©2003 Jeffrey Archer; (P)2003 New Millennium Audio, All Rights Reserved
"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)
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.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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".
His narration. Jarvis gives all of the characters a unique voice, and reads the first person narrative very well.
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.
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!
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.
unique interesting sad
I suppose it must be Archer himself, as the diary is focused on him and written by him
He narrates very well, with all the different accents and nuances of different speekers
A look behind the bars...
A must download. Couldn't stop listening, couldn't wait to listen to it.
Please can we have volumes two and three, Audible?
I'm new to audio books, preferring radio drama. This, however, is riveting stuff and, even though having a book read too me feels at the outset a little childish, this is very grown up and compellingly insightful. Top marks.
brilliant book I've read the book before but enjoy it just wish they have the full set on here as it makes it easier to understands jeff's life in prison well worth a read
"Not the full story"
This book only deals with Bellmarsh so I felt a little short changed. I was anxious to learn about the authors full spell inside.
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