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by Adrienne Petterson 2003

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A Prison Diary
by Jeffrey Archer
St. Martin's Press
ISBN 0-312-32186-4
Published August 2003 - Hardcover - 259 pages

The author of one of my favorite novels, Kane and Abel, bestselling Jeffrey Archer was sent to prison for four years for perjury, in the summer of 2001. He spent the first three weeks in a high security prison in South London, England, in the lifer's wing.  This is his day-by-day account of those three weeks.  He mingled with murderers and drug dealers and even made a couple of friends.  Being a Lord and famous had its drawbacks, especially in prison, but Jeffrey Archer seemed to have been accepted by most people.  Archer candidly, and at times quite frighteningly, describes his three-week stint.  He vividly recounts everything from the food, his cell, his fellow inmates, the nonsense the tabloids coughed up, to the Sunday church sermons and his personal feelings.  He also tells about some pretty personal stuff and how his cellmates open up and talk to him.  An upperclass Brit sent to jail for what he believes was incorrect (what else!), and being put inside with "extreme" prisoners, seems hard to comprehend.  Archer's wife and two sons stood by him and he had their full support.  This is a fascinating insight into a British prison, and the goings-on therein.  I was intrigued and I would like to see another book about what happened after the first three weeks.
Conclusion - A great read and well-worth getting your hands on a copy.

Review copy not supplied by publisher - library copy reviewed. BookBrowser

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