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Prisoner to the Streets Paperback – 24 Jan 2013


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Frequently Bought Together

Prisoner to the Streets + Street Boys: 7 Kids. 1 Estate. No Way Out. A True Story. + Sour: My Story: A troubled girl from a broken home. The Brixton gang she nearly died for. The baby she fought to live for.
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Product details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: X Press (24 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902934482
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902934488
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Oladele Woye on 19 Feb. 2013
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I work with kids who are associated with gangs in Hackney and i was told to read this book i wasn't dissapointed at all,at times i couldn't stop laughing,but there were times when i was reduced to tears,if you have an interest in this subject matter i would highly recommend this book, i had'nt read a book in years but found this very entertaining and gripping!! i finished it in a couple of days and made me think what's life coming to for the kids of today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By krazyki999 on 3 Oct. 2014
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A very troubling portrayal of life on the streets. Coming from Tottenham AND knowing a key person in this story, I'm quite amazed at the level of poverty and crime taking place within my proximity and I truly fear for young black boys within my neighbourhood who are losing their lives over what is seemingly nonsense. All in all it is an interesting insight into how cheap young African lives are in London. However the most troubling aspect for me was the absence of an empathetic adult figure; there is a welfare state in the UK and it weighed on my mind a lot how in the 1990's a single mother (who would have had housing and would have been entitled to benefits) managed to raise two sons who were so "hungry" and I began to wonder if there was not a lot more behind the story of the mother and why Travis had to live with his grandmother and was constantly so hungry (there was only three of them in the house). To me this aspect overshadowed the entire book as I felt he may have been 'protecting' sensitive familial issues as a way of preserving the dignity of his mother.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mama Jumbe's on 7 May 2013
Format: Paperback
A peephole into the intrigue of gangs told from the inside. So often the story of gangs is told with sickening braggadocio from the inside or ignorant outrage from the outside. This book is a social blueprint for the authorities and community in general.
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This book is the story of Robyn's life.

It is a very interesting life and by the grace of god one that most of us will never see.

He grew up in places where the strongest survived and the weak were victims. It is here that he gives his narrative in respect to the pressures of adolescence and group conformity. He lends a voice to the young men who could not find a place within the system and in turn the system finding a place for them on the inactive fringes. The devil makes work for idle hands.

I think there are some aspects to do with his family life that are too watered down and whilst I respect his right to privacy I think those struggles, in a little more depth would have given more credence to his older brothers troubled behaviour and ultimately his own.

This book pertains to explore the beginnings of the east London north / London war but in all honesty is does not. That war is still an open wound and has too many criminal ramifications to be documented at this point in time.

It's a good read and I didn't put it down until I finished it. One night I read until 5am and had to call in sick to work the next day!!!

It does what it says on the tin and explores the beginning of the London fields / Holly Street conflict. The media will call it a post code war however if you ask the young boys of Brixton and Peckham who are currently in conflict where they first saw each other - the vast majority will tell you from primary school right up until secondary school.

The message is ultimately important and that is `stop the violence' but I am not sure if one mans story of destruction can reach a disenfranchised youth so desperately in need of cohesion and guidance.

If you are interested in the `postcode wars' and inter neighborhood conflicts then this is a great read. If you are looking for a solution to the trouble on our London streets then this may lack the depth of insight you seek.
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Having been involved with Robyn since he had made the decision to write about his own ‘Life Experiences’ during his younger years, I have witnessed his drive and determination to relate the events which happened in that particular time-frame. Thank Robyn for every topic, paragraph, page or chapter that he chose to share with me over the phone during the days, nights or early mornings.

What I like best is Robyn’s simple, basic strategy he employs for writing ‘Prisoner to the Streets’. In it, he reveals his total honesty about himself, the environments, situations, issues and relationships with which he was involved. Baring his soul, Robyn revisits but projects those vivid visual images of the struggles of young male adolescents and adults caught up in the web of ‘tunnel-vision’ confusion among populations of dysfunctional social relationships. The chaotic ‘street-mentality’ seems to be driven by a plethora of insensitivity, rumours, threats, lack of quality communication, bullying and group bravado through fear. ‘Prisoner to the Streets’ not only hint at an eerie sense of abandonment, low self-worth and hopelessness but also at the frustrations of not being considered as stakeholders in communities. The book points to the lack of leadership among young individuals. Each seems to copy the others’ behaviours but display negative emotions without consideration of the consequences which might follow their acts of violence. ‘Prisoner to the Streets’ highlights the lack of abundance in the level of guidance/support needed in order to hone the enormous resources of young, vibrant human potentials and abilities. Robyn, wittingly or unwittingly, highlights how these meaningless ‘Street Wars’ can distract talented young adolescents and adults from meaningful achievements.
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