Thursday, May 18, 2023

"Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood" (a review)

 I hope I haven't forgotten how to do this. I submitted the review to Amazon, but who knows if they will accept it? I titled it "The Mexican Rancor," and included this picture with the review:

From Season 1, Episode 3 of 
"The Book of Boba Fett"

Here's the text of my review:

I received my hardback copy as a gift from my daughter, the Beautifuful Princess Bride (yes, it IS spelled that way). She knows I have been walking down the road my brother Danny describes so vividly for 35 years, which is a bit over half of my life; and, because she knows me so very well, she knew my brother Danny’s story would speak to me.
For some years, I have used e-readers. Thus, I didn’t give the hardback copy of “Trejo” the attention it so richly deserved. I implore you not to repeat my mistake; my brother Danny filters mountains of pain to produce the sweet redemption story found here. It’s worth the sacrifice of foregoing a backlit, searchable text!
Prior to reading the book, I thought my brother Danny was only a bad-ass criminal who had lucked into a bunch of Hollywood suckers who paid him to convert real-life thuggery to the celluloid version, and that was responsible for his seeming transformation. As in the case of all lies, a great deal of truth is there. There are two missing elements, however.
The first is that his transformation preceded his Hollywood experience; it came about when he got sick and tired of being sick and tired. 
My brother Danny was never, from the moment he was born, given an environment free of fear-driven rage and violence, with the only solace coming from alcohol, drugs, sex, and inflicting violence on others. That wasn’t presented as insanity to him; it was simply the way life worked. From an early age, he was actively encouraged to follow that path, by people who took the deepest interest in his well-being. He took those lessons to heart, until the thuggery put him behind bars, and made it near-impossible to even realize that the real bars were those of the soul.
But God.
The second element missing from my earlier image of my brother Danny was that his battle to remain clean and sober was nothing, compared to his battle to recognize and overcome his character defects that prevented him from giving and receiving love.  For long decades, he was tormented by a pathology that prevented him from accepting love from the many women in his life, and he gave back rejection in exchange. 
But God.
I was delighted by the most recent appearance of my brother Danny on screen, in Season 1, Episode 3 of The Book of Boba Fett. After reading the book, I re-watched his scene (starting around 23:40) in which he presents Boba Fett with a rancor, a most horrifying and powerful beast. It hit me that in describing the rancor, he was telling his own story. His last words reveal the depth of healing he himself has been given in real life: “Don’t worry. He’ll be back.” This is THE answer to the fear that drove all of his transgressions, and his confidence in that statement show me that he, too, has learned that those he loves will not abandon him. 
My brother Danny discovered at the deepest level that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and he carries the message of redemption and recovery to those who are still suffering at all times.
He is doing it right now. 

Peace be on your household. 


  1. This is the kind of review that gets you HEARD.

  2. WHOOOOOO boy. Could not have said it better myself. Such an incredible story, and I am blessed to have been able to "force" you to read it. And anyone reading this review and wondering if it's worth the read/listen, IT IS, IMMEDIATELY AND IN A HURRY!!!! Danny IS a badass. And an absolute inspiration.