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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2005
I could not put this book down. I bought it because I was interested in what Alcatraz was like from an inmates point of view. I feel like I know the man, after reading this. His writing is quite simple and easy to understand, and he truly does put his feelings in this book. He especially gave great detail in describing the riots of '46. Get this book if you can, you won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2014
I would advise anyone who has or is going to visit Alcatraz to read this book. During the tour of 'the rock' you are shown C block the scene of the infamous "Battle of Alcatraz" in 1946 - what confused me was that in that incident - a prisoner was able to climb unnoticed up the 'Gun Gallery' - use a home made bar stretcher - make a gap - get in and 'surprise' the guard sat in there armed with a rifle - whose only job was to sit there observing the cell block and basically shoot any one misbehaving. Although the book's author is one of the narrators on the audio tour, obviously for time purposes that sort of detail is not included, that however together with a lot more fascinating information such as the routine of D block etc is all in this book. It is also a really interesting look into the mind of someone who basically slipped into Crime which then until he was caught - became very much his way of life. Written in an honest matter of fact way not by a plastic gangster 'bigging' himself up - or someone with a chip on his shoulder. I thoroughly recomend this book to anyone interested in Crime ,History, Biographies, Family Life or just a great story
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2012
The best book I have ever read, this man went to hell and back. You will not put this book down!
I wish I could have met jim in person! He used to go back to Alcatraz to sign books and tell his story to the thousands of visitors Alcatraz sees each day.
I have been to Alcatraz but unfortunately jim passed away, I think before the end of the last century.
What a life and what a man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2005
having visited the island, i wanted a more indepth study of what life was really like for someone who lived through it. I could not put this book down, it really is a great read. i felt after reading it i almost knew the man. And what a guy, what a life. one of the best books i have ever read.
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on 29 July 2013
Excellent and interesting record of life on Alcatraz by an inmate. Really would recommend to anyone with a hint of interest into this subject, it's fascinating to see how this man developed into a criminal from a broken family and alcoholic mother and how life on the rock treated the inmates. You almost feel as if you are there living it with him and can really understand the depressing atmosphere which must have engulfed this prison. Would not hesitate in recommending it!
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on 8 April 2014
An honest and interesting enough book but more about the man's life, which is a story worth telling in itself. The best parts of the book deal with his life before going to prison. The Alcatraz sections form only part of the book with way, way to much time spent on an escape attempt by others while he was there but which didn't really involve him.
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on 17 July 2014
We visited Alcatraz about 20 years ago. Such an interesting place, would love to go back and visit again. We bought this book when we were there and met Jim- what a fab guy, he signed the book for me and I had my photo taken with him. Great souvenir and very interesting book, made more so by meeting him.
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on 4 December 2011
Jim Quillen, what a man, although incarserated in alcatraz he never gave up wanting his freedom. His discription of the attempted breakout, Coy, Hubbard and Cretzer is almost real, his feeling for the words he wrote makes the reader think he.she is in the prison, but I can recommend this book very highly.
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on 25 January 2015
After visiting Alcatraz in October and hearing part of Jim's story I HAD to get this book. It doesn't disappoint. What a guy! A great example of someone turning their life around.....such a waste of his younger years.
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on 12 August 2012
I love this book, heard mixed reviews about it but i found it facinating, the anmount of detail on each page is amazing, i would defo recc to any one arrived quickly and was also signed by him
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