• Once a King, Always a King

  • The Unmaking of a Latin King
  • By: Reymundo Sanchez
  • Narrated by: Rudy Sanda
  • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (223 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This riveting sequel to My Bloody Life traces Reymundo Sanchez's struggle to create a "normal" life outside the Latin Kings, one of the nation's most notorious street gangs, and to move beyond his past.

Sanchez illustrates how the Latin King motto "once a king, always a king" rings true and details the difficulty and danger of leaving that life behind. Filled with heart-pounding scenes of his backslide into drugs, sex, and violence, Once a King, Always a King recounts how Sanchez wound up in prison and provides an engrossing firsthand account of how the Latin Kings are run from inside the prison system.

Harrowing testaments to Sanchez's determination to rebuild his life include his efforts to separate his family from gang life and his struggle to adapt to marriage and the corporate world. Despite temptations, nightmares, regressions into violence, and his own internal demons, Sanchez makes an uneasy peace with his new life.

This raw, powerful, and brutally honest memoir traces the transformation of an accomplished gang-banger into a responsible citizen.

©2003 Reymundo Sanchez (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about Once a King, Always a King

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Better

the narrator was a lot better. The voices were still a little too fake and the spanish was still bad, but there was a lot less characters or spanish than the first book, so it helped. The story was remarkable and I am glad I listened to both books back to back.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Sequel to “My Bloody Life” Story Okay, Narrator is Great

I was a little disappointed. “My Bloody Life” was a compelling tale. It told the back story that was not unique of a young kid, abused, neglected, basically abandoned who turned to a street gang for security, a stand in family and a means of survival. That take features “lilt to loco” who is a composite character we are told.

The story resumes with “Once a King” and the tale of the author’s life, with some info changed to protect his identity but the Reymundo we learn about is not a composite.

I don’t want to add spoilers so suffice it to say that it is very disappointing to hear his prison bravado with no real remorse for the actions that brought him there. He discusses regret with how the relationship with Marilyn winds up but again, I don’t hear any genuine regret for his actions.

A few minor things that irked me were his repeated comments about his girlfriend’s “masters degree with honors”. There is no such thing. I tend to think that she was awarded a bachelor’s degree with honors. It would be the only explanation for the “honors” part and why she did not work in the field after graduating. It also annoyed me when he spoke of lengthy jail terms. People don’t spent five years in jail in most cases. There are a few exceptions that I have heard of but sentences of greater than a year will have someone serving in prison, especially a gang banger convicted of drug charges.

The inconsistency in other areas of the story bothered me as well. Not because inconsequential details matter but because if this is inaccurate what else is wrong or completely fabricated ?

If you really enjoyed the first book check it out. I definitely would not start with this story and wouldn’t bother unless you’re a huge fan of “My Bloody Life”.

As with the first story I think the narrator did a great job and that was definitely helpful.

1 person found this helpful

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I expected better after reading his firs book

I liked the story, I expected more after the first book. I still dislike the way Rudy Sanda pronounces the Spanish words and streets.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A must read, (listen)!

The author is brutally honest about his life story and the adversity he has had to overcome, (albeit adversity he brought upon himself).
But, nonetheless to be in his situation and to have the courage to escape that certain way of life and make a leap of faith to start a new life takes a lot of guts. It’s not that easy to life life on the straight and narrow.
But, that’s what the author achieved. He was able to swap all the thug life for a 9-5. Good for him. He was born at a huge disadvantage but in the end he made it in life. 👏

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Good but not as good as the first book

I enjoyed the story, it kept my attention but it lacked the excitement that the first book had.

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Lackluster redemption...

Honestly there just wasn't much here. The story was pretty mundane for me. There are much better books in this vein.

Sanda was absolutely the wrong narrator for this book. He took out any gravity.

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    4 out of 5 stars

“Brother of a King”

I’m 42 years old and my brother just died a few months ago. We grew in humboldt Park from 1979 to 1990 when I finally left. I was the last to leave. At age of 7 I was taken to the church on LeMoyne and Homan and there I was told in the basement that I was born a Latin king there many of us same age , same hair , same look on our faces. I did not realize that I was being trained since that age. This is a great book and I would love to connect with Reymundo and maybe share a story or two. thank you

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help

I wish I can talk to reymundo just to see how he's living in 2019. I've shared many of the same experiences..does anyone know a email that I can contact him?

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    5 out of 5 stars

The reader needs to stop making fake accents

The content is excellent but the reader makes fake Hispanic accents that are actually insulting to a person of a Hispanic background. Not only that it does not even sound anything like what a puerto rican sounds like. The reader it should have just read the story as is without these fake accents and it would have been much more better. As for the content, the book is excellent.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

great book pretty sad how his life turned out and i feel for him OAKAAK