$15.99 / Paperback
ISBN: 978-0615787459
436 pages

$4.99 / e-Book
ISBN: 978-0692297612

A riveting read from beginning to end, “Arizona Dream” is an expertly written, true-life tale that reads like a thriller novel, documenting author Adnan Ališić as an extraordinary storyteller. This is the stuff from which Hollywood blockbuster movies are made.  – Midwest Book Review

Haunted by the atrocities of war, a Bosnian refugee pursuing the elusive American dream finds himself committing the heist of the century.
Ališic’s debut memoir, composed entirely in prison, begins in the mid-1990s: “This is my story as I remember it,” he writes in the foreword-and if even half of it is true, it’s enough adventure for 10 lifetimes. The author escaped the clutches of ruthless Serbian militants following Yugoslavia’s breakup, relocated to Phoenix and achieved success selling used cars. But the only thing more rewarding than making money was spending it, and with the help of the nearby Casino Arizona, Ališic did just that. What should have been merely recreational begins to possess him in a way he could never have imagined. Helpless against gambling’s siren song, his small empire crumbled as his company’s profits fueled his habit. Although the finer details of his business operations tend to be long-winded, even extraneous, they underscore just how easily the blackjack table ripped away what took so long to build. As his desperation increased, Ališic’s financers threatened to sue; his unsupervised employees embezzled from the company coffers; and his cherished girlfriend, Selma, left him. “Last night, I gambled away a 2002 Mustang,” he confides. “I realized that the more I was going there, the more I craved it. Not because I wanted to be there. Not because I liked it. But because I knew I wasn’t a loser, and I wanted to even the score.” In this case, evening the score meant boosting $2 million from Casino Arizona. Yet his self-styled description of his story as a “real-life Ocean’s Eleven” sells the reality short. Far from the devil-may-care attitude of those films, his memoir reveals the scheme as the remarkably human outcome of a life marked by anguish and the hope of redemption. A series of harrowing flashbacks to Bosnia-illegally selling cigarettes in Prijedor, leaping into a sewage canal while outrunning a barrage of bullets, witnessing a massacre, being tortured nearly to death-transforms Ališic into a hero worthy of anyone’s admiration. The climax is as much a lifetime’s catharsis as it is the conclusion of an audacious caper.
An engaging, mile-a-minute crime memoir.  

– Kirkus Reviews

    https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/adnan-alisic/arizona-dream/  

  “Arizona Dream is many great things at once: a love story, a war story, a crime caper, an immigrant tale, an addiction memoir, and most pertinently, an honest, moving, and utterly gripping account of a man trying to come to terms with his past. In likable, plain-spoken, and insightful prose, full of lush and vivid detail, Adnan Ališić reflects on the suspenseful twists and turns of his one-of-a-kind life path. From the first page to the last, I was completely riveted. This is one hell of a book.”

Davy Rothbart, author of My Heart is an Idiot, creator of FOUND Magazine, and frequent contributor to public radio’s This American Life

Beba Barut Pjano rated it 5 of 5 starsWow, what an amazing book!

I read the book in 36 hours, all 425 pages!

This book is so well written, the truth bares it all: pain, war tortures, poverty, love, loss, gain, betrayal and then it bares reformation and forgiveness… The author was able to vividly paint a picture for us of his life back home, his life in the USA, the hardships he had, the ups and then the road of downs that led him to The Haist……What struck me the most is the pain and torture he endured as a young boy during the war in Banja Luka when he was captured by Chetniks. When I read the chapter about Pinokio and Dambo, I had to abandon the book….. I sat down and I cried for the author, I cried for all the innocent kids that were inflicted pain and torture and I cried for all the innocent souls that were killed during the war. It brought back a lot of bad memories for myself as well. I hope the author’s pain is gone now and that he’s healed as much as one can be after enduring what he had endured. Then… I cried for the betrayal he endured from ones he loved. But at the end, I am proud of the author because he was able to rise from it all and write this amazing book. This is… a must have book! Everybody makes mistakes and everyone deserves a second chance, this young man for sure deserves it! Our society will be a better place once Adnan is back among us.

