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The Little Book of Prison: A Beginners Guide Paperback – 20 Feb 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Waterside Press (20 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904380832
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904380832
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 283,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Our awards judges don't give a Platinum Award lightly, and this book is a winner on more than one level. It is a practical and totally frank introduction to real life in the British prison system - probably the best introduction there is. But it is also a wonderfully human narrative and a sharply argued critique - the wit and wisdom of one inmate who turns out to be a born writer. I was gripped from start to finish - roared with laughter one minute, winced with pain the next, and was left wondering why we have prisons at all': Tim Robertson, Chief Executive, The Koestler Trust. 'A fun, easy to read little guide to the bits of prison life they never tell you about at induction': Inside Time. 'Funny and educational, in a tongue in cheek kind of way, and has a much wider appeal than you might think': thebookbag.co.uk. As featured in the Guardian, The Huffington Post, the RSA, BBC Radio, Sabotage Times and leading prison newspaper Inside Time.

About the Author

Frankie Owens was prisoner A1443CA at Her Majesty's pleasure until 2 August 2011. If he had been given the information gathered in LBP, he thinks that the first weeks inside would have been better and the learning curve not as steep.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By kewpie on 18 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
The LBP is an honest, touching, discerning and very witty account of a first time offender's induction into prison. There is a palpable feeling of angst between the lines and yet the writer's ability to approach every angle with a canny sense of humour makes this a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Packed full of do's, don'ts and how to's, it's an indispensible reference book for anyone unfortunate enough to be part of the process, as well as providing a source of comfort and reassurance to family and friends having some sense of knowing what a loved one is experiencing.
I would highly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hade on 13 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
Love this book cried one minute and laughed the next compulsive reading once I started reading this book couldn't put it down until I'd read it from cover to cover. All I can say is this book will not disappoint you
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms. A. Hill on 18 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
A remarkable little book that punches above its weight. For those who have never had a real-life brush with the world it describes, it humanises prisoners and gives a rare, on-the-ground insight into life behind the prison walls. For those who have any sort of closer association with the estate of HMS, it will be a genuinely useful book of tips of what to expect and how to survive. A brave publication.
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Format: Paperback
A friend of mine had bought this book as his son had been given a custodial sentence, all be it short but the family were so frightened. The book was read by the whole family not just his son and then I'm glad to say passed to me. "You must read this!" my friend said. Anyway I got round to it eventually as I was a bit worried about reading it and hearing how awful prison would be for my friends son (my Godson!!!) and I am so grateful for having read this. This really is a truly great read and a must for family, friends as well as those who are unfortunate enough to be sent to prison. I couldn't put it down!!and had read it in a day.

It was not at all what I expected, although the book does not shy away from the grim reality of prison life it is written with such humour, wit and positivity that it makes the family understand what their loved ones will face without frightening the living daylights out of them. The advice given in the book is a valuable insight that my friends son needed, not only did it help him know what to expect (especially with the canteen list, trainers, phone credit in particular as he has 2 children etc) it helped us and the family understand what he would go through, how he would feel, but most of all for me having gained this insight we and the family could see how we could help him through it and help ourselves as believe me if you do get sent down, you might not realise but the family do the time too and its not easy seeing your loved ones do a stretch.
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By Janie U VINE VOICE on 23 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had high expectations of this book. Most reviews were great and it had even received an award. In reality though it didn't really add much to my knowledge.
Firstly I would like to applaud Frankie Owens for writing the book. The process of writing seems to have been a major part of his rehabilitation and I sincerely hope that he has used the publication of his book as a way to improve his life. He appears to have a loving and supportive family on the outside which I hope he will make proud.
The book is positioned as a practical survival guide. There are a number of dos and donts but generally it is all very confused and unreliable. Lots of information is given about the regime of this specific prison encountered by this particular prisoner but the problem with this is that every prison has different regimes which change often and even vary in the same prison depending on the wing and privilege level of the prisoner.
The end result doesn't really serve as a guide to being in prison and tends more towards a prisoner relating his story although I never managed to relate to him as a person. I think it would have been much better to present the book in the form of a diary/memoir with more thoughts and feelings as this would have built more empathy.
All that said though it was ok and I did pick up one or two terms that I hadn't come across before!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is rare to find an author capable of combining a light-hearted and entertaining writing style with such serious content, yet Frankie manages it. The book begins by highlighting the reasons behind Frankie's run-ins with the police, proceeding to spin his tale of love, loss and prison. The writing is strewn with amusing remarks no doubt used to lighten the seriousness of the situation, making The Little Book of Prison possibly the only book about prison you can read with a smile on your face!

The content is insightful and helps the reader to appreciate what life in prison is truly like. The book describes a variety of situations that occurred while Frankie was incarcerated, yet the writing does not have a bitter undertone. It is easy to see how The Little Book of Prison is comforting to those who may be facing prison time or family who are concerned for those already in prison - the book gives the reader a realistic idea of what to expect and how to cope with it, based on first-hand experience. What could be better than that?
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