Most helpful positive review
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Be a good citizen. You do not want to go to this jail.
on 3 March 2003
Jimmy had a normal, middle-aged, middle class life - he drank too much - but otherwise was a normal solid citizen. Through circumstances Jimmy, could not have envisaged, he found himself dragged out of his normal life and incarcerated with a bunch of psychotic, aggressive and drug addicted murderers, rapists, thieves and other various misfits.
Fortunately Jimmy (who is Jewish) is befriended by a huge Nazi, called Kansas, who protects him from some of the intimidation and extreme violence that he sees whilst inside. Jimmy is also assisted by his engaging personality and his ability to help other prisoners out in many ways, from reading for the illiterate, to giving them legal advice.
Jimmy is an engaging character with a cynical wit and an ability to laugh at himself. His story is highly entertaining, not without emotion and always containing humour.
Some of the characters in the jail seem to revel in the life inside. For some it is the only place where they feel as though they are important or they have a routine. Conversely, normal people who read this book will ensure they live law abiding lives henceforth.
I get through a few books (I have a long tube ride to work) and this is one of the most entertaining I have read in the last couple of years. I cannot recommend it highly enough.