Book Review – Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood by Danny Trejo with Donal Logue

First published, 2021

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I have loved Danny Trejo for years now. He has the most incredible face. I could just look at him for hours if that wasn’t a really creepy thing to admit/suggest. I swear, I’m safe to be around people. For the most part.

For the uninitiated (where have you been?), Danny Trejo is the Mexican-American actor with the ponytail, awesome moustache and the massive chest tattoo. He’s also the most killed actor in Hollywood history, and he has an incredible life story.

Having first used heroin at the age of twelve, let’s all take a moment for that, Danny Trejo spent much of his adolescence and early adulthood in prison. Having been instructed, from an early age, in the ways of crime and imprisonment by his beloved uncle Gilbert, Mr Trejo survived incarceration but, after one fateful event, he made a promise to God and to himself that he would get out and stay sober.

Out of prison, tee-total and working with addicts in treatment centres across the state, Danny Trejo fell into background acting as a means of making a few extra dollars. But with his extraordinary features and background, it wasn’t long before he came to the fore – playing the tough guy, criminal, general baddie, on screens big and small across the world.

As he states in his book, it wasn’t just the extra money that brought him to acting. It was the desire to reach out to those suffering from addiction, and to highlight the treatment programmes he was involved with.

What I really liked about this autobiography was that the author doesn’t spin history to suit himself. I found this fascinating. Most of us are the heroes of our own stories and tell our tales from our own flawed perspective, where everything that happens is tragic or golden; the bad times are other peoples’ fault, the good times were us and us alone. Danny Trejo doesn’t do that. He admits to his mistakes, states outright that some of the things he says might sound a bit iffy, owns his troubles and, okay, he swears a good amount, but he also talks about God a lot so it balances.

An exceptional life story from a fascinating man.