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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be a good citizen. You do not want to go to this jail.
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...
Published on 3 Mar. 2003 by Huntsman

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, if slightly unbelievable
While I have no doubt that Lerner's prison experiences are accurately documented in the first four fifths of the book, it's extremely difficult to believe the final chapter - the story of how he actually ended up in prison in the first place. I lent the book to several friends who reported back similarly. The description of prison experience is a lucid present tense,...
Published on 7 Jan. 2007 by Joe Cutts


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be a good citizen. You do not want to go to this jail., 3 Mar. 2003
This review is from: You Got Nothing Coming (Paperback)
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.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant evocation of prison life, 2 July 2002
This review is from: You Got Nothing Coming (Paperback)
This book is simply unputdownable. The wonderful array of colourful, brutal,weird and downright frightening characters is a better cast than any Hollywood prison drama.
Lerner manages to find humanity and even humour in a system where men are both brutal and brutalised.His fascinating journey from terrified new 'fish' to experienced lag using business management strategies for his own survival will keep you gripped from the first page to the last.
What we want now is a sequel showing how Lerner spent the remainder of his time in prison and, if he is now on the outside, how does he adapt to his freedom.
Trust me, after reading this you'll make sure you live your life on the straight and narrow! The best book I'v read this year.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN ASTONISHING, HEARTBREAKING, HILARIOUS BOOK!!!, 23 Mar. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: You Got Nothing Coming (Paperback)
Jimmy Lerner's journey from a corporate office to a claustrophobic prison cell with a giant neo-Nazi cellmate just staggers the imagination. Especially because this is a true story. The author kept me up most the night worrying, wondering (and hoping) how this nightmare would end.
Incredibly,the narrative voice has such a light, playful touch, despite the horrors happening all around.
This is a rare gem of a book, a nonfiction memoir that reads like the best of all novels!!!
I can't wait for the sequel!!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brutal, Beautiful, Savage Garden of Redemption!!!!, 27 Mar. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: You Got Nothing Coming (Paperback)
This book is a shattering, harrowing, hilarious account of one man - Everyman's - fall from Corporate heights into the hell of an American prison. A married, middle-class, frail, bespectacled man, the delightfully cheeky author is forced to share a tiny concrete cage with a Nazi gangleader dubbed "Kansas."
The author's metamorphosis from a newcomer, a "Fish" to a seasoned veteran of the asylum where the patients run the madhouse, is a scary, horrific, surreal and sensational tale that will keep you on the edge until the very end.
This is the best book I have had the pleasure of reading in quite some time!!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and horrifying, 12 Sept. 2002
By 
Mr. Warren M. Fisher (East Grinstead, West Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: You Got Nothing Coming (Paperback)
Stark, scary and hilarious, this is the blistering account of one man's descent into the belly of the beast and how he somehow survived. Lerner's humour in the face of the horror confronting him is outrageously funny, but he never loses sight of the madness and injustice of the penal system. The charcter sketches are priceless: sociopaths and losers, sadistic guards and deranged inmates are given such life that they transcend cliche.
This is probably among the finest ever books, fact or fiction, about life in 'The Big House', and never fails to inspire, entertain and outrage.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow..., 21 May 2003
This review is from: You Got Nothing Coming (Paperback)
..ok being a 16 year old girl, a book about a prision in the US, with brutal descriptions of male cruelty, did not seem appealing.
However been the open minded person I am I gave it a try. And man was I pleased I did.
This book is filled from begining to end with humour which, at times, made me cry. Sitting on my school bus laughing to myself, I was engrossed in the book. A witty, honest description which a lot of us (thankfully) have had no experience of.
A book that takes you away to another world...but makes you feel glad to be back. Take my advice, read this book, and enjoy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly un-put-down-able, 11 May 2003
By 
Hugh Thomas (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: You Got Nothing Coming (Paperback)
I became so involved in this compelling US prison memoir I was almost starting to suffer panic attacks myself by the end. Not only because of the you-don't-wanna-drop-the-soap-in-the-shower-here prison life description . Along the way there's further riveting stuff about office life in a corporate setting (Dilbert's author was a colleague) and the real gen on Alcoholics Anonymous, plus food for thought on choosing friends wisely both inside and outside those 50 foot razorwire-encrusted walls.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you got nothing coming, 22 Mar. 2010
By 
J. durham "superhoop66" (essex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: You Got Nothing Coming (Paperback)
simply one of the greatest books i have read. written intelligently and with dark humour, it is compelling and a real page turner. hard to read at first as written as spoken with slang, but when get into it you can hear them in your head and it immerses you deep in the dialogue.
BUY IT
if you like it also try the crip book shown on same page. it is equally as good a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, funny yet jaw dropping stuff., 22 Aug. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: You Got Nothing Coming (Paperback)
The other reviews have laid the story well enough to give you an idea of what the book is about.
It's an amzing true story of a mans struggle in the system but told with excellent humour and no restrictions on language. The prison life is one massive learning curve for the author and he describes it really well. It's only his chance encounter with Kansas and his previous employment history that prevent him from going under.
I wonder, now that OG has returned to "normal" life, if he still kicks it with his pals and talks the talk. know what i'm sayin ? dawg.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, if slightly unbelievable, 7 Jan. 2007
By 
Joe Cutts (Sheffield, south yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: You Got Nothing Coming (Paperback)
While I have no doubt that Lerner's prison experiences are accurately documented in the first four fifths of the book, it's extremely difficult to believe the final chapter - the story of how he actually ended up in prison in the first place. I lent the book to several friends who reported back similarly. The description of prison experience is a lucid present tense, however the past tense description leading up to the murder just doesn't seem believable. It's too dramatic and there's a feeling that a certain degree of creative license has been applied. Also, it begs the question, how could such an educated man be so stupid as to trust the man he had nick named "Monster."

Veracity aside, Lerner's prose is gripping and entertaining and there's plenty of decent humour thrown in making for an accessible read. There's slightly too much superiority on the part of the Author and he clearly has a chip on his shoulder as regards ethnicity, but on the whole this is an unusual and entertaining book. You'll be calling friends Road Dawgs, Woods, and Righteous Cons for weeks.
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You Got Nothing Coming
You Got Nothing Coming by Jimmy Lerner (Paperback - 30 Jun. 2010)
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