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The Queen Vs Trenton Oldfield: A Prison Diary [Paperback]

Trenton Oldfield
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Myrdle Court Press (10 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956353940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956353948
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 364,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment 15 July 2013
Verified Purchase
I bought Mr Oldfield's book on recommendation following a very interesting guardian review about his deportation. In this article he appeared to have some interesting takes on life and the article used some good soundbites. I'm 2/5ths of the way through this book and am really struggling to finish it. His writing style is very surface and his thinking is disorganised and shallow. His political views, while interesting show a total lack of evidenced based research, combined with an array of conflicting viewpoints arising from total scattergun thinking. While this chap appears to have some strong principles, the reader is left with the thought that really, he had no sound basis for his so-called protest that is based on any consistent methodology. He might as well have been protesting about the overuse of plastic shopping bags. I suspect he doesn't really know himself why he really disrupted the boat race. Combine this with an underlying thread of grandiose thinking, and you end up with a likeable, harmless chap who has missed an opportunity to give this book some ideological weight. I hope he puts more energy into his deportation appeal than he has with this publication. It's not as if he didnt have the time!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Having read many accounts on the aforementioned subject very few struck a note; where was the pathos, the drama the bit about being bummed in the showers? Then suddenly Trenton Oldfield opened my eyes.

His account was absolutely shocking. A lone renegade standing up for what he believes in, standing up for truth, justice and the American way (whoops, been watching too many 80s US films, sorry!). He took a stand for liberty, freedom and the end to elitism ended up with none.

In his book he describes the brutal regime that he faced every day, the cold showers, the poor food and the amount of time spent in his cell. However his stance wasn't in vain as he experienced the same treatment as everybody else. His wish of the end to elitism realised, a positive point in the tome.

I look forward to reading the sequel, 'The Home Office Vs Trent Oldfield: A Deportation Diary'. Hope it's as good as the prequel!
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8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When the political becomes the personal 13 April 2013
In 2012, radical urbanist Trenton Oldfield, known previously for the critical urban forum This Is Not A Gateway, swam in front of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, protesting the elitism of British culture and society. The race halted briefly and Trenton ended up with a six-month prison sentence, commuted to two months and a tag release in December.

This book documents with intensely personal detail the conversations with inmates and guards, political observations, emotional turbulence and daily unpredictabilities of his time in HMP Womwood Scrubs. It is a fascinating read, rendered without glamour or sensationalism. Trenton is an insightful commentator and not just on the prison system. His diary is accompanied by short essays (Brenna Bhandar's historical analysis on the charge of public nuisance is highly recommended), and an interview with his partner Deepa Naik, the cofounder of This Is Not A Gateway, plus a listing of prison support resources and books. The photo essay and prison paperwork are particularly revealing.

Trenton is not the only person to spend time in jail around a major sporting event in 2012. Journalist Mike Wells spent time on remand before being bailed and then acquitted after filming an Olympic construction site (Leyton Marsh). Protestors grieving the loss of public open space at the same location chose prison over paying a fine after prosecution for obstruction of construction vehicles.

Incarceration is a draconian response to social conflict, the state re-enforcing its monopoly on violence and reimposing a subjugated order. Trenton's protest was non-violent and harmed no one; sentencing was clearly politically inspired. Myrdle Court Press and Trenton Oldfield are to be congratulated on demystifying the prison experience, a much-neglected aspect of urban struggle.
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8 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! 12 April 2013
Just finished reading this book and wanted to congratulate the author. This is such an important work and should be read by everyone. It demystifies all the rubbish propagated about the prison system and shows clearly how reactionary and obsolete the current regime is. This is all done in such a human, compassionate and readable way The visual essay is also incredibly powerful. This work is an important contribution, not only about the prison system and Trenton Oldfield's case, but also about the wider issues about protest and the state. I couldn't put it down. A brilliant and compelling read!
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8 of 20 people found the following review helpful
i shall make like a swimming in a boat race and interrupt these self aggrandizing and false reviews

hopefully i wont get deported off Amazon..
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5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful, illuminating and timely book 14 April 2013
By thomc
Trenton Oldfield's account of his imprisonment in HMP Wormwood Scrubs provides a personal insight into the experience of incarceration, and raises important questions about the ethics and efficacy of the British criminal justice system. Alongside this narrative is a selection of essays by other writers, exploring what is perhaps the most alarming issue highlighted by Oldfield's protest and punishment: the ongoing criminalization of protest in British society. This book also revisits the motivations behind the author's Boat Race protest - government policies leading to the erosion of civil liberties and the widening of the gap between rich and poor - leaving the reader in little doubt that Oldfield's actions were both justified and necessary.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars thoughtful, lucid generous
This book is a surprisingly good read, and not at all a diatribe or political statement. Trenton has a generous, lucid and thoughtful approach to life, which is matched only by the... Read more
Published 12 months ago by A. S. Conio
1.0 out of 5 stars Trenton is getting his mates to game the reviews
A self important little idiot disrupted a sporting event because he doesn't like that some people got into decent unis and he didn't.
Published 12 months ago by S. A. Fluendy
5.0 out of 5 stars An objective account of prison life
For all those who want to know what it's like inside read this book. Trenton Oldfield writes beautifully and describes the experience clearly and critically. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Clare
5.0 out of 5 stars Trenton Oldfield v. HRH
This is a very lucid book that anyone thinking of committing a crime and entering the prison system must read. Or anyone thinking of getting a job therein.
Published 13 months ago by THECULTURALREVIEW
5.0 out of 5 stars Trenton's Time in the Big House
This is a really great read. My advice is that you read the trial and protest stuff before you read the diary. Especially the interview with Deepa which was truly inspiring. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Cainat
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Read
This is a wonderful read. Mr Oldfield writes from the heart and the book is full of humour and compassion which despite the adversity, is never jaded. Read more
Published 14 months ago by tayieba
5.0 out of 5 stars READ THIS
Just finished reading this incredible book. I am shocked at how disgusting our 'justice'/prison system is. This book should be mandatory reading.
Published 14 months ago by LolaA
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful addition to the arena of prison books
Despite the endless churn in the prison population and the endless fictional 'portrayals' in the tabloid press, the vast majority of people do not have anything approaching an... Read more
Published 15 months ago by bra_b
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read
This book lays bare the realities of prison life in the UK. There is much ill-informed comment going around about the easy life in prison. Read more
Published 15 months ago by John Maclean
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