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Reviewed by Lois Henderson for Readers' Favorite
How to Rob a Bank in Drag: A True Story of ODD LGBT Issues by Dawn Lawson is the tale of one woman’s progression from being a 14-year-old runaway from an emotionally battered childhood to where, at the age of 53, as a recovering drug addict and alcoholic, she is able to reflect on and recount the saga of her journey through life. With a father who was, thankfully, consistently supportive of her, and with the growing realization of her own nature as a gay young woman with an addictive personality, who was more prone than not to land up in the wrong relationship at the wrong time and in the wrong place, Lawson triumphs, at least on the personal front, despite it all. Her love for animals and her appreciation for the basic good in humankind is a tribute to the generosity of her spirit throughout.
As a dog lover myself, I especially appreciated Dawn Lawson’s developing awareness of the importance of those of the canine breed expressed in How to Rob a Bank in Drag—as she states, the multifarious mutts rescued her more than she rescued them. Her time spent in prison for bank robbery to feed her drug habit was also of much interest to me, as I have a close friend who went the same route after one too many DUIs. Her descriptions of the highs and lows of her involvement with Alcoholics Anonymous, ranging from close companionship and affection for her fellow attendees to her debunking of the so-called “professional expertise” of an out-and-out fraudulent psychologist, who was more on a personal power trip than a worthy facilitator of healing, were also close to my heart, as they should be to anyone who has befriended those with a somewhat risqué background.
The audiobook of Dawn Lawson’s How to Rob a Bank in Drag, voiced by Lynne Perry, warmed me to the soul and had me so enthralled that the moment I had finished listening to the entire book, I listened to it again (which, I’m sure, can’t be said for many audiobooks)! The whole journey of a fellow suffering spirit is totally riveting, and Perry does it full justice, with her full-scaled empathy with the author’s travails and traumas. I also enjoyed the American Indian chanting between chapters, as it lent a sonorous quality to the text. In short, an audiobook not to be missed.