PLEASE NOTE: Although this event is free and open to the public, free admittance is subject to available space. When reserved seating reaches capacity, we will not be able to accommodate additional attendees. To ensure admittance, we encourage you to reserve seating for everyone in your party in advance. Reserved Seating is available when Blessed Are the Bank Robbers is pre-ordered from Warwick's through the linked green "Reserve Seats Here" button above. Only books purchased from Warwick's will be signed. Please call the Warwick's Book Dept. (858) 454-0347 for details.
On Wednesday, March 16th at 7:30pm Warwick's will host Chas Smith as he discusses and signs his new book, Blessed Are the Bank Robbers: The True Adventures of an Evangelical Outlaw, in conversation with David Lee Scales. Chas Smith is the author of Cocaine + Surfing, Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell, which was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Award for Nonfiction, and Reports from Hell. Smith began his career as a foreign correspondent, writing pieces for Vice, Paper, and Blackbook, among others, from Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Somalia, Azerbaijan, and Colombia, which led to a brief career as a war correspondent for Current TV. He lives in Los Angeles.
Chas Smith grew up deeply enmeshed in the evangelical Christian world that grew out of Southern California in the late 1960s. His family included famous missionaries and megachurch pastors, but his cousin Daniel Courson was Grandma's favorite. Smith looked up to Cousin Danny. He was handsome, adventurous, and smart, earned a degree from Bible college, and settled into a family and a stable career.
Needless to say, it was a big surprise when Cousin Danny started robbing banks. Known as the "Floppy Hat Bandit," Courson robbed 19 of them in a torrid six-week spree before being caught and sentenced to seven years. When he tried to escape, they tacked on another year. And when he finally got out, despite seeming to be back on the straight and narrow, Cousin Danny disappeared. Banks started getting robbed again. It seemed Cousin Danny might be gunning for the record.
Smith's Blessed Are the Bank Robbers is the wild, and wildly entertaining, story of an all-American anti-hero. It's a tale of bank robberies, art and jewel heists, high-speed chases, fake identities, encrypted Swiss email accounts, jilted lovers, and the dark side of an evangelical family (and it wasn't just Danny; an uncle was mixed up with the mujahideen). It's a book about what it means to live inside the church and outside the law.
David Lee Scales founded the Surf Splendor podcast network in 2013, which now produces 6 podcasts designed to help chronicle surf history while dissecting surfboard design and providing commentary on the culture with surf industry luminaries. When finally turning off surf discussion, Scales spends all his time cooking, guzzling wine, and changing his 4 month old's diapers with partner Lauren.