For Adnan:

“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them”.

Washington Irving

Beba

Aldin Šarić rated it 5 of 5 stars

Arizona Dream is so descriptive, you’ll hear the earsplitting screams, smell the coppery stench, and feel the horrific dread.

Ernad rated it 5 of 5 stars

A true-story plotted like a thriller. The ending was so unexpected, but so masterfully pre-planned in the pages preceding it

Samir rated it 5 of 5 stars

Thus far this has been my best book purchase. I highly recommend this book to anyone to purchase and read it. It is a very easy read and a truthful story of author’s childhood, family life, war experience and gambling addiction and a detailed description of each. I was impressed with the author’s writing because as I was reading it I felt like I was part of his life, that I was there with him experiencing his ups and downs. He kept my attention throughout the whole book, and this book is an excellent read for those that struggle in life with addictions such as gambling. Life is a journey and that journey is full of ups and downs, but in this instance the author’s (already difficult) childhood was shattered by the Civil War in Bosnia and after I read the chapter about the tortures that were imposed onto him by Chetniks, I feel compelled to say that I strongly believe that if he had received the right medical treatment for his Post-traumatic stress disorder that his life would have been positively different.Samir rated it 5 of 5 starsThus far this has been my best book purchase. I highly recommend this book to anyone to purchase and read it. It is a very easy read and a truthful story of author’s childhood, family life, war experience and gambling addiction and a detailed description of each. I was impressed with the author’s writing because as I was reading it I felt like I was part of his life, that I was there with him experiencing his ups and downs. He kept my attention throughout the whole book, and this book is an excellent read for those that struggle in life with addictions such as gambling. Life is a journey and that journey is full of ups and downs, but in this instance the author’s (already difficult) childhood was shattered by the Civil War in Bosnia and after I read the chapter about the tortures that were imposed onto him by Chetniks, I feel compelled to say that I strongly believe that if he had received the right medical treatment for his Post-traumatic stress disorder that his life would have been positively different.

Medina Drina-barut rated it 5 of 5 stars

I’m usually not into crime books, but this book is so much more than that. It is about war, shattered childhood, love, hard work, success, addiction, shattered dreams, and crime. It is a reflection of a young man who has been through so much and who has lost everything because of his addiction, wrong choice of friends and a good heart. It is my honest opinion that this book is one of the best I’ve read so far. I truly hope it gets the recognition it deserves and becomes a top seller in no time. Buy this book, read it, again and again. It is that good! You will love it.

Morena Bekric rated it 5 of 5 stars

Just one word: EXCELLENT!!! You will not be sorry for purchasing and it is true story of real life and it gives you a lesson that life is never an easy journey and obstacles on this journey is what shape person fully..I enjoy it so much….

Sunny rated it 5 of 5 stars

Arizona Dream is an emotional roller coaster — there are some heartbreaking scenes when the author witnesses the mass killing — as well as plenty of humor to balance everything out. I recommend everyone to read and own this amazing book.

 Sejla B. rated it 5 of 5 stars

The book is truly excellent! There are many twists and turns that will leave you wanting more. The author does an impeccable job of portraying his life story through the hardships hes endured. A must read!!!

Almir rated it 5 of 5 stars

Great book !! You will not be disappointed !! The best of it’s a true story…great illustration of highs and lows in life..constant fight to never give up.

Samir rated it 5 of 5 stars

All those people addicted to gambling, or their families and friends, should read this book.

Admirx rated it 5 of 5 stars

With this book you will laugh, cry and be entertained, and most importantly be left surprised at the end.

Damir rated it 5 of 5 stars

From the first page until the end, you will be spellbound by this story.

Omer Drina rated it 5 of 5 stars

Beautifully written, compelling and highly intimate story! Strongly recommended!