Thursday, January 8, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge Book 005 How Many Chances by Creighton Hobbs

BOOK TITLE-How Many Chances
AUTHOR-Creighton Hobbs
FORMAT-Over sized paperback

A quick note,I have known the author of this book since I was 12 years old. From 7th grade until our Senior year of high school we were pretty close friends. Then his life took a downturn and we drifted apart. Since then we have seen each other maybe 3 times. And exchanged emails. So Creighton if you are reading this review,I am just being honest and telling things the way I remember them happening.

Creighton was born as the youngest of 3 boys. He was a so called miracle baby.The doctors had told his mother that the chances of her carrying Creighton to full term were fairly low.I understand authors sometimes bending the truth some in their biographies to make the story more interesting. But here in what is the first or second chapter Creighton breaks the truth and it doesn't make the story more interesting. He talks about the day he was born. And how his father had to speed to get his mother to Mobile since that was the closest hospital to Escatawpa Mississippi.Creighton was born in the mid 70s and by then Pascagoula MS,which is less than 5 minutes from Escatawpa,had had a great hospital for almost 20 years.

At an early age Creighton found out he had diabetes.Which caused him many health issues. One thing was it stunted his growth. When I met him,he was almost 13 and just barely 5 foot tall. And now that we are both around 4 decades old he is still 5 foot tall.

The first 4 or so chapters deal with Creighton growing up. And they are fairly boring.The most interesting story is when he gets his first car. His grandmother gave it to him. And in two parts of the book Creighton tells the story of driving his first car to high school the first day he had it. But each time the story is different. Like in one he had went and picked up some friends and they had planned on driving to Moss Point High School.Picking up another friend,who was me,then skipping school that day. Creighton had found the key to his parents liquor cabinet and we planned on getting drunk. Well on the drive to the school he lost control of his car and crashed into a tree in someone's front yard about a block from the school. First time he tells this story it is him and a few other people in the car. And they are coming to school to get me. Later on he tells the story. In this version he drives to school. And someone he only ever calls "The blonde head kid" talks him into skipping school. And while leaving the school this is when he hits the tree. I must assume that either he didn't proof read his book. And the publisher didn't proof read it.

Like I stated earlier we kind of drifted apart our Senior year of high school. I had stopped most of my partying and was getting ready to shipout after graduation to goto Army BCT. One day I got to school and one of Creighton and I's mutual friends,who Creighton dedicates a chapter too even though he never mentions this friend by name,comes to find me. "Hey Newt you ain't gonna believe what has happened to Creighton." First he had moved out of his parents place. And ended up renting a bedroom from someone.Our Senior year we had to write an at least 20 page research paper. Well after putting it off for 4 months Creighton said fuck this and quit school instead of having to do the paper. At the time he was working at a local grocery store. He got caught trying to steal beer and got fired. Well without a job he couldn't pay his rent. And he knew if he moved back into his parent's place he would have to go back to school and stop partying every night. It was at this time the "blonde hair kid" came back into Creighton's life. He lived at the same house. And him and 2 others planned on robbing a local burger joint. They talked Creighton into driving the getaway car. People who lived with them heard them planning this for months. But figured they would never do it. Well they did. And got caught. Creighton got a good lawyer,his parents are LOADED. And got probation and the judge suggested it might be a good idea for Creighton to leave the state. He did and last I heard he was running a junk/collectible store.

Now in his book he says he had no idea that "the blonde hair kid" and the others were going to rob the burger joint. And that after they robbed it and jumped back into his car,they held a gun to his head and forced him to drive them away. I wondered why Creighton called the one guy "the blonde hair kid". When it was someone him and I had known since we were young. Turns out from what I hear one of the main reasons Creighton got off so easy was not only did he tell the cops everything he knew about the robbery. But he knew the blonde hair kid had robbed a bunch of homes and he told about this. Supposedly Blonde Hair kid Aka Sammy is out of jail and let word get back to Creighton that if mentioned his name in the book he would track Creighton down and kill him. No idea if that is true. But Sammy is the one person in the book Creighton doesn't name.

Removing all the stuff I know is total lies,this book still isn't a good read. It reads like a rich kid that has never full grown up and nothing is ever his fault. This was published by a vanity press. And while I have heard good about vanity presses I have heard bad also. And this books shows the bad. A real publisher would have had an editor read it. And corrected the many spelling and grammar errors. Plus there is no way they would have let him tell the same story two times.

As for how I got this for free. When it was coming out Creighton found me on Myspace. I have no idea how much he normally sold copies for,but he offered to mail me one that would be autographed for $15. At the time I didn't have the cash so I turned it down letting him know I would get a copy later. That year around X-mas I was on the coast visiting family. And ran into one of our mutual friends. We went back to his home so I could meet his wife. I saw this book on his shelf. And knowing that my buddy hated to read I asked why he had a copy."Shit Newt,Creighton came into my work one day saying he had something amazing for me. He hands me the book tells me chapter 5 was dedicated to me. I assumed that meant I got a free copy. Nope that short fucker charged me 20 bucks." I asked to borrow the book. "Once I finish it I will just mail it back to you" I told him. "Don't worry about it. I read it once and it is full of more shit that a Johnny on the spot at CPRFest.Keep it." I asked again if he was sure he wanted me to keep it,since it is autographed. But he said to keep it. So I still own it. One funny thing is the summer after I got my copy,the person who Creighton was living with when the robbery happened was having surgery. I flew back to keep an eye on him while his wife worked during the day. I brought the book with me. It also happened to be around this friend's birthday. We had a big party. With at least 75% of the people there knowing Creighton. So my friend's wife read the three chapters about the robbery,while the rest of us sat around drinking and making fun of it.

How Many Chances gets a 1.5 outta 5.