Plot/Idea: Bridges’s memoir evokes the backstreet grit of a life of drugs, addiction, and crime. His writing will transport readers to the streets with him, giving them a front seat to his pain—and eventual triumph.
Prose: Bridges is unflinching when it comes to portraying the ups and downs of his life, particularly the brutal circumstances of his childhood and the agonizing consequences of his choices. His prose takes on a lighter feel when describing the profound impact of his spirituality.
Originality: It’s About Time offers an insider’s perspective, from a tragically young age, of a life filled with bad breaks, poor choices, and crime. The author’s voice is powerfully candid in its descriptions and reflections.
Character/Execution: Bridges pens a haunting narrative that will jar readers with its very realness. The transformation that takes place offers hope for even the darkest moments.
Date Submitted: January 25, 2023
By 25, he was serving time in federal prison on drug-related charges. He sold and indulged in increasingly potent narcotics in Compton, of course, but also San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury and Chicago’s Old Town. The list of his products and addictions suggests a shorthand history of the era’s American counterculture: marijuana, hallucinogens—he saw Jimi Hendrix at Monterey while on acid—but also, inevitably, heroin and cocaine, which he took intravenously. It’s About Time documents the gangs and distributors of these drugs, the culture around them, the impossibility of getting straight without help. When he fled to the Air Force, hoping for a path out, he was quickly discharged for the drugs in his blood rather than helped.
The memoir opens and closes with impassioned thanks to God for helping the older Bridges get back on the path, and there’s inspirational power in the story of how he won early release through a program designed to help incarcerated people complete four year degrees. More insight into that experience and his life after would have been welcome, though the storytelling here has weight.
Takeaway: This vivid memoir digs deep into a troubled Compton upbringing.
Great for fans of: Lynne Isbell, Rebecca Pantaleon, and Bonita Bradshaw’s Black, Brown, and White: Stories Straight Outta Compton, Kevin “Salt Rocc” Lewis’s Born and Raised in the Streets of Compton.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A