8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
Some compelling stories, but extremely badly laid out., 7 Oct 2013
I've read quite a few of these sort of titles and had high hopes for this after reading some of the positive reviews. However, I felt disappointed after only the first few chapters. The book lurches between seemingly unconnected stories of life inside Kerobokan. As soon as I started to comprehend (or in some cases empathise) with an inmates story or situation, woosh the next chapter moved onto someone else's, then to an unrelated incident, then back to the first story. This made the book feel so disjointed I just found myself losing interest quite quickly.
I found that this baffling layout meant that the author felt the need to re-explain prison concepts continually - a good fifth of the book must just be repeated content explaining roles of inmates or guards, or the cell system etc.
The methods of telling the stories also varied too much. Some are written from the authors view as an observer, with facts gleaned from inmates which in my opinion works well with this sort of literature, and yet some are written present tense, with needless details using what I presume is artistic licence. This makes the author seem like some omnipresent CCTV system. Was she in the prison at this point? Is this an eyewitness account? Or did she get these details from an inmates diary? A frustratingly large amount of questions to muse from what is essentially a documentary in print.
The author has got the backbone of a good book here, with some genuinely interesting stories and insights into this unique prison, however it's just so poorly laid out and edited that I have to say I can't recommend it.