The Unauthorized Autobiography of Richard Burns

Biographies & Memoirs

By Walt Long

Publisher : createspace

ABOUT Walt Long

Walt Long
From his earliest days as the progeny of government sleaze, the author witnessed corruption, hypocrisy, and stark inhumanity resulting from civil wars and social injustice. As a young adult, he traveled throughout Mexico and Central America where he became iinvolved in the very lucrative b More...



Life has always been a struggle for Richard Burns, from the time his working class family left the slums of New York so his father could find work in Los Alamos on the Manhattan Project. He attends school with less than stellar results - becoming withdrawn, problematic, and eventually sociopathic, surviving a fight with the school principal that leads to expulsion, an adventurous tour in the Navy, a short-lived attempt at college, drug use, and a journey to San Francisco; where he becomes friends with Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso, Bobby Kaufman, and other beat generation luminaries. Escaping to New York with a beautiful drug-addicted dancer draws him deeper into the corrupt netherworld of drugs and crime; but a friend appears with a stolen car and encourages him to tag along on a loosely planned trip to Mexico which ends with Richard being caught with a quantity of drugs, and spending five grueling years in the Guadalajara State Penitentiary. His transition during those mind-boggling years into a responsible and conscientious citizen is gradual and noticeable, revealed fully upon his release from prison when he returns home, finds true love and satisfaction as a respected citizen and business owner.

      Life has never been easy for Richard Burns, but the one constant in his life is the apparent truism that life is forgiving, and always offers another chance.


"The Unauthorized Autobiography of Richard Burns" is a stylized mishmash of rebellious life during the 50's and 60's of young beatniks, hippies, and other social outcasts. It's a true story, moreover, of a troubled young man who struggles to find his place in the world.

The Courage of a Wonderful Man To Tell His Story, July 8, 2009The Unauthorized Biography of Richard Burns: By Walt Long

From the author of The Travelers comes a novel that will teach everyone that it is never too late to start your life over again from the beginning even when the first part of it comes out all wrong.

Everyone needs to feel accepted and loved by his family and friends. All too often we even try to make sure that the people we love the most notice us and will recognize our accomplishments and gloss over our mistakes. But, sometimes no matter how hard we try to conform to what others feel we should be, and try and follow the rules set out for us in school, at work, the military and life in general, some of us just never get right and often have to learn the hard way.

Richard Burns was a young man who was misguided, unpredictable and could not find a positive outlet or direction for his life in which to succeed. Starting his life in the Bronx and then being uprooted to Mexico he learned that life's highway had many stumbling blocks, wrong turns and eventually lots of pitfalls.

Early on he began getting in trouble in school and on the outside. He never quite fit in and wound up in great trouble in high school, which led him to join Navy. Unfortunately, although he tried to follow the rules and regulations he never did.

Making some great friends and some who only dragged his life down, Richard Burns left the Navy only to wind up traveling to many different places throughout Mexico and California and more. Both selling and using hardcore drugs, marijuana and more he managed to spend much of his youth in and out of jails in many different places. He even managed to hook up with the wrong girl who only made things worse and kept taking two steps forward only to revert back to his old ways of using drugs and selling them and placing himself in the company of people who were not concerned for his well being but for their own.

Winding up in the Jalisco State Penitentiary he learned just how low he could go before finally taking control of his life and planning out how he might actually become a success. Using drugs and selling them in prison, creating baseball and soccer pools to earn some money to survive in prison, the reader learns what Richard Burns should have known all along but did not, that he has a great head for marketing and business and should learn to use his innate intelligence and skills to help him get out of prison and start over again.

Throughout the novel the author describes the many incidents that helped him wind up in jail, out in the street or just plain zoned out on drugs. The descriptions are vivid and the way the incidents are described you can feel the frustration and the pain that Richard Burns is going through and the inner conflicts that he has to resolve in order to forge ahead when he does finally get out of the Penitentiary.

Fortunately, it is never too late to start over again. I am a firm believer in getting rid of the reverse button and starting your life in drive and moving in an uphill direction and never looking back at what brought you to the wrong place or places. Richard Burns learned many trades when he finally put his mind to it and had the wherewithal to create and devise a plan that would help him start a business and turn his life around.

He learned how to weld, tile, make furniture and customize it while in prison. He decided to open his own furniture business and include iron and glass specialties too. Starting in Albuquerque and coming back full circle Richard Burns turned his life around. But, we all know that sometimes it takes one person to have faith in us to encourage us to take that one step forward and in this case it a man who was a movie producer who he met in a store and who he helped translate something for to a salesperson. Finding out that he had written his story and left the journals, papers and more in jail, he insisted he not only write the story of his life, but went back to the penitentiary to help him get the cardboard box that had his journal in it in order to help him forge ahead in the right direction.

I won't tell you who Richard Burns really is and why he decided to tell his story. But, what I will tell you is that we can all learn from his life and his experiences that second chances need to be embraced, appreciated and cherished and not passed up.

Once again Walt Long has written a groundbreaking novel that makes a strong point in that everyone needs to have faith in who and what they are and not be the victim of the poor judgment of others, but think for yourself and believe in you and great things will happen. This is a definite must read for all nonbelievers who think second chances are not possible.

Five beautiful gold stars.
Fran Lewis: reviewer

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