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You Got Nothing Coming: Notes From a Prison…

You Got Nothing Coming: Notes From a Prison Fish

by Jimmy A. Lerner

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Life in prison, nothing held back. ( )
  ninemileskid | Jun 18, 2008 |
As a work of fiction, this book offers an alternately gripping, human, and humorous story about prison life by an inmate who supposedly was unfairly convicted of murder. As a work of non-fiction, however, this book is an outrageous and self- serving lie from start to finish. It has been exposed as such in the NY Times and elsewhere, by writers who looked into the details of Lerner's murder conviction and the prison where he was incarcerated.

Described events that can be independently confirmed never happened in the prison where Lerner served his time. For example, the book describes a heart-rending suicide by a young inmate that (according to the NY Times analysis) never happened. Likewise, inmates who served with Lerner have not corroborated his claims. But most outrageous is Lerner's self- serving assertion that he was falsely accused and imprisoned, because in his version, he only protected himself when attacked in a Nevada hotel room by a physically huge, drug- addicted, psychopathic pedophile who threatened his family. In reality, as police records showed, Lerner's victim was a man physically much smaller than himself, a salesman named Mark Slavin, who accompanied Lerner on a trip to gamble at the Las Vegas casinos. Further, Slavin had been beaten and suffocated to death, a plastic bag having been tied over his head with a belt. Does this sound like self - defense against a much more powerful man? Lerner never claimed this in court; in fact he pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter, and was sentenced to a 2-12 year sentence. Little wonder that the victim's relatives have sought to prevent Lerner from profitting from this book.

If public records and the NY Times report are accurate, the real monster in this account may be Lerner himself, who sought to profit from his horrific crime at the expense of the reputation of the man he so brutally slaughtered.

I would have given the book four stars had it been a true account, or even an entertaining fiction. But truth is supposed to count for something in autobiography, and on that basis, this book deserves no more than a star, if that. ( )
8 vote danielx | Nov 18, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0767909186, Hardcover)

You Got Nothing Coming, Jimmy A. Lerner's memoir of his first year (of a possible 12) as an inmate in a Nevada state prison, is a shocking, hilarious, and heartbreaking narrative of a world both parallel to and absolutely alien from the one most readers inhabit. With deft, economical prose, Lerner, a middle-aged former marketing director for a major corporation, introduces us to his fellow inmates--swastika-tattooed skinheads, Wiccans, methamphetamine addicts, and fashion-conscious prostitutes, among others--as well as a multitude of prisoner scams, nonexistent but on-the-books rehab programs, and the life-or-death intricacies of the convict code of etiquette. Lerner's ear for prison language is pitch-perfect, and much of what we learn comes directly from the mouths of the incarcerated. Lerner has, in effect, written a nonfiction novel, one artfully laced with mordant humor and by turns tender, caustic, insightful, and relentlessly candid. --H. O'Billovitch

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:40 -0400)

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"It is your worst nightmare. You wake up in an 8' x 6' concrete-and-steel cell designated "Suicide Watch #3." The cell is real. Jimmy Lerner, formerly a suburban husband and father, and corporate strategic planner and survivor, is about to become a prison "fish," or green new arrival. Taken to a penitentiary in the Nevada desert to begin serving a twelve-year term for voluntary manslaughter, this once nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn ends up sharing a claustrophobic cell with Kansas, a hugely muscled skinhead with a swastika engraved on his neck and a serious set of issues. And if Jimmy dares complain, the guards will bluntly tell him, "You got nothing coming.""--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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