Pain and Gain: The Untold True Story (by Marc Schiller, $11.99)
Summary of Pain and Gain
This is the untold true story of one citizen’s pointless torture and month-long captivity. The story, formerly mistold if not utterly overlooked, has been made into a feature film. Even as a dark comedy, there is little amusement to be found in human suffering. The sick and twisted minds of Mr. Schiller’s captors would be fodder for the Darwin Awards if the results were not so alarmingly inhumane. Physical, mental and emotional torture, as well as sensory deprivation and starvation, the prisoner of war-like conditions differed only in the fact that Mr. Schiller was completely alone during his extended stay at the warehouse he refers to as Hotel Hell. An early victim of identity theft in the years following Hurricane Andrew in Miami, Mr. Schiller chronicles his story in tortuous detail. His humiliation, pain and suffering at the hands of these perverted social misfits is a shocking revelation.
What is it like to be imprisoned in near dungeon-like conditions? All this mayhem on American soil toward the end of the last millennium.
Greed, lust for power and the desire to inflict pain and misery were the apparent motivating forces behind this gruesome incident.
Truly a harrowing tale and one that you won’t soon forget.
My review of Pain and Gain
There’s one word that I really don’t want to use to describe this book: Unbelievable. Trust me. You’re going to hear that word a lot when it comes to this book (and, ultimately, this movie). OK, I’m going to use it once (OK, technically twice): Every single aspect of Marc Schiller’s experience, from his abduction to his entire horrific captivity to the grueling aftermath is without a doubt, completely unbelievable.
I read Pain and Gain: The Untold True Story in two sittings (roughly 200 pages at a stretch) — well, two late-night readings in bed — because it is nearly impossible to put down. I’m still somewhat in shock after reading this traumatic tale, to be honest. I highly recommend this book for several reasons…it’s hard to fathom the depths of human depravity, for starters. Then there’s the monumental stupidity and lack of planning on behalf of the criminals that borderlines (borderlines? hmmm…that might be a bit of an understatement) on the absurd and would be laughable if it didn’t involve the tremendous suffering of a human being.
I also think that Marc Schiller has done a remarkable job in telling his story; a first-time writer who is recounting a trauma that most individuals couldn’t even imagine — and he’s produced a book that is compelling, captivating, and moving. Not to mention inspirational. Schiller didn’t turn into a monster bent on revenge; he remained a man with dignity and character, in spite of everything he endured. This is a true story that has, without a solitary doubt, earned the label “remarkable.” Trust me when I tell you: Read. This. Book.
About Marc Schiller
Marc Schiller was born in Argentina before immigrating to Brooklyn with his parents when he was 7 years old. An early entrepreneur, Schiller started several small businesses by the age of nine. He attended high school in Brooklyn, participating in sports and was a member of the track team.
Schiller received an accounting degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a MBA from Benedictine University. He has had a long and diversified career both as a professional and entrepreneur in the United States as well as around the world. On an entrepreneurial level, Marc Schiller has launched several successful businesses including two accounting practices both in Miami and Houston, a delicatessen in Miami, and an options and stock-trading company.
Schiller currently works as an accounting and tax resolution specialist for a national tax resolution company. He has two grown children; his son graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with an economics degree and his daughter is a student at Loyola Marymount University in California.
By the way…Pain and Gain the movie is scheduled to hit theaters April 26, 2013, and features Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson (yes, The Rock). While I’m sure this will be a great thriller/black comedy/action flick…I again must implore you. Read. The. Book. No matter how good this movie is, I can all but guarantee that it will not “move” you and affect you as Schiller’s words will. If I’m wrong, then you can come back here and tell me so. (But, you obviously have to have read the book and seen the movie, so…)
I was not compensated for writing this post. I received a copy of Pain and Gain to facilitate my review. My opinions are 100% honest and 100% mine. This post contains an affiliate link.