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The Golden Boy of Crime

The Almost Certainly True Story of Norman "Red" Ryan

by Jim Brown

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criminals & outlaws
list price: $19.99
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook Paperback
published: 2020
ISBN:9781443450102
publisher: HarperCollins
imprint: Collins
Description

Praise for Canada’s Most Overrated Bank Robber

“Standing at the foot of the scantling . . . was a thick, freckle-faced man whose prison cap could not hide his flaming head. It was ‘Red’ Ryan.” —Ernest Hemingway

“A malicious little bastard.” —Ryan’s childhood friend

“Norman Ryan is a vicious, dangerous and resourceful thief.” —Toronto police chief S. J. Dickson

“Ryan is well liked in Kingston prison. A fine, handsome, clean-cut man, he stands out as a giant among the inmates.” —Athol Gow, Toronto Star

“We narrowly escaped meeting him. If we had, we fear we might, like nearly everybody else, have succumbed to his fatal charm.” —J. V. MCAREE, The Globe and Mail

“I’m glad he is dead.” —Senator H. A. Mullins

Dubbed “the Jesse James of Canada,” Norman “Red” Ryan was infamous in the 1920s and ’30s until he was gunned down in an attempted robbery in Sarnia, Ontario. Ernest Hemingway wrote about Ryan’s escape from Kingston Penitentiary for the Toronto Star, Morley Callaghan based a novel on him, and stories of Ryan and his daring crimes filled newspapers and airwaves. One of the first Canadians to be granted parole, he was held up by Prime Minister R. B. Bennett as a model of rehabilitation and became a regular guest at Toronto police picnics. All the while, however, Ryan continued a crime spree on the side.

With skepticism, humour and an often scathing examination of his own profession, journalist Jim Brown tells the incredible story of “Red” Ryan, a larger-than-life criminal whose fame and legend were much encouraged by the media, leading to deadly results.

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Editorial Review

"Think 'fake news' is a recent invention? Grab load of this!"

— Margaret Atwood
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About the Author

Jim Brown

JIM BROWN has been a journalist for more than thirty years. He is best known for his work on CBC Radio, most recently as host of the weekly current affairs program The 180. Prior to joining the CBC, he worked as a newspaper reporter and magazine editor. His first film, Radiant City, won a Genie Award for best documentary in 2007 and was named one of the ten best films of the year at the Toronto International Film Festival. Jim lives in Calgary.

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