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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
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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

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

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Bad Ending.

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

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

Poor choice of narrator

This book should have been read by someone with an English accent, since it is a first-person account and there are so many mentions of the fact that he is from England. Really would have enhanced it. The reader was good, but I couldn't get past the American accent of the character called "English Shaun."

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

OUTSTANDING STORY!!!!!!

Anybody who has been locked up in Maricopa county knows THIS IS THE TRUTH!!!!! being lost in the system..... happen every day to the innocent, with dirty cops and detectives, like Detective Larry White!!!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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It's pretty good overall

Couldn't get enough, it's just a shame the 3rd book in the trilogy isn't here on audible.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

this book has great detail

I loved this book, it had great detail. I do wish they chose a British narrator, so it could've felt more authentic. Shaun caught my attention through locked up. I was amazed and excited that he was able to prevail and bring these awful things to light.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Welcome to Arizona Jail

If you want to know what it’s like to be in one of the most deadly jails in America, Attwood really takes you there in hard time, right down to the stench of sweat and toilets.

This book has you hanging onto your seat as the author dodges numerous threats, including the ever present psychopathic Aryan Brotherhood prison gang.

Attwood has a way with words, for example:

“The short podgy man perched on the bottom bunk is giving off body odour with a vinegary tang. Scrutinising me with amused curiosity, he looks like a pocket-sized Henry VIII. He has Henry’s features, but his long unkempt beard makes him seem deranged. “What’s up, dog! I’m Troll. One of your new cellies.”

“I’m Shaun, Troll.” I place my mattress down and we bump fists. There is something endearing about him. I want to get more acquainted, but the door swings open and bangs against the wall, making me jump.

A topless man with WHITE PRIDE across his midsection barges past Billy. Everything about him screams king of the jungle. Size. Aura. Blond mane. “What’s up, dog! I’m Outlaw, the head of the whites.”

I highly recommend the entire trilogy: party time, hard time and prison time, and get the new editions because they are considerably longer.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Phinehas
  • WESTFORD, MA, United States
  • 08-13-18

Interesting View Into The Eyes of a Prisoner

I really enjoyed listening to this story, the chapter endings were a bit abrupt sometimes, I feel like they could have been transitioned better.

Besides that small criticism I'm happy with my purchase and I'll be getting Jail Time when it becomes available on audio book, or I might just purchase the paperback. The writing was fair and the story both eye-opening and engaging, most importantly it felt honest. The author didn't make himself out to be big, tough, or accomplishing incredible feats, and he recognizes that the support of his family made all the difference. Attwood shared some very personal feelings of fear, stress, depression, and learning the culture behind bars.

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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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevoneone
  • 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

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Harvey
  • 08-13-18

Terrible narrator

After listening to 150 books, this narrator stands out as not fitting the story and its characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-06-18

The battle of la cucaracha

Epic depiction of one mans long standing battle with cockroaches, and moments of snort out your coffee hilarity.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Josh
  • 10-17-18

Welcome to Arizona Jail

If you want to know what it’s like to be in one of the most deadly jails in America, Attwood really takes you there in hard time, right down to the stench of sweat and toilets. This book has you hanging onto your seat as the author dodges numerous threats, including the ever present psychopathic Aryan Brotherhood prison gang.

Attwood has a way with words, for example:

“The short podgy man perched on the bottom bunk is giving off body odour with a vinegary tang. Scrutinising me with amused curiosity, he looks like a pocket-sized Henry VIII. He has Henry’s features, but his long unkempt beard makes him seem deranged. “What’s up, dog! I’m Troll. One of your new cellies.”

“I’m Shaun, Troll.” I place my mattress down and we bump fists. There is something endearing about him. I want to get more acquainted, but the door swings open and bangs against the wall, making me jump.

A topless man with WHITE PRIDE across his midsection barges past Billy. Everything about him screams king of the jungle. Size. Aura. Blond mane. “What’s up, dog! I’m Outlaw, the head of the whites.”

I highly recommend the entire trilogy: party time, hard time and prison time, and get the new editions because they are considerably longer.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ben Kelleher
  • 09-29-18

Poor Choice of Narrator

Fascinating true story; slight marred by the droning commentary that loses listener concentration. Would have benefited with a narrator who had a bit more charisma.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-06-18

Simply enthralling from start to finish!

Truely remarkable story: exciting, scary, uplifting, upsetting, funny, unbelievable, inspirational. A book you can listen to over and over....the stories never get old. Must Listen

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-14-18

Amazing insight

I bought this upon reader reviews and wasn't disappointed at all, Sean gives a disturbing but clear vision of life in prison, at no point does he attempt to shift blame it justify the reason he's in prison but describes how he adapts and comes to terms with his new life and the people he meets. I also enjoyed the narration and couldn't stop listening to find out what happens next.
I can't wait for the next instalment.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-16-18

AMAZING

second book I've read from Shaun and it's absulotly amazing brilliant writing ability and story. can't wait for prison time to be released on audible !! Brilliant work and highly recommend it!!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jonathan
  • 07-14-18

Fascinating story but....

Truly fascinating story and worth the purchase (or credit) but needed a different narrator. The monotone delivery was grating and often served to undermine the menace. Could and should have been so much better.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-17-18

well written well spoken must read

one of those books that when you start you just can't stop. well written and perfect choice for the narration.