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Bronson Paperback – 31 May 2002

87 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Blake Publishing; New edition edition (31 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857825004
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857825008
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,591,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charlie Bronson has spent 28 of the last 30 years in solitary confinement. He has been locked in dungeons, in iron boxes concreted into the middle of cells and, famously, in a cage. When his is unlocked, up to 12 prison officers are standing by.

Yet this is a man of great warmth and humour who has never killed anyone and has often dealth with his gruelling life with humour - during a siege in 1993 he demanded an inflatable doll and a cup of tea.

Product Description

About the Author

Charlie Bronson is everyone's favourite con - as testified by his bestselling books Bronson and Insanity: My Mad Life. Renowned for his serial hostage-taking and piquant sense of humour, he has earned himself a fearsome reputation on both sides of the bars... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By iam on 12 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
I got this book having read the reviews on Amazon and hoped to find some kind-hearted, misunderstood and maybe even unlucky person behind the "Insanity" and reputation.
The book itself is written very well and manages to portray the frustration and despair that Charles Bronson so obviously feels.
It's epic and very thorough, taking you through events in great detail.

However I found NOTHING warm, funny, charming or misunderstood about the man. He often uses phrases like "I had to chin this fella" or "it was only a matter of time before I got my revenge on such and such for looking at me the way he did" or "I ripped the roof off the prison for such and such who had died... it was for them". I'm pretty sure that isn't the kind of thing that normal people would put down as a dying wish.
Anyone who blacks themselves up in boot polish and sits naked in a prison food hall has something not right in the head.
And as for this "he never killed anyone" attempt at making him seem hard done by, it's not for the lack of trying. He's lucky not to have killed anyone, and describes a number of times he's tried and failed.
At the end I found more sympathy for the prison system than for Bronson himself.. what are they supposed to do with this guy?.. there is no way he could interact with law abiding people in the real world. Even prison officers who have gone out thier way to help and be kind to the man have ended up on the recieving end of his fury.
Worth a read but don't expect to find some latter-day-saint or lovable rouge character.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Minimoo on 7 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read a few books on Charlie and to be honest, you normally feel a range of emotions about him. He's been made into a larger than life character and I think as the years go on, he feels he needs to live up to this, he can't let his hard man reputation down, despite getting on a bit and having countless opportunities whereby he could have been a free man.

When he was given freedom and released back into the general public, he never lasted long. Yes, the prison system needs to take some accountability, he was never rehabilitated properly or taught how to act and live in present day however, ultimately the responsibility was Charlie's and it's by his own hand that the freedom didn't last.

The smallest of things can set him off and cause him to lose it, he's clearly unstable however you still can't help but feel a little sorry for this lonely, mad, and sad man. He has an altogether new kind of 'respect' on the outside from those who want him freed etc however I doubt he'll ever conform, he's got too much to live up to and without that kind of reputation, let's face it, he'd just be another criminal who most folk would cross the street to avoid, not write fan mail.

Despite everything, he does have some likeable traits and does possess a pretty good sense of humour, which again, makes the tale a wee bit sadder, you really shouldn't like anything about him but somehow he gets under your skin. All that said, he is where he is for good and unless he can redeem himself greatly, he belongs there.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback
'Ghosting' is the term used when a high security prisoner is transferred at short notice between prisons. We know this because Bronson tells us. He also tells us about body belts, his many and seemingly never-ending supply of mates in and out of prison and a seemingly exhaustive account of his prison moves.
Robin Ackyrod is on hand to help tell Bronson's sad and depressingly predictable story but it's hard to tell what contribution he has made. In fact Bronson seems to be firmly in control here and his writing style rapidly becomes laboured and repetitive. There are far too many similar chapters which rarely deviate from a bare, blunt, no-nonsense tone. He does time and press-ups, he messes up, he is punished and moved. He lists the name of cons without going into too much detail.

I have no doubt that for someone who has spent 28 years in prison Bronson has a compelling story to tell. But it has to be told alongside that of the penal system for it to mean anything at all. As it stands, it reads as a diary of futility, railing against himself and the system. The repetitive structure is enlivened by the odd occasional anecdote and one-liner but there are many passages where some explanation is warranted but Bronson refuses to come clean. For example he impulsively attacks a prisoner who is a member of the IRA but he doesn't really address why he "explodes" or starts to build up to violent episodes. Cons and screws upset him, while some don't. After a while he's simply unable to say why and the only outcome of that is to have you empathising with the difficult job the screws are burdened with. I lost count of the number of best-ever mates he has at each prison.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Hasnath on 29 July 2008
Format: Paperback
This book offers a light and enjoyable read, if you don't take it too seriously. Some parts were very funny. In places it can be construed as offensive, but this is reasonable considering the subject.

One flaw in my opinion was an element of repetitiveness, as we do not get the feel that this is a story, but more of a diary. I would have made some amendments, such as fewer names listed, fewer minor incidents, more reflection on the effects of the happenings, and possibly an impression of how Bronson had changed nearing the latter stages.

So, in summary, this not a serious autobiography, but nevertheless an eye-opening insight into a different place told in a humourous way.
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