crook Don’t Call Me a Crook!: A Scotsman’s Tale of World Travel, Whisky and Crime by Bob Moore

It is a pity there are getting to be so many places that I can never go back to, but all the same, I do not think it is much fun a man being respectable all his life.

Thus begins Don’t Call Me a Crook!, a memoir of a 1920s youth thoroughly, noisily and lawlessly lived. Bob Moore, a Glaswegian, was a marine engine, occasional building superintendent and ramblin’ man. “I have been round the world seven times, and I have been shipwrecked three times, and I have spent £100,000,” Moore boasts. In Don’t Call Me a Crook he recounts pitched battles with Chinese bandits, life in gangster-infested Chicago, and decadent orgies aboard a millionaire’s yacht.

It’s a hardboiled-noir memoir. It’s picaresque, perverse, and darkly funny. A tribute to one man’s triumph over the law, morals and sobriety, it’s a lost confession that will be crowned a classic.

My thoughts:

Bob is not a person I would have liked. That being said, his adventures, whether they be true or exaggerated, are funny and engrossing. This is a different type of memoir and he’s unapologetic about his life. But he is a crook and a killer. His is one of those unbelievable lives, lives that couldn’t be made up. He makes money, loses money, steals money. He’s a womanizing jerk who still loves his mom. He’ll make you mad and make you laugh.

My one complaint is the footnotes. I could have done without most of them, especially the ones telling me word definitons. If I’m unfamiliar with the term let me figure it out from the context or look it up myself.