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Publisher's Summary

After a SWAT team smashed down stock-market millionaire Shaun Attwood's door, he found himself inside of Arizona's deadliest jail and locked into a brutal struggle for survival.

Shaun's hope of living the American Dream turned into a nightmare of violence and chaos, when he had a run-in with Sammy the Bull Gravano, an Italian Mafia mass murderer.

In jail, Shaun was forced to endure cockroaches crawling in his ears at night, dead rats in the food and the sound of skulls getting cracked against toilets. He meticulously documented the conditions and smuggled out his message.

Join Shaun on a harrowing voyage into the darkest recesses of human existence.

Hard Time provides a revealing glimpse into the tragedy, brutality, dark comedy, and eccentricity of prison life.

Featured worldwide on Nat Geo Channel's Locked-Up/Banged-Up Abroad Raving Arizona.

©2016 Shaun Attwood (P)2017 Shaun Attwood

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great listen and read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it is an account prison life that is unhindered by the sort of fears of retribution and ingrained social obstacles someone an American ex-con might have to face. Not to mention the extensive record of his converstions and letters.

What did you like best about this story?

It's brutal documenting of the nightmare that is "the carceral state".

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

His voice and sensibility never annoyed me or took me out of the story.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

the description of the atmosphere in the jail after many men had been up for a week on meth was horrifying.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great

really details the unorthoxed treatment of prisoners in Phoenix, Az jail system. unbelievable and sad humans are treated like garbage

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite jail story. Was it a flash in the pan?

I love the way Shaun Attwood adapted and hung in there in Sheriff Arpaio's hell. The system was designed to break a prisoner down to the point of admission to the greatest charges from the prosecutor - all without the expense or need for a trial.

Prisoners get bulled, railroaded, worn down and tricked into signing the prosecutor's deal. Through failing health, skin diseases and starvation, cockroach infestations, and the ever-present fear of sadistic violence, and the lonliness of lock downs coupled with the foul air except for rare times when inspectors are present, prisoners reach their individual breaking points.

The prosecutor files continuances, letting the system beat down the jailed inmate over an indefinitely extended time. Everybody signs and when they do, they implicate others. Arpaio's jail system appears to outsiders to be a deliverer of misery and justice.

I didn't know this went on anywhere in America. Sheriff Arpaio got the presidential pardon. It's big stuff with popular support. But people don't get the real information through the media available to them. People don't generally know what Arpaio is doing in their name or what good possibly comes of it.

I knew there were problems in the criminal justice system but nobody hipped me to this. Everybody with any knowledge about jail survival says the first rule is to stick to your race. But Attwood nearly gets himself badly injured with he sits with black inmates and teaches Chicano inmates. His woods don't like the way it looks.

Atwood became an activist, publishing a clandestine blog that has parents of inmates concerned and awakened into a meaningful force for change.

But there are other stories going on. What about the great girlfriend we came to admire? Did Atwood and his Sheriff Arpaio wear her out completely? What's with all the perves in prison when Attwood finally gets moved to it?

Is Attwood going to make sure his sequel becomes an audiobook, or is this where his fanbase quietly dies????

Does Attwood understand his responsibility to his listeners, those who for their own limitations are unable to read but must rely on authors to make their content accessible to us through audio format?

Attwood seems like that rare type who could have a variety of experiences in life and write a book on each, but all is lost if it's not an audiobook. A small but dedicated fanbase might be left to die on the vine. One doesn't recover usually from such a loss.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Bad Ending.

the book just kinda abruptly ends. we spend 10+ hours listening, only to have an extremely anti climatic ending.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Brandon Nelson
  • 11-11-17

Intense but amazing

A pleasure to read and listen to, still can't believe its a true story. True Geordie Gang

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-19-17

Best audio book I've listened too

This is the best true account I've ever listened to. A definite must read. Attwood is amazing wish his other 2 books in the trilogy where available on here

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • YazminZoe
  • 05-15-18

Powerful

A thrilling story, I wasn’t able to put the books down until finished. Incredible insight to the suffering of prisoners, the lack of malnourishment makes my heart hurt. Let’s hope it’s not that bad now.

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  • Alastair J Bullock
  • 03-07-18

Gripping cautionary tale, poorly narrated.

An extremely engaging account of the one man’s experience of the hell that is the US penal system, severely let down by an equally extremely poor choice of narrator. I in no way heard the authors voice in how the story was told.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Royston
  • 02-11-18

Shame about the performance.

This is a insight into the US jail system, the equivalent of the Remand Centres in the UK. It is a crazy world of inhuman injustice, given out by the authorities and is surprising how badly the “innocent until proven guilty” are treated. I had to remind myself this is the United States of America, not some third world country.
As for the performance, there isn’t one. Not a single scouse accent to be heard. Just a senseless American orator who had maybe 3 different voices to draw upon. For authenticity using an English accent with an inflection of the Liverpool and surrounding areas accent would have added to the Brit incarcerated abroad. Just spoilt it for me.
Hey ho, you can’t win them all.
Other than that it’s a crackin’ story and I am made up to have listened to it.
Nice one Lar

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John Forrester
  • 01-26-18

England vs America

Would you listen to Hard Time again? Why?

This was perhaps the best book that i have ever read not just best audiobook.I will listen again as it was gripping from start to end.Iam presently reading the sequel

Who was your favorite character and why?

Aside from the author it would have to be Wildman, as his name suggests he wasn't just wild he was absolutley hillarious and that crazy even the american Prisoners wouldn't bother him.

Which character – as performed by Randal Schaffer – was your favourite?

Shaun Attwood, got the voice and perspective right i enjoyed the narrator

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Welcome to America

Any additional comments?

I fancied testing myself one day in a US prison for some weird reason but certainly after listening to this I have second thoughts.