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A Prison Diary: From Hell to Heaven

by Jeffrey Archer

Series: Prison Diaries (1-3)

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712,055,030 (3.5)None
On Thursday 19 July 2001, after a perjury trial lasting seven weeks, Jeffrey Archer was sentenced to four years in jail. He was to spend the first twenty-two days and fourteen hours in HMP Belmarsh, a double A-category high-security prison in South London, which houses some of Britain's most violent criminals. From there he was moved to HMP Wayland, a category C establishment in Norfolk, where he remained for sixty-seven days. From there he was transferred to the North Sea Camp open prison and eventually released, after a traumatic period in Lincoln jail, on parole in July 2003. Told with humour and compassion, this one-volume edition of the three bestselling diaries is an important document which reveals the truth behind the UK's prison system through one man's personal story - a classic work of prison writing. 'The finest thing that he has ever written...bubbles with Dickensian detail' - Independent on Sunday'...the most detailed and illuminating account of life spent under lock and key since Dostoyevsky' - Mail on Sunday 'Gruesome, touching, sharply written...they are the best thing Archer has written in years' - Sunday Telegraph… (more)
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It is like reading a history chronicle. Zero feelings only facts. I couldn't care less about how things were in his prison so many decades back.
I can't get into the main characters shoes at all. If you like reading facts/news/gk stuff then you might like this book.

Ex. "I enter my cell, it is XX by XX dimensions. It has x y z objects. I go to sleep. I wake up. I don't know the time. I then eat my lunch. I eat x, y, z for lunch. Alarm is sounded. I look at so and so. Then I walk back to my cell. etc." ( )
  MugenHere | Jul 12, 2015 |
Convicted of perjury in 2001, Archer, a bestselling novelist (Sons of Fortune) and member of the British House of Lords, penned this memoir about his first three weeks in prison, focusing on his daily life, the prisoners' lives and the state of the British penal system. An old hand at plotting novels and developing stories, Archer moves his memoir at a captivating pace, a credit to his storytelling skills considering the book's characters are in their cells for 22 hours a day. Deftly using mundane hour logs, he relates the slow passage of time without falling into the trap of recounting events minute by minute. Knowing that his story as a wealthy, educated celebrity with high-powered attorneys pales in comparison, Archer focuses on the sad, strange and even silly tales of his fellow inmates, a cast of hardened criminals and smalltime crooks. Concentrating on others also serves to help Archer avoid extended fits of melodramatic and self-serving prose (as when he compares himself to Oscar Wilde), which occur when he writes about his own case. But balancing this small flaw with his humorous descriptions of prison food and listening to a cricket match that seems as long as his four-year sentence adds a needed bit of humanity to this controversial politician. Of course, some of Archer's observations and the inmates' tales can't be taken as gospel since Archer is a convicted perjurer and his secondhand stories come from the mouths of murderers and other felons. But those caveats do not override the strong narrative and good writing that make this memoir an intriguing and engaging version of the often-trite prison journal.
added by VivienneR | editPublisher's Weekly Starred review (Jun 13, 2003)
 
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On Thursday 19 July 2001, after a perjury trial lasting seven weeks, Jeffrey Archer was sentenced to four years in jail. He was to spend the first twenty-two days and fourteen hours in HMP Belmarsh, a double A-category high-security prison in South London, which houses some of Britain's most violent criminals. From there he was moved to HMP Wayland, a category C establishment in Norfolk, where he remained for sixty-seven days. From there he was transferred to the North Sea Camp open prison and eventually released, after a traumatic period in Lincoln jail, on parole in July 2003. Told with humour and compassion, this one-volume edition of the three bestselling diaries is an important document which reveals the truth behind the UK's prison system through one man's personal story - a classic work of prison writing. 'The finest thing that he has ever written...bubbles with Dickensian detail' - Independent on Sunday'...the most detailed and illuminating account of life spent under lock and key since Dostoyevsky' - Mail on Sunday 'Gruesome, touching, sharply written...they are the best thing Archer has written in years' - Sunday Telegraph

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On July 19, 2001, Jeffrey Archer - international best-selling author - is sentenced to four years in prison for perjury. He becomes Prisoner FF8282 and spends the first twenty-two days of his sentence in a high-security prison that house some of Britain's most violent criminals. During those twenty-two days, Archer contemplates suicide; he is allowed out and followed by 100 reporters on the day of his mother's funeral; he's moved to the Lifer's wing because of the security it provides; he becomes a trusted confidant for fellow convicts; and his cell mate sells a story about him to the British tabloids, A Prison Diary is Archer's account of these events.
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