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A Prison Diary Volume II: Purgatory: Wayland - Purgatory (The Prison Diaries) Paperback – Unabridged, 2 Jul 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Reprints edition (2 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033041884X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330418843
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeffrey Archer's writing career has spanned over 30 years. His first novel, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, was an immediate bestseller in 1975. He went on to publish a string of international market-leading bestsellers including Kane & Abel, A Matter of Honour, First Among Equals and most recently A Prisoner of Birth and Paths of Glory, both of which were number one bestsellers in the UK, Australia, Canada and India. His volumes of short stories, such at Quiver Full of Arrows, Twelve Red Herrings and Cat O'Nine Tales have made him arguably the bestselling short story writer in the English language. Now published in 97 countries and more than 33 languages, Jeffrey Archer remains firmly established as one of the biggest authors of his generation with continuing global international sales surpassing 135 million copies. He is married with two children and lives in London and Granchester.

Product Description

Review

His dialogue sparkles, his narrative is taut and compelling while his cast of criminal characters stays credible. -- Jonathan Aitken in Mail on Sunday, August 2003 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jeffrey Archer, whose bestselling novels span from Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less to Kane and Abel and The Eleventh Commandment, has sold over 120 million books throughout the world. In 1992 he was elevated to the House of Lords. In August 2001 he was sentenced to four years in prison for perjury. During that time he wrote three Prison Diaries. He was released in July 2003. He is married with two children.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Chris on 30 Nov. 2003
Format: Hardcover
The first volume of this series was fascinating because it addressed a question which most of us had when we first learned of Archer's sentencing; "how is a guy like that going to deal with being in prison?" I can highly recommend the first volume of the prison diaries because you get a real sense of Archer's total shock at everything he is experiencing in the prison system.
For volume two he is moved to a somewhat less severe prison and allowed many more freedoms and comforts than previously. Overall I found this volume to be less engaging than the first. The real problem is that, in spite of a few unpleasant circumstances, Archer is comfortable enough to start getting smug again. While the prison system itself seems determined to not show any preferential treatment for fear of negative press, Archer manages to surround himself with a crew of eager inmate-servants who are happy to to accept payment for their services by having money transferred to their outside accounts by Archer's secretary, publisher, family members and others. By the end of the the book he's lamenting a narrowly missed opportunity to buy an oil painting for only $500,000 while successfully managing to purchase a $10,000 emerald (which may sell for twice that in London), by convinvcing a Columbian inmate to have his brother risk his life negotiating with gem trading bandits "on the mountain". Any sympathy I had for Archer in volume one was completely eradicated by the end of volume two.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charles Thompson on 20 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
I read all three of the Prison Diary series from J.Archer whilst in hospital recovering from an operation. Whilst I cannot condone what the courts decided he was guilty of I do feel he was hard done by and recent revelations regarding our MP's liberal claiming of expenses would see quite a few of them incarcerated if dealt with in the same way as J.A.
Having read these three books, which J.A. has made into an easy and interesting read, I am convinced that whoever is in charge of our prison services has not one shred of common sense and probably makes it up as he goes along. If we could vote someone into the position my tick would be firmly in J.A's box because you cannot get better experience than being on the wrong side of the fence.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. J. Weeks on 30 April 2007
Format: Paperback
In his second volume Archer is transferred from high security to a lower category prison, Wayland in Norfolk for 77 days . He should have been in an open prison but he was accused by Emma Nicholson, a fellow peer, of not properly using funds he had collected for Kurdish relief. There was no substance to the accusation but the investigation dragged on and because of it Archer suffered a tougher prison than was his desert. Archer is resilient and resourceful disciplining himself to continue writing just as he would do when free. His is a frank portrayal of the realities of prison life with its idiosyncratic rules. Among his fellow inmates, a Colombian manages to get him a bargain emerald for his wife's Christmas present but he fails to supply a sought after piece of modern art. Archer keeps busy in the gym and with his writing. The extent of drug abuse appalls him.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jan Toncar on 4 Aug. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Wayland continues where Belmarsh left off. Again, it is not a literary work of art – short sentences, simple plots. It is a diary, with wit, sarcasm, insight and social commentary.
On the negative side, the style is too matter of fact. The real disgust and fear which Lord Archer must have experienced does not come across. Yes, he tells how he recoiled at having to wash underwear and dishes in the same filthy sink, his anguish at running out of Evian, and some dicey encounters with prison yobs and bullies, but there is little passion in his writing. It’s rather glib. His “messages for the Home Secretary” regarding needed reforms in the prison system were quite a feature of the previous diary. These are are now indirect and muted. He is most obsessed with getting D-category status – i.e. transfer to an open prison – and who can blame him.

On the positive side he shows what he has to do to retain his sanity – staying connected with the outside world of cricket, reading the classics while others are playing rap music, refusing to be contaminated by his environment. His accounts of the numerous and ingenious schemes the inmates have for acquiring privileges and banned luxuries (e.g. an extra shaving mirror) are highly entertaining. Since there seems to be so much of it going on, one has to assume the authorities generally turn a blind eye to much of it to keep the peace.
The book is compelling. While it is popular to criticize Lord Archer you have to wonder how well we ourselves would hold up in prison.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Blumenau TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
As compelling a read as Volume I. He is now in Category C Wayl
and prison, which, though still full of any number of restraints, is far more relaxed than Belmarsh. But to this reader it seems clear that the charmed (if uncomfortable) life Archer led in prison might have been less charmed had he not b
een so famous. On the other hand, his own basic charm and good nature (as theyappear in these diaries) probably also helped with both inmates and warders.(See also my reviews of Vols.I and III)
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