Uplifting stories of innocent people who survived the ordeal of incarceration and were eventually set free.
Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and Bill Kurtis with stories, chapters and poetry performed by Roxane Assaf-Lynn, Della Brown, Wren T. Brown, Eugene Byrd, Christine Ebersole, John Forté, LisaGay Hamilton, Ashley Judd, Paige Kaneb, John Kessler, Ricki Lake, Courtney Lance, Edward Lance, Linda Garcia Merchant, Laraine Newman, Esai Morales, EJ Murray, Nikki Pope, Maurice Possley, Richard Steele, Eibur Stepney, Lynch Travis, and Lisa Zane.
Imagine you are in prison for a crime you did not commit. You cannot believe what has happened to you and you're certain the system will correct the error - yet years later you're still behind bars. In Pruno, Ramen, and a Side of Hope those who have been wrongfully convicted tell stories of hope, redemption, and how they continued to believe that the system that put them behind bars would eventually find them innocent. Get a glimpse of life inside some of America's prisons and discover how each exoneree survived, and in some cases thrived and prevailed against overwhelming odds. Pruno, Ramen, and a Side of Hope is a collection of true stories told by wrongfully convicted men and women as well as their families and friends. Each former inmate reveals what gave them the hope that they would be exonerated; how they continued to sustain hope, sometimes for more than 20 years; and what they did to keep their humanity in one of the most inhumane of all places. Exoneration is only the beginning for these brave men and women.
What made the experience of listening to Pruno, Ramen, and a Side of Hope the most enjoyable?
The book paints a realistic picture of how the failures of our criminal justice system can have long-lasting and far-reaching consequences in the lives of many. Through these amazing stories of hope and struggle, the authors open our eyes to to how "easy" it is for our system to get it wrong, how "hard" it is to correct the mistakes, and how inspiring every one of the exonerees are.
What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?
I loved that the stories were presented from different perspectives of those who were impacted by the wrongful convictions: the wrongfully-convicted, the friends/family members, the attorneys, etc.
What aspect of Whoopi Goldberg and Bill Kurtis ’s performance would you have changed?
I am an avid audiobook listener and very much appreciate how difficult is must be to narrate such an emotional book. I enjoyed Bill Kurtis ’s performance but did not like Whoopi's. She was over-the-top and quite frankly, annoying.
Any additional comments?
I learned quite a few new things from this book. For example, I did not know that prisoners who serve a significant amount of time, guilty or innocent alike, suffer from PTSD because of the constant fear of violence. I also did not know that exonerees are not afforded any of the social services available to parolees.