With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.
From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules, where the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailer is constantly and unpredictably recalibrated. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Orange is the New Black offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison, why it is we lock so many away, and what happens to them when they're there.
©2010 Piper Kerman (P)2012 Tantor
"Fascinating....The true subject of this unforgettable audiobook is female bonding and the ties that even bars can't unbind." (People)
While there are mentions of punishments and happens, the author never actually tells any alarming stories. Some of the characters she starts to develop, but never really are fully developed. Some of the narrative makes me so tired of the authors whining I want to slap her. Her biggest worry about being in federal prison is how to get people on her visit list.
The existing characters need more development and she mentions friends (almost as an acknowledgement), but their relation to the story (other than a visit) is not relevant.
The only redeeming value of this book is to highlight why nonviolent offenders should not be sent to prison and the illogical rationale for sending some of these individuals to prison. Unfortunately, this book is too full of statistics that are pulled to support the story line. You would think that would be good, but the reason is so clearly to fill in the story that it takes away from the narrative. Awful.
She did some stupid stuff, she should not have gone to prison. But her real crime is writing this horrible book.
I almost stopped in the middle of this but decided to press on to the end. Bottom line: All American girl mingles with the common folk in a women's prison. Sorry to say I found this quite dull...as most of prison life probably is and passing the time can be less than interesting. I also did not like her political leanings about the prison system, but she is entitled to her opinion. It just made a book I didn't like even less attractive. I can't believe this is such a big deal. I am not sure what people are laughing at because I saw little humor in the book. Perhaps those who have binge-watched the series might find the book more humorous. I now have no interest in the series.
She spent a few months in prison, made friends and had a basically uneventful experience.
She would of had to put some fiction in it.
This is my granddaughter's picture! She is my love.
This was a pretty good story, but I think I expected more darkness and being frightened. Actually, I wasn't frightened for Piper and I think she met some nice people. Funny being in prison, she actually met friends for life. They cooked, they had parties, they cried and laughed. This makes prison seem friendly.
One part of this story that angered me about this story is she committed a crime that was minor in the world of crime. Ten years later she accepted a plea bargain to avoid a long prison term. That is one of the problems of our court system; the prosecutors are determined to convict people and would do anything including threats of 20 years for trial or 18 months for a plea.
Prompted to listen after watching series on Netflix. Needless to say they bear only slight resemblance to one another but both excellent. What I took away most from this memoir was the humanity of those incarcerated and the utter failure that is the U.S. prison system.
Well worth listening to. Campbell's narration adds another layer of nuance and empathy as the prisoners' stories unfold. Overall a moving and thought-provoking experience.
The story is very interesting, the background of how she ended up in prison. I felt that where there should have been more story it just stopped and started something else, some what disjointed
I don't have an opinion on this. I have not read the print version.
When the fellow inmate was talking to Piper about God and how that made her think differently about herself and why she was in prison.
She did really well with the accents and intonations. Probably the only authentic Boston accent ever recorded in an audiobook. It was a very challenging book for accents (Russian, Hispanic, Black etc.)
The process of her trial! It was ten years from the time she was involved in the criminal activity and when she finally went to prison. It was also interesting how the inmates did not talk to each other about why they were in prison with each other.
I watched a couple of episodes of the Netflix show and saw the book. This is completely different from the show, but in a good way. The author is articulate, insightful and compassionate. She has an amazing circle of friends, family members and of course, Larry. She comes to terms with how her involvement in the criminal group was not a victimless crime, even though she was not directly involved in the drug transactions. The show makes it seem like rich white girl gets sent to prison with a bunch of tough, abrasive non-rich, mostly non-white inmates, but the story in the book is not about that; it is more inward looking and compassionate. It is the story one would want to tell about one's self and one's loved ones, well written and detailed.
I watched the television series by the same name which lead me to the book. I couldn't believe it was based on a true story! Piper's story on its own is very intriguing. Reading her book also give insight to how the war on drugs and for-profit prisons have created casualties of drug addicts and the poor. Eventually, most of 2.5 million inmates in US prisons will be released after serving their time. Branded for life and some of their fundamental rights as US citizens revoked, they'll return to a world where the punishment continues with slim to no chance of gaining a foothold in normal society. As a country, I think we can do better when it comes to justice for all.
I had higher expectations of a funny and racy story (based on the TV show) and I thought that the book would have more stories beyond what they would show on TV but man was this book boring. Nothing really stood out and the story was lacking.
The reader was clear and didn't really smack their lips when they talked like other readers. Too bad the story was boring.
lack of fulfillment. fell like I wasted a few hours on this.
Like I said, it you love the cheeky and crude laughs from the TV show, don't read the book. Keep watching the show because it is more entertaining. If you want to know the real story, then read the book. I personally just did not like it.
The story seems not to be embellished. Seems like the real deal. It does pay off at the end when more details of the co conspirators are given. It is true that the book needs an afterward to explain what happened to Piper and the other inmates.
The reading was top notch. It was read with feeling, variation in voices and accents as well.
The books does a great job telling you about the daily routine and politics of living in a women's minimum security prison. The author said that prior to surrendering for prison she read all the books about prison life - but these were books by male ex cons. This book is important as a female perspective for a female institution.
Piper should join the Navy and then write a book about that. There seem to be a lot of similarities between minimum security prison and being in the navy, ie lots of chicken shit rules. Makes for great bonding and misadventure.
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