“Experience and relive The Hole, it is a true inspiring story in which a young man desperately struggled to overcome The Hole. To him the streets of Baltimore city was The Hole, it was a place that had bind and consumed his life, it gave some but took more. Surviving in the streets he had to watch as the drug game sucked many of his friends and family down into its dark abyss like the black hole it truly was. Finally realizing after years of tribulation and lost, he came to find that the key to his redemption lay in a form least expected.” -Goodreads
When I first started reading this book, I didn’t like it. It was set in Baltimore and it talked about life in the streets. About having sex and getting into gang fights. Something that I, as a Singaporean was not used to. I couldn’t level with the author because I didn’t understand his lifestyle. That said, I kept reading because there was just something about it that kept me interested.
So the story follows Will as he lives his life, gets into trouble with his brothers and chases girls. Around the middle of the book, something incredible happens. The author’s older brother Will gets shot and he goes into a coma for 7 months.
Following that, he becomes paralysed from the waist down and he doesn’t walk for 2 years. Then one night, after praying passionately, The Lord gave him the ability to walk again. After parading his new ability around to his family, he broke the very promise that he made to get God to give him back the ability to walk. So, God took the ability away again. The author quoted the bible here saying, ‘The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.’. I have always read stories about the Lord giving. In majority of the things I’ve heard, The Lord is always giving. Very rarely do you come across a story that shows you that the Lord also takes away. Eventually the Lord granted him the ability to walk again though and that experience changed Will’s life drastically.
I have never read a book that was so raw and honest as this one was. I could feel that the author was stripping bare in this book and just letting his memories consume him which is something you rarely find in novels and autobiographies nowadays.
This is certainly a must-read because of it’s honesty. What I liked about the book was that the author wasn’t trying to cover anything up. He portrayed Baltimore and life there the way it was. There want stereotypes that you find in the movies. There was just him and his life.
After reading this book, I emailed Dameon Gibbs (Will’s younger brother who is referred to as Nick in the book). I had a few questions about the book and about his life. Dameon graciously answered all my questions, no matter how blunt, and he has kindly allowed me to publish his answers here.
2) What were the 7 months like not knowing if Will was going to survive?
3) Does Will ever still struggle with doing things because of the shooting? Did he ever pursue the Turntables?
4) Did you see Will walk that night and did you see the ability get taken away?
5) How did watching the Lord work in his life affect you personally? Was it scary knowing how powerful the Lord was?
6) Did your family struggle to remain tight after the shooting?
7) Did you ever want to get revenge on Will’s shooter?
8) Did your family ever get upset with Will over his decision to not press charges? Did you?
9) Now that you are older, do you still think that what your father did was abuse?
10) How and why did you and Will decide to write the book?
We decided to write Will’s book because we wanted to tell his story, and show that the life of drugs and gangs are not the way to go although it appears promising to others, especially youth that idolize what they see on TV.
11) Considering that the book was written for your 15 year old son, was it appropriate to mention Will’s sex and drug life to such an extent? Wouldn’t it have been inappropriate and a bad influence to condone such behaviors in a book written specifically for him?
Book One is only one of five books. The book was originally set to be one book, but the length turned out to be too much, with a total of 740 pages. Therefore we decided to break it down into five books. We wanted to tell life like it truly is when living in Baltimore City. It doesn’t matter how we write it, because the fact remains that once kids go outside into the streets they see an even harsher world with there own eyes. We wanted him to know the truth regarding every aspect. We are not necessarily approving such things, as the story goes on, we later explain that these are not the things anyone should do but that comes in the later books. We are just stating everything that Will went through and that these things such as sex, money, drugs, etc will be his later downfall. This is revealed in later books.
12) You never mentioned what exactly the question was that your son asked and that you were trying to answer. What was the question?
Yes we never actually mention the question because that come later in other books, as it was originally meant to be one book. This might ruin later books if you were to read them. For books 2 & 3 are now available.
Special thanks to Dameon Gibbs for reaching out to me to review his book and for being so lovely about answering all my questions as quickly as possible and as comprehensively as he could. Dameon is very inspiring and you can check out his other work here.
Purchase the books at The Book Depositary using my special link Here.