A Prison Diary Audiobook | Jeffrey Archer | Audible.com
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A Prison Diary | [Jeffrey Archer]

A Prison Diary

On July 19, 2001, Jeffrey Archer is sentenced to four years in prison for perjury. He serves the first three weeks of his sentence in a high-prison that houses some of Britain's most violent criminals. 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; and he becomes a trusted confidant for fellow convicts. A Prison Diary is Archer's account of these events.
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Publisher's Summary

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 three weeks of his sentence in a high-security prison that houses 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 cellmate sells a story about him to the British tabloids. A Prison Diary is Archer's account of these events.

©2003 Jeffrey Archer; (P)2003 New Millennium Audio, All Rights Reserved

What the Critics Say

"Gruesome, touching, sharply written." (Sunday Telegraph)
"Strong narrative and good writing make this memoir an intriguing and engaging version of the often-trite prison journal." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (198 )
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  •  
    Jeffrey West New York, NJ, USA 10-19-03
    Jeffrey West New York, NJ, USA 10-19-03 Member Since 2003
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    "A Worthwhile Listen"

    As an American who doesn't really follow British politics, I have to admit general ignorance about the details of Jeffrey Archer's case when I saw this book listed on Audible.com's site. A little internet research turned up his story, and the fact that he had just recently been released from prison. Sounded interesting, and so I ordered it. First off, the narrative is outstanding, and brings to life Archer's story. As to the content, it was very good. Not outstanding, but very good. Archer has a very readable (or listenable in this case) style, which gives one a feel of what it was like for a man used to rubbing elbows with England's aristocracy to end up among murderers, drug dealers, and rapists. Writing in diary format is not alway easy, but Archer pulls it off. And again, Martin Jarvis's narrative, down to the voices he used to imitate the other prisoners, added to the story. On the downside, Archer clearly had a political axe to grind, directing comments on his perceived atrocities of the British penal system to "Mr. Home Secretary." That notwithstanding, much lucid insight into what it means to go without something many of us take for granted - our personal freedom.
    Recommended.

    30 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anon Logan, UT, USA 09-23-03
    Anon Logan, UT, USA 09-23-03 Member Since 2002
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    "A tale of culture shock"

    This book gives a very detailed account of the first few weeks of a privileged Englishman?s incarceration in a common British prison. It?s not exactly exciting, but it does paint a comprehensive picture. I am no fan of the British upper classes, so I listened out of sheer curiosity to see how he would survive.

    Jeffrey Archer suffered a very sudden and dramatic culture shock, and bore up extremely well. By his own account he accepted his new life, made the best of it, learned from it, contributed to it, was starting to become very interested in prison reform, and I'd have to call him "a good sport". I ended up respecting his ability to adapt and avoid self-pity.

    I checked on the Internet and Jeffrey Archer is out of prison now. He has become an extremely controversial figure, facing constant public censure from upper and lower classes alike. I am now quite curious to see how he will survive his disgrace, and whether he will manage to continue his efforts for prison reform.

    30 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 06-06-13
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 06-06-13 Member Since 2010

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

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    "A trip to jail"

    I have read a number of Jeffrey Archer books over the years and also knew he was a member of the House of Lords and a politician but was unaware he was sent to prison. Like many of the other readers I looked up to learn about his crimes. This book is book one of a series of four books in the Prison Diary series. I found it interesting and was surprised at his treatment by the other prisoners and staff. The day to day life of prison was enlightening as well as how many were there because of drugs. I could understand Archers point when he would write attention Mr. Home Secretary even though it could be considered self serving. I also noted how many of the prisoners said they would just take their punishment and get on with life. I am impressed that on his release that Archer is busy campaigning for prison reform. Martin Jarvis did a great job reading this book. Enjoyed the book and learned a lot.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terence Dahlonega, GA, United States 05-21-10
    Terence Dahlonega, GA, United States 05-21-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Stellar Writing & Narration"

    I've never read anything by Archer before, and am not generally a fan of glossy fiction....however, I really was blown away by the quality of his writing on this supposedly non-fiction account and of the narration of Martin Jarvis. The combination is highly entertaining and informative.

