay "humble amd tou will never stumble" was such a beautiful way of placing one self closer to God.

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We are all connected in this 🌎 world

I keep trying to write something profound to describe the experience of listening to this book and stories by Father G. And his homies. Kinship , connection , and we belong to each other. Those are the takeaways. Separation is an illusion. God is the/our connection and Father Greg plugs us all in. So great. Thank you. ✌️🙏

2 people found this helpful

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Humanity. Kindness. Empathy. Love.

I lost my faith in christianity years ago, because it has become weaponized to hurt so many people. Basically christianity has become non christian. This man and his books have restored my faith in what Jesus teaches. Kindness. Love. Empathy. Humanity. Gregory Boyle exemplifies all of these. I've cried at both of his books and loved every moment. You can be christian or non christian to really to enjoy this and get something out of it.

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Beautiful

I was sad for it to end. Looking forward to the next book! As excellent as the first book. Must reads

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Beautiful

I don’t consider myself to be a religious person and am wary of religious literature. However, this one’s different. I laughed. I choked up. I smiled, binging this book in 2 days. Father Boyle’s story-telling is impeccable, both via voice and in print. Such heart here — from Father Boyle himself and the Homies he lovingly and affectionately writes of. Highly recommend.

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Inspiring

This book was beautiful, inspiring and powerful. Loved it. Definitely recommend it, especially if you're desperate for some goodness in life.

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Absolutely Worth Ever Moment of Your Time

My favorite book! Full of deep meaning and eye open parables of Gods people. A must read! Be sure to read Tattoos on the Heart also. Enjoy

1 person found this helpful