David Reeves certainly has a story to tell, one that is proof positive that fact is stranger than fiction. Running Away From Me was penned from behind bars, David is currently serving a 14 year sentence for numerous offenses, armed robbery of drug stores and banks, vehicle theft, and lord knows what else. Assuming he continues to keep out of trouble he is slated for a 2012 release. Having read his book I for one do think that he will be a free man in 2012. It is clear that the Davis Alan Reeves in the early chapters of Running Away From Me is not the same guy who wrote this book.

David grew up in Mobile, Alabama, there was nothing remarkable about his early years, a kid like any other kid, for the most part flying under the radar at school. This began to change though, and by age 14 youthful pranks had moved into juvenile criminality, from there it was a short hop into the world of drugs.

I worked for a number of years in a large homeless shelter, drugs and crime were part of everyday life. In fact as a staff member I was shocked when after only a few months little surprised me. Occurrences that would have horrified me under other circumstances were now the norm. Addictions were a lage part of the issue that we dealt with. Many of the staff shared the idea that a percentage of the population had a naturally addictive tendency. Something in their mental makeup gave them an addictive nature. Addiction manifested itself in many ways, drugs, gambling, booze, even crime and violence.

David Reeves is one such person with that addictive personality. From pot he soon migrated to much harder drugs. As the need for drugs increased so did the need for money. It is hard to land and keep a well paying job when you are strung out 24 hours a day. David found his solution by taking daring risks, risks that could and very nearly did cost him his life. Brazenly robbing street corner drug dealers tend to make for a short and unhappy life.

He then turned his attention to Pharmacy’s, they have pleanty of good quality drugs, armed with a gun and a bag he proceeded to score big. But even this was not enough to feed his addiction. In a cloud of bad judgment he turned his attention to banks. He rationalized that banks had money, lots of it, and money could get him the street drugs he craved. Alas, this was yet another poor career choice, one that offered little in the way of advancement other than into the prison system. And that is exactly what happened. He was eventually apprehended. A robbery gone wrong, a stolen vehicle, a high speed chase, getting shot by the police, and finally court.

Unfortunately with so many different charges, and different jurisdictions involved, his story continued to unfold. When the dust settled it appeared that with good behavior he could be a free man in 14 years.

The second half of Running Away from Me looks at his prison experiences to date. Oddly enough life inside in many ways is a microcosm of life on the seamier side of the real life. Drugs, booze, gangs, and violence are all prolific aspects of everyday life.

I found Running Away From Me to be a very revealing book, and one that must have taken great courage to write. It was also a very laborious process. At the time of writing David had no access to a computer, he wrote the book initially longhand, then typed it out on a typewriter in the prison library. He then sent it piecemeal to his mother who entered it into a computer format that the publisher could work with.

His mother actually includes a short section at the end of the book which in itself is most revealing. She does not condone her sons actions, but does continue to stand by him, and I am sure will be a pillar of strength to David when he is finally released. She has already lost one son to drugs, she is not going to lose David.

You can order your copy of Running Away From Me from Amazon, there is also a web site in support of the book.

Simon Barrett

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