    Archer is obviously a pompous SOB, and his innocence dubious, but his talent as a writer and storyteller is undeniable. However, I think that any American listener will hardly find his account of Belmarsh Prison in England "Hell" when compared to high-security prisons on this side of the Atlantic.

    Despite a few misgivings, this is by far the best audiobook I have yet listened to.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Masini Shapiro Trumbull, CT United States 04-29-08
    Lisa Masini Shapiro Trumbull, CT United States 04-29-08 Member Since 2005
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    "Incomplete"

    This book is mildly interesting for its insight into prison life but ends quite suddenly in what seems to be the middle of the story. If you read it merely to understand what life as a prisoner may feel like you will be served; however, if you want to know how the plot ends you may have to try wikipedia.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Huntington, WV, United States 06-24-08
    Larry Huntington, WV, United States 06-24-08
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    "Very good book"

    This is my first Jeffrey Archer book and I enjoyed it very much. It is very interesting to see the differences in British prisons and American prisons.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggieck Chicago, IL 04-16-08
    Maggieck Chicago, IL 04-16-08 Member Since 2005

    Maggie

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    "If only it was longer"

    Regardless of Mr. Archer's guilt or innocence, I found this book fascinating and completly engaging. My only complaint was it's length. I would have much preferred to continue on the journey through the British penal system. Read this book, it's one you'll find unable to put down!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lysa Tempe, AZ, USA 03-15-08
    Lysa Tempe, AZ, USA 03-15-08
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    "Excellent Book and Narrator"

    I purchased this book during the $4.99 promotional and it was worth every penny and more! I was not familiar with the case of Jeffery Archer, but being familiar with his case is of little importance in “reading” this book. Archer gives an excellent portrayal of the British prison system, which contrasts markedly to ours in the U.S.! The book was well written and extremely well narrated! The narrator really brought the characters to life and he made the story a listening pleasure. I would highly recommend this book and only wish that the U.S. prison systems would/could take note.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lakisha Portland, OR, United States 06-23-12
    Lakisha Portland, OR, United States 06-23-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Very Compelling"
    What did you love best about A Prison Diary?

    This was a story of a man who has had a very privileged life...and then had it taken away from him. I thought that Archer's revelations about how the other half lives was very compelling. You can feel his growing outrage at the system as he learns to navigate this. Although he is talking about life in a British prison, there are obvious parallels. What a unique story- Jeffrey Archer is clearly outraged by his own conviction,and struggling with his situation but here he is confronted with people who have clearly struggled against circumstances Archer has only written about in his stories. You can feel the transition as he becomes more outraged and horrified about those other individuals. What a transformation for a self-described "conservative millionaire".


    What does Martin Jarvis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His narration. Jarvis gives all of the characters a unique voice, and reads the first person narrative very well.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Sort of. I always wanted to know what happened next. But since this is a diary, there are great breaks in the story if you have to turn it off (or in my case, get out of the car). I never really wanted to stop listening, but since I had to, it was nice to have easy places to stop.


    Any additional comments?

    I am a big fan of Jeffrey Archer's books, so I was fascinated by his real life story. Be warned, though- if you want to know about the rest of his experiences, you will have to read them- they aren't on audiobook. I HAVE read them, and they are just as good!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carol Coquitlam, BC, Canada 01-09-12
    carol Coquitlam, BC, Canada 01-09-12
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    "SELF INDULGENT WHINING BY HUGE EGO"

    I love Jeffrey Archer's novels. No doubt about it. But if you are a fan of his writing, I would still advise you to stay clear of this book, and stick with his novels.
    Ughh.
    Jeffrey Archer writes on and on ad nauseum about how he was wrongly convicted. He takes absolutely no responsibility for anything, but loves to name drop famous people who of course supported him, (as well as ALL the general public)
    Dull, boring, a snooze. Don't bother.